December 31, 2010

Shoorba-ye Yazdi (Lentil and Beet Soup with Tiny Dumplings)

Ash-e Shooli

What could be better on a cold winter day than a hot bowl of tasty, healthy, and sumptuous soup? This beautiful and nutritious soup is from the region of Yazd, Iran and is called شوربا - shoorba or Ash-e Shooli. "Shoor" means salty and "ba" generally refers to soups/stews. This shoorba is made by combining sauteed golden brown onions, brown lentils, small cubed beets, chopped young beet greens and fresh dill simmering gently over low heat until the lentils and beets are tender and soft. To make the shoorba tastier and to increase the thickness of the soup, small flour dumplings are added about thirty minutes before serving. This delightful recipe was given to me by my wonderful friend of many years, Sohaila khanoum, and I am very thankful and grateful to her for sharing her beloved mother's Yazdi shoorba recipe.

Ash-e Shooli

P.S. I would have written a post specifically for my 2nd blogging anniversary on December 4th had it not been a hectic month for me. However, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you, my wonderful and super kind readers and Facebook fans, for your support and sweet comments for the past two years. It always means a lot to me! Here's to hoping that I'll be able to keep my blog running steadily and continue to share as many Iranian recipes for as long as I can! I guess I make that my New Year's resolution! Once again thanks to all my readers!!

Shoorba-ye Yazdi/Ash-e Shooli (Lentil and Beet Soup with Tiny Dumplings)

Serves 4-6

1 cup lentils, rinsed
3 medium-sized beets, cubed
A small bunch of beet greens, chopped 
1 bunch fresh dill, washed and chopped
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth  or vegetable broth *optional
2 tablespoons vinegar or pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil


1/2 cup flour
Pinch of salt
Water (lukewarm) as needed

You may substitute dumplings with small pasta shapes.

  1. Combine the flour and salt, add water little by little, one tablespoon at a time, and mix well. Add more flour and water as needed until a soft dough forms. Make small size balls out of the flour dough. Set aside.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a stockpot on medium heat. Saute onions until tender, add turmeric, stir.
  3. Add 4-5 cups of water and a can of chicken broth, bring to a boil, add beets, add lentils, lower the heat, cover and cook for 50 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetables and salt and pepper. Gently place the dumplings into the shoorba. Add more water if necessary. Cook for another 15 minutes.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar during the last ten minutes of simmering.
Serve the shoorba hot with warm lavash or pita bread.

Enjoy! Wish you all a very happy, healthy, prosperous and glorious New Year!
Love, Peace and Blessings!


  1. Happy New Year and Nappy Bloggaverary. Two great reasons to celebrate.

    This soup sounds just delicious and as I see lots of beets at the market, I know I'll be sampling this one soon.

  2. Thank you so much for all the highly original recipes. I only discovered Persian food in 2010 and I look forward to learning more about it in 2011. Have a wonderful year!

  3. happy new year, Azita Joon- this truly is a recipe for the cold days- i love the vibrant colours. happy blog anniversary,too. x shayma

  4. Happy 2011, Azita Jan!I tried this recipe today and it was an instant hit with my friends. Thank you! Interestingly, one of the guys hated beets before, but licked his bowl clean.... persian food can work magic, I tell you... hehehe

    All the best to you,
    Azarakhsh :)

  5. Azita Happy New Year! This soup sounds and looks so pretty, and tasty with beets and chickpeas. By the way, happy 2nd anniversary :-)

  6. What fabulous color! The beet soup sounds so delicious, and perfect for a cold winter day...

  7. Best wishes for a happy, prosperous, joyful New Year!
    This soup looks delicious, I am a great fan of beetroots and soups, so it sounds perfect for me!
    Btw, this month,I am hosting a food event about Persian cuisine... If you have time to have a look and maybe send one recipe, I would be delighted :-)

  8. I don't know if you remember but some months ago I'd asked if you had a recipe for Shuly ( a beetroot ash) and this is what I was referring to. Many thanks for the post. Happy new year!

  9. Laila jan, yes, I do remember your question and I'm so glad this turned out to be the recipe you were looking for! Thanks you.
    Happy New Year!

  10. I doubt if chorba had anything to do with salty. Other nationalities such as Romanians also have Chorba.

    1. "Chorba is derived from a Persian term شوربا from shor ("salty, brackish") and ba ("stew")"

  11. This recipe is amazing. I made it last month for the first time, and am making it again tonight!