Aush: Afghan Noodle Soup Recipe
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Aush is a classic winter dish in Afghan cuisine. It's a hearty noodle soup cooked with Quroot, an iconic Afghan winter meals ingredient. Quroot is dried yogurt balls that are made in the summer. Yogurt is dehydrated to form these rock like balls and preserved for use in the winter time. In the winter, they are rehydrated into a thick paste and utilized in so many dishes. As it was difficult to preserve and create fresh yogurt during the winter months, Quroot was made so that a yogurt like substance could still be utilized in cooking during that time.
Aush has now in the States become something we enjoy as a hearty soup at any time of year. Traditionally, like many soups in other cultures, it was given to folks when they were sick with a cold. My mother would make it for us as children during Ramadan, to enjoy after breaking the fast and before making our sunset prayers, to hold us over until we had the dinner meal after prayers.
It's a dish I personally crave often, and have enjoyed multiple iterations of. My mother is from Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, whereas my father is from Herat, the province bordering Iran. Just as with many dishes here in the States, Aush is one of those iconic soups that has unique iterations in different regions across Afghanistan. The recipe I'm sharing here is the one from Kabul, the only difference really being the legumes utilized in the soup. I hope you enjoy this iconic winter meal as much as my family does. Noshejaan!
Aush: Afghan Noodle Soup Recipe
7 cups water
Aush noodles (half package)
1 can kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
2 tsp salt
½ c Quroot or yogurt
2- 3 tbsp minced garlic
1 bunch Cilantro
2 tsp dried mint
1 lb cooked simple ground beef
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 tsp turmeric
1. Using pre-cooked ground beef (I cook the one from this recipe in large quantities and
store aside for meal prep)
a. Add thawed cooked ground beef into a saute pan, turning heat to high until you can
see oil from the ground beef becoming liquified again. Add turmeric and paprika to
ground beef, mixing very well, allowing it to cook thoroughly on high heat for 30
seconds – 1 minute.
b. Turn off heat, set spiced ground beef aside
2. Heat water in a kettle until it comes to a boil, add to a tall soup pot. Turn heat of pot on to
high and add salt
3. Into the boiling pot of water break up your noodle into smaller segments and drop into
the boiling water to cook for 7 minutes, or until noodles are softened and cooked
similar to pasta
4. Remove cilantro leaves from the stems and toss the stems.
5. If you are using yogurt instead of quroot, use 3 tbsp of minced garlic. If using quroot, use
2 tbsp of minced garlic in this recipe.
6. Using a food processor, add crushed garlic, cilantro leaves, quroot (or yogurt), ½ cup of
boiling water taken from the pot of boiling noodles, and dried mint. Turn on food
processor and grind until all ingredients are well mixed into a consistent sauce.
7. Meanwhile, lower the heat of your noodles in water to low. Then add kidney beans and
garbanzo beans into the pot, as well as the sauce we just created in the food processor.
Finally add the spiced ground beef into pot, mix well, and turn heat up to high cooking
for 5 more minutes.
a. Optional: you may add additional ground mint into the soup
8. Turn heat of soup off, and serve in a large soup bowl or individuals bowls.
9. In the meanwhile, heat vegetable oil and turmeric in a saute pan, mixing well, until the oil
has become heated throughout (this takes about 45 seconds-2 minutes). Drizzle the hot
oil on top of the soup in bowls. Noshejaan!