Aush is a perfect dish for a busy winter day as it is a full meal in a bowl, you don’t need any side dishes or whatnot to accompany this wholesome soup. Aush is basically noodles cooked in meatball broth with vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, kidney beans, and chickpeas. The magic in this soup is in the dill, mint and fresh parsley that are used for seasoning. These herbs give the soup a really rich and delicious flavor. After the soup is all cooked, it is served with a thick dollop of Chakkah (strained yogurt). The contrast of the hot soup with the thick yogurt is heavenly as it makes the soup creamy and also lightens the dish.
I always loved the small mini-meatballs in Aush, my mom usually made ground beef but in today’s health-conscious world I have started using ground chicken and it is just as good. The first time I made Aush I deliberately left out the fresh parsley. Though I love parsley, I have a unique disdain and lack of patience for chopping up parsley and sorting through the leafs. For some reason I fret over this simple task, as I am a bit paranoid about making sure the leaves are properly washed, and don’t like “stringy parsley” so take time to eliminate pieces that have too much stem. So I figured I would just skip out on the parsley all together, much to my regret the Aush just lacked the depth of flavor I was used to. My friends who were over for lunch that rainy day were not so impressed and teased my mom that her Aush was so much better. So lesson learned is DO NOT leave out the parsley!! I personally am waiting for the day they start selling chopped packaged parsley…but until then be patient, sort through the leaves, take the extra few minutes in washing the parsley, and get a sharp knife to chop it all up nice and small for the Aush…you won’t regret it I assure you .
-2 packets Ramon Noodles
-1 lb. Ground Beef or Ground Chicken
-1 Can Tomato Paste (About ½ a cup)
-2 cups Chickpeas (soaked overnight)
-2 cups Kidney Beans (soaked overnight)
-2 Potatoes (peeled and diced into cubes)
-3 carrots (peeled, diced)
-Salt, Black Pepper, Cumin
-Dried Dill Seasoning
-Dried Mint Seasoning
-1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
-2 Cups Chakkah/Greek Yogurt/Labneh (Mixed with 1 clove of minced garlic and juice of 1 lemon)
1. For the meatballs: Mix the ground beef with 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon coriander, ½ teaspoon ginger. If using ground chicken you may need to add 1/3 cup of flour or breadcrumbs to bind the meat. Wet your hands slightly and form small bite size meatballs.
2. In a big pot fry 1 large chopped onion (preferably chopped in a food processor) until golden brown. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and fry for about a minute with the onion.
3. Add the meatballs to the pot, and gently fry the meatballs with onion and garlic.
4. Once meatballs are evenly browned on the outside, add about 8 cups of water or vegetable broth and let the meatballs simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Add the drained chickpeas and kidney beans and boil for another 30 minutes (if using canned, make sure to rinse and add all of the vegetables at the same time). Add boiled water if necessary.
4. Add the potatoes, carrots and tomato paste.
5. Also add 2 tablespoons of salt, and about ½ cup of Dill. (I am very heavy-handed with the dill as I love the flavor it adds to Aush). Let the vegetables simmer on medium/low with the pot covered until the vegetables are cooked.
6. Don’t add the Ramon noodles until you are ready to serve. Once ready, add the two packets of Ramon noodles and ½ cup of dried mint let this boil on medium.
7. Once the noodles are cooked, add the chopped fresh parsley. You can mix in the Chakkah with the soup, or add a dollop of Chakkah to each bowl. I prefer having the Chakkah placed separately in each bowl as I love the contrast of the hot soup and the cold creamy yogurt.
8. And as always with Aush: Serve Immediately!! Once you have cooked the Ramon noodles and added the fresh parsley you should serve immediately for best flavor.