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Posted by on Feb 21, 2014 in Persian پارسی, Food, Recipes, Āsh آش - Soups سوپ | 0 comments

Ash-e Goje Farangi (Persian Tomato Chowder)

Ash-e Goje Farangi (Persian Tomato Chowder)


I almost fell off my chair laughing, when I found out the ‘Soup Nazi’ character from Seinfeld was based on an actual Persian soupmaker in New York, who preferred to keep his nationality private. He was famous for his unforgiving and rigid demeanor while instructing customers to pay quickly and move over.  In his own defense, Ali Yeganeh (Al for short) has said that he had a very small space and customers lined up around the block in the freezing cold. He didn’t have time for those who wanted to stand and chat or take forever to order.

Hahaha…it all makes sense now. If you were denied soup at Al’s kitchen, here is your chance to make your own.

Ingredients (serves 4):


  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 2  lrg garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas, soaked overnight
  • oil/butter
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
  • 3 cups water


  • 1.5- 2 cups (~ 1 bunch) parsley, stems removed & chopped
  • 1.5- 2 cups (~ 1 bunch) cilantro, hard stems removed & chopped
  • 1.5 – 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup (~ 1 bunch) green onions,  bulbs removed & chopped
  •  1 bunch fresh mint, chopped or 4 Tbs dried
  • 1/2 cup white Basmati rice (or any other long grain)
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 3 lb tomatoes, peeled & pureed


  • 0.5 lb ground meat (beef, lamb, etc.)
  • o.5 cup onion, grated/pulsed finely in food processor
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  •  1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper

Time ~     Prep: 30-45 min     Cook: 2 hrs


  1. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, saute the diced onion in enough oil/butter ’til translucent (~ 10 min). Add the 2 minced garlic cloves and continue searing (~ 2 min).
  2. Stir in 1 tsp turmeric ’till fragrant (~ 1 min). Use more or sprinkle a bit of water to keep from burning.
  3. Stir in salt, pepper and split peas. Add 3 cups of water, cover and cook on med-high heat for 1/2 hour.meatball
  4. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients. Knead lightly with your hand. Shape into meatballs the size of walnuts. Set aside.
  5. Gently add the meatballs to the pot, add more water if needed, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add rice, herbs, and spinach to the pot. Continue cooking covered over medium heat.
  7. Remove skin from tomatoes and puree in a food processor. Add to the pot along with tomato paste. Stir gently.
  8. Cook covered on low heat for 1 hr. Taste and add more salt & pepper if needed.
  9. Cook uncovered for another hour.

Ash has a thick consistency and shouldn’t be too soupy. Cook longer without cover if needed.
Ladle into a bowl and enjoy with a warm toast or naan.

meyl befarmaied (formal way of saying bon appetit)

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