Sunday, December 31, 2017

"Lucky" New Year Noodle Soup (Hey, It Can't Hurt!) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

A delicious soup to wish you a Happy New Year. This New Year Noodle Soup is full of Persian flavors and lucky ingredients to set you up for a great 2018. If that wasn't enough, it's also topped with caramelized onions, sour cream and toasted walnuts.

For a lot of reasons, too numerous to mention, 2017 was not the best year, so I am not too unhappy to see the end of it. Although some great things happened, for myself and for my family and friends and the world, there were a lot of trying times. I have hopes that 2018 will be better and to help it along, I wanted to cook up a "lucky" soup. I could have made up a recipe of my own but Heidi Swanson had a delicious-looking one on her website that contained thin noodles (long life), lentils (wealth and prosperity), and spinach (more wealth and prosperity) and I subbed in black-eyed peas (considered lucky in the South) for the borlotti beans for an extra luck boost--hey it can't hurt!.

This is a recipe from Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks Blog, which she says is Adapted slightly from the Ash-e Reshteh / New Year Noodle Soup recipe in Saraban, by Greg & Lucy Malouf

Heidi says, "If you don't have beans that have already been cooked you can use canned ones. Or you can soak the garbanzo & borlotti overnight, and add them after the broth comes to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes, then stir in the yellow split peas/lentils. This way the beans/lentils should be done cooking around the same time. The original recipe calls for fresh borlotti beans, which aren't in season. I used dried borlotti that I cooked a couple weeks back, then froze until now. And, on the noodle front, I couldn't help but add more than what the original recipe called for. You can actually use more/less noodles - even when it seemed like too much, they always manage to get slurped up in a soup like this." 

New Year Noodle Soup
Slightly Adapted from Heidi Swanson via 101 Cookbooks Blog
(Serves About 4)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 long red chili OR green serrano chili, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (I used 1 tsp)
1 tsp ground cumin (I added 1 12 tsp)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

8 1/2 cups good-tasting vegetable stock
3.5 oz yellow split peas or brown lentils
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed if using canned
2 cups cooked borlotti beans (I subbed in black-eyed peas)

fine grain sea salt to taste 
8 oz thin egg noodles, fresh or dried (I used Italian spaghetti)
3 1/2 oz fresh spinach leaves, finely shredded
1/2 cup finely shredded cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
juice of one lime

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 oz  sour cream or creme fraiche
scant 2 ounces of toasted, chopped walnuts

Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and the chile and cook until they soften, a few minutes. Add the spices and cook for another thirty seconds, just long enough for them to toast a bit, then stir in the stock. Bring to a boil and add the split peas/lentils to the pot. Cook until they are just tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and borlotti beans. Once the beans have heated throughout, season with salt to taste.

In the meantime, you can prepare the toppings. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat along with a couple big pinches of salt. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, at least 8 to 10+ minutes. Set aside.

Just before you're ready to eat, add the noodles to the simmering soup and cook until al dente. Stir in the spinach, and cilantro and dill. Add a big squeeze of lime to the pot or serve wedges along with each bowl of soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Serve right away, each bowl topped with a big spoonful of caramelized onions, some sour cream or creme fraiche, and a sprinkling of walnuts.

Notes/Results: This is such a tasty soup--especially if like me you love cumin and beans and fresh cilantro and dill, oh yeah...lime... and noodles.... and don't forget the caramelized onions on top and the sour cream...there is just so much going on but in the best way. The beans and pasta keep it satisfying. I think the spaghetti noodles I bought were a bit wide but it does help it hold up to the beans. Because the longer the noodles, the luckier, a fork can be helpful for eating this soup. There are a few steps to making it, but it goes together easily and relatively quickly if you make your toppings while the soup is simmering. The mix of flavors together is wonderful--if you like Persian food and flavors, you will like this soup. Use dairy-free sour cream and vegan butter in the onion topper and it is vegan, and swap in gluten-free pasta if you want it gluten-free. For me, I'm just going to have another bowl tonight, and a couple tomorrow on New Years Day. Maybe it won't change my luck, but it's good enough that I feel lucky eating it.

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs so I am linking up this Heidi Swanson adapted soup. Check out the picture links on the post to see what everyone made. 

It's another quiet holiday week in the Souper Sundays kitchen but my friends Debra and Tina are here keeping me company--let's have a look at what they brought.

Debra of Eliot's Eats shared Curried Black Bean, Butternut and Spinach Soup and said, "I whipped up this delicious soup with what was on hand for an impromptu lunch. It’s funny what comes to light when families are together over the holidays.  Skeletons in the closet can be let loose to wreak havoc.  Our revelation this holiday season is apparently that no one likes curry. ... My sister and I loved this soup and she even told me it was “restaurant worthy.” Supreme compliment!  (We were the only ones who ate this soup, but that was fine with us!)"

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwiches and said, "So, today I wanted to share a nice chickpea and avocado based salad that makes a dynamite sandwich. It's that time of year when people start thinking about eating healthier. If you like vegetarian based meals you will probably like this little recipe. We've been on the mostly vegetarian meal plan for well over a year (this time) and I can say, lunches can be problematic when  there aren't any leftovers. I try and pack our lunches every work day as it's healthier as well as economically sound. This sandwich spread, this salad, makes a filling lunch and it's made in under 2 minutes!"

Mahalo to Tina and Debra for joining me at Souper Sundays this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on the post you link up to be included.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy and healthy 2018!


  1. I was seriously trying to figure out something to do with black-eyed peas for tomorrow. Here it is! Happy New Year, Deb!

  2. Happy New Year! This looks like one lucky and healthy soup.

  3. What could be better than a lucky soup for the New Year! Jewish Sephardic tradition always includes black eyed peas for luck for their New Year!Your soup looks healthy, filling and appealing. Putting it on my list to try.. Happy New Year

  4. We have black eyed peas for New Years as well. Brilliant substitution. This looks wonderful and the mix of other beans is very appealing, too.

  5. A lovely soup to start the new year!
    Happy New Year!

  6. Great soup, I need egg noodles as that would be so great in a hot bowl of soup. Big fan if the noodle! I just linked with vegetable soup :-)

  7. Love all the lucky, wealth and prosperity ingredients in the soup. Happy new year!


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