New Year Noodle Soup

New Year Noodle Soup Recipe

I'm feeling the inclination to tip-toe into 2011. I'm concerned that if I step on one squeaky floorboard, all hell could break loose. For the most part 2010 was good to me, it was busy, interesting, unpredictable and fulfilling. I feel very, very fortunate. I consider every day I'm happy and healthy a gift. On the flip side, it was a difficult year for a number of people I know and care about, and to them, I hope 2011 shines better and brighter.

2010 was the year I finished this, spent three weeks here, and made many pots of soup along the way. I hung out at the cabin. And we camped, and camped some more. As far as 2011 is concerned, it looks like I'll be ushering in the new year with a nasty head cold and an awesome bowl of noodle soup. I can tell you with confidence, sparkling wine and throat lozenges are a terrible pairing.

New Year Noodle Soup Recipe

That said, I'm looking forward to shaking this bug quickly to take a crack at making 2011 memorable and meaningful. I've been thinking about some of the things I'd like to focus on this year, and I've come up with a list of sorts...Here goes. I'd like to get out of San Francisco for trips near and far. Top of the list: London, Japan, the Pacific Northwest, and Kauai. I'm feeling the pull of a road trip, not sure of where yet though, Marfa? Across Canada? I've always wanted to drive to the tip of Baja, but I'm not sure that's the best idea right now. What else? I'd like to jog to the beach more often. And I'd like to take this big guy out more often. I want to commit to brewing beer once a month, and also stay current with the New Yorker. I want to cook from lots of books. Cook alongside lots of cooks. Get to know less familiar ingredients better. And revisit favorite recipes more often. I want to try keep things simple. I'm sure I'll think of others, but this is what is top of mind right now. What about you? I love hearing your new years thoughts and resolutions.

New Year Noodle Soup Recipe

Today's recipe is exactly what I've been craving. I've cooked it twice now, and it's the perfect recipe to usher in the new year with, particularly if you have a cold. But let me back up a bit, and let you know how I came across it. One of my Aussie pals works in a bookshop in Melbourne that focuses on food and wine titles. She always has great insight into books and recipes, and she mentioned hosting Greg & Lucy Malouf in the shop one night. They made a trio of breads for the event from Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia that sounded wonderful, and I had it in the back of my mind to flip through the book as soon as I could find it. I stumbled on the book at Omnivore Books, and bought it on the spot. The New Year Noodle Soup caught my attention, and I'm thrilled it did. At its core it is a bean and noodle soup featuring thin egg noodles swimming in a fragrant broth spiced with turmeric, cumin, chiles, and black pepper. You use a medley of lentils, chickpeas, and borlotti beans, making the soup hearty and filling without being heavy. You add spinach, dill, and cilantro. You add lime juice for a bit of sour at the end. And then you've got a number of toppings to add when you serve the soup - chopped walnuts, caramelized onions, and sour cream. It's a long ingredient list, but worth it. I think I'm going to double up on the next pot. It was delicious reheated for days, even with the noodles in there. The book itself is amazing, and I can't wait to explore it beyond this soup.

New Year Noodle Soup Recipe

So here we go. 2011 it is. My hope is that each of you has a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year. I'd also like to add a heartfelt thank you for your ongoing insight and encouragement. Can you believe we're coming up on eight years together? It seems surreal to me. xo-h

New Year Noodle Soup

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.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 long red chili OR green serrano, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 1/2 cups / 2 liters good-tasting vegetable stock/broth

100g / 3.5 oz yellow split peas or brown lentils
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed if using canned
2 cups / 350g cooked borlotti beans

fine grain sea salt

120 g thin egg noodles, fresh or dried
3 1/2 oz / 100g fresh spinach leaves, finely shredded
1/2 cup finely shredded cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
juice of one lime

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
100 ml sour cream or creme fraiche
50g / 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, 8 - 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 creme fraiche, and a sprinkling of walnuts.

Serves about 4.

Adapted slightly from the Ash-e Reshteh / New Year Noodle Soup recipe in Saraban, by Greg & Lucy Malouf

Prep time: 20 min - Cook time: 40 min

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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This soup sounds a bit unusual to me, with the thin noodles, but since one of my resolutions is to try new flavours, and I have a huge confidence in your recipes, I am going to give this a try.

I hope you'll shake the bug off pretty soon and have a heady start in the new year!


I can't wait to try this one! I assume, in the second paragraph, it is the onions that you are caramelizing for the topping?

HS: Yes, exactly Lindsey. Happy new year.


I too ushered in 2011 feeling a bit ill and that warm, nourishing soup looks pretty inviting! I'll have to give it a try.

michelle elisabeth

The flavor combination for this soup sounds awesome. Happy New Year!

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

This looks like a terrific noodle soup to kick the year off with. I like the heartiness of the different beans with the array of savory spices.

I'm really looking forward to your travel posts. You always bring back such amazing photos.

Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

I love this kind of soup recipe that's a meal in itself - veggies and a little bit of carb and protein all included. Really satisfying and there's no bread required.

This year I'd like to expand my recipe repertoire (I'm wondering if trying one new recipe a week would work?) and hopefully learn more about Japanese cookery and landscape photography.

Hope you're feeling better soon


For me there is no tip toeing into the new year - I'm stomping out loud ready to bring in the new. This soup is perfect and I'm bookmarking it for later this week. I'm in need of some comfort too. Happy New Year!


Just curious, but could black-eyed peas work in place of some of the beans, and collard greens in place of the spinach?


Yum. Chickpeas + Noodles = Win. Sounds delicious. I'm putting it on my "to cook" list. Thanks!

Kristi @ Veggie Converter

Thanks for your amazing blog, Heidi! And a happy new year to you as well. Get well soon!

Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

Happy New Year Heidi! I'm sick too so I know how you feel right now. I haven't thought too much about my resolutions but I want to spend more time with unfamiliar ingredients and flavors this year too.

This soup looks delicious. When I first found your blog I could barely boil water. Now I'm looking at recipes like this and thinking about taking them in another direction. Thanks for being an inspiration to all of us.


I also am starting the new year with a wicked cold and have a pot of onion & garlic soup on the stove. Inspired by this recipe, I think I'll add some lentils and change up the spices a bit. I just hope I can actually taste some of it. Get well soon.


Sounds yummy! And what a beautiful bowl it's in, I love it.


I love your use of tumeric in this soup, as I'm trying to find tasty ways to add this anti-inflammatory to my diet. I added tumeric to an apple cake and although the taste was not affected the cake had an unpleasant yellow cast. Your soup looks lovely.
Get well soon.


wow, that is one good-lookin' soup! Can't wait to see what tasty things 2011 holds!
cathy b. @ brightbakes

Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes

Your desired trip to the Pacific Northwest is the perfect time for that road trip-- there's nothing like driving up Pac Hwy in the summer.


This soup looks perfectly comforting.

Jessica @ How Sweet

This looks delicious! What an interesting twist on the usual New Year's 'pois pigeon'!


One of my 2011 resolutions is to cook more from books, too. And blogs...yours being one of them. :) Hope this new year brings you happiness, joy, & relief from your head cold!

Hallie @ Daily Bites

THANK YOU so much for posting this. I haven't commented before, but I really appreciate your recipes. My husband and I made a similar soup five years ago and then left the cookbook in an apartment and haven't sought out the recipe. What a great soup/memory. I look forward to trying it again.


The soup looks very comforting. Perfect for a cold winter. I also promised myself to add new vegetables and grains to my menu.

Best wishes.

Bogna @ Pots and Frills

This sounds fantastic, Heidi! Thanks for posting. I've been trying to eat "Clean" the last couple of months, and I think that I may try replacing the egg noodles with brown rice noodles. It sounds like it would fit this recipe perfectly! mmmm

Happy New Year!


Oh this soup looks so full of great ingredients!

Simply Life

A lovely soup for the new year! Perfect for me, as I have a bit of a virus right now. I am so looking forward to getting your book. What a wonderful year you have had on your blog, and lots of fabulous travel too!
My new years resolution is to get to sleep earlier. In terms of food, however, there are certainly some standouts that I want to try this year. I want to work on my pastry making, making the perfect roast chicken, cupcakes (shock, I've never made them), and working with mussels, clams. Just to name a few :)
Heidi xo

Heidi - apples under my bed

Sorry to hear you're sick Heidi :-( Hope you get better real soon.
I feel like this past year was a hard one too, on so many different levels, for so many people around the world. 2011 already has a more positive feel to it, 2 days in. It's going to be a huge one for us, as we are moving countries! You never know, KateP and I may even get to meet in person :-) All the best for the coming year. I can't thank you enough for all the inspiration you have given me. Xx

HS: Thanks Emm, I'm excited to hear about what 2011 has in store for you and your family. Here's to big adventures in the new year. xo


Happy New Year Heidi! I am so glad you are enjoying Saraban and I look forward to sharing more news and views on cookbooks and recipes with you and the rest of the Library community through 2011.......

HS: Thanks Kate! Looking forward to it as well. Happy New Year.


WOW, looks good! Just what I'm craving. Will try this week!

Hope you feel better soon! Happy New Year.


Looks delicious. I am going to have to put this on my list of recipes to try. Of course, the true test, is how the 4 and 6 year old like it. :-) I know I will....


this looks so healthy and delicious, and i would expect no less from you! happy new year, heidi. i love your blog.

laura @ alittlebarefoot

Happy New Year. This looks just perfect. Thank goodness it is back to routine eating after all the treats. This looks like the perfect way to kick off the new year.

Feel better soon!


This is one of the best recipes I've seen from you, Heidi. Such a perfect soup for this chilly weather we're having in Manhattan...I'm going to whip this up tomorrow! Happy New Year!

The Healthy Apple

We've followed your great recipes for quite some time and appreciate all you've brought into our lives with your passionate commitment and research. Love your writing style...

We have a small retreat in a 6000 sq ft Castle style home in the Pacific Northwest- Western Washington overlooking Lake Mayfield. One of my sons graduated from the CIA, Hyde Park, NY as Exec Chef and helped design the Adytum kitchen. It is a dream come true! The house is a creative muse itself with 75 windows overloooking stunning natural beauty. We hope you include Adytum to your Pac NW visit. We are vegetarian, gluten free and devotees of the Modified Mediterranean Diet in the Adytum Kitchen. Best to you!

HS: Best to you as well Kat. Your retreat looks beautiful!

Kat Carroll

Yum, this sounds great for this extremely cold weather we are having. I'm going to make some tomorrow. It should please everyone in the family. Happy New Year! Here's to a healthy and prosperous 2011.


Your past two recipes have left me wishing we were next door neighbors! We're very much on the same food wave-length lately...this looks so wonderful. I love that it can stand on its own as a meal. Happy, happy New Year (I'm with you on the tip-toeing)

Megan Gordon

Happy New Year Heidi!
Your blog was the very first food blog I started reading. It was my senior year of college and I had fallen head over hills in love with cooking. You've inspired me tremendously, and now I even have my own blog, and I'm following my dream of having a career in food!
One of my resolutions is to take my blog to the next level in 2011 (more readers, better photos, lovely words). Another is to choose to be happy everyday. I think that's possible as long as I'm cooking :)
I hope you feel better.
Best wishes for 2011!

Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul

Happy New Year, Heidi. This year my resolution is to simplify my family's meals. Given that I have to feed one omnivore, one Celiac, one pescetarian (who is temporarily dairy free), one picky five year old and a baby, it's quite a challenge. I can't wait to get your new book into my kitchen as I'm sure it will be of great help. Fell better and please keep doing what you do so well!


Heidi - Kauai is a must if you haven't yet been. We vacationed there last May. Since we rented out the back house of a resident's home, we did a lot of cooking ourselves. There is a terrific farmer's market in Hanalei chock full of goodies that I would love to see you make something with.

Hope the cold gets better soon!

Morgan G

Hi Heidi- I live in West Marin but have spent the last 3 months in the Kimberleys of Western Australia, where it was a bit more difficult to get the ingredients to your wonderful recipes, but I still followed your posts and dreamed of everything I would make when I returned. I did get into homebrewing while in Oz, and was interested in starting it here. Where do you get your supplies in the Bay, and what type of brews have you tried? Thanks for all the great posts and Happy New Year!

megan e

This soup looks delicious! If I use dried garbanzos and borlottis, how much should I use? I can never properly work out the correct amount of dried vs. cooked...

HS: Hi Janice, the recipe is pretty flexible and forgiving. You can add to your liking really. But to answer your question, start with just over 1/2 the amount of cooked. So if you want roughly a cup of cooked beans, cook 1/2-ish cup dried, and go from there.


Happy Happy 2011!!! Not ready and have no resolutions yet! This soup looks so good. Thank you and keep it up!

Nicole @ The Dirty Oven

If it weren't 35C here in Brisbane, i'd be soaking some beans right now, but all i can manage is to pant over some iced tea! Thank you for keeping me entertained all year, Heidi. Yours is one of those blogs i truly look forward to arriving in my inbox every week. If only we were cooking in the same season!


Made this for dinner tonight. I didn't have the creme fraiche or walnuts, and yet it was utterly delicious. Thanks for the recipe.


There is not a better way to begin the New Year than with a bowl of a healthy homemade soup. Thank you Heidi.

Donna Myers

Hahaha, I can relate to the resolution to keep current with The New Yorker. I'm sure our unread stacks are comparable. There's usually only one article and the movie reviews that I read ... but, oh, they are so enjoyable! I did take the latest to bed last night and read the article about Joan Crawford. Such pleasure.

HS: Hi Rebecca, I've been enjoying the New Yorker Out Loud podcast as well, it's interesting to hear some of the writers talk about some of what went into new articles.

Rebecca Anderson

Hi Heidi,

Happy New Year!

I'm very excited to try this soup, as I always love your soup recipes and many of them have become staples in my household. I am curious to know, though, which store-bought vegetable stock (if any) you find to be "good tasting" when not using homemade? Please advise!

HS: I tend to use Rapunzel - the sea salt or sea salt w/ herbs.


Happy new year! Sounds like you had great and productive 2010 and wish you more joy in 2011.

I love garbanzo beans in any recipe. I think I will make this, minus the sour cream and put the yogurt instead.

Happy new year!

Pam @ Kitchenware

One of my goals for this year is to express more appreciation to bloggers whose work I get so much from. Another is to make more "whole-meal" soups and this one is going right on the list. Thanks and looking forward to sharing your adventures and more great recipes.


Heidi, I wish you a happy, healthy and safe new year!


Dinners & Dreams

Hi Heidi! I love your site and your recipes. I've tried many of them and they are all inspiring and tasty.
You have also inspired me to start my own blog site about cooking, (, which corresponds to my cookbook, (muchadoaboutmuffins), which is in the publishing process. =)
I would love to have you visit my new site and give me a jingle, even though I do write about meat! I still love vegetarian meals however and plan to include them in my repertoire on my blog.
Thanks for the good stuff!

Debbie Wells Allen

Head cold here too and yes, sparkling wine and cough drops are a bad combo. I will make this soup tomorrow. sounds wonderful. My resolutions are: to eat more slowly (I spend my days cooking but somehow don't savor the finished product enough in the moment--having a rambunctious 3-year-old might not help!); grow my business ( and continue to weave your recipes and ideas into my cooking classes. I'm very grateful for your passion, creativity and wonderful palate. All the best for 2011!

HS: You too Katherine, Portland is such a wonderful place to cook. You're one lucky lady!

Katherine Deumling

Great recipe


This sounds awesome!! I am thinking it's a "to do" this week in the windy city :)


Yum! I can't wait for winter to try this one! (we're in New Zealand, but originally from San Fran and San Luis Obispo!) I may have to make it sooner than later!

Happy New Year


Heidi~ I love your site and look forward to more yumminess in 2011

Have a Healthy New Year!


Lisa @

This soup looks incredible and filled with such interesting ingredients.
I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store.


This recipe looks divine, can't wait to try it. I love Greg and Lucy - I have Arabesque and love it. Does Kate work at Books for Cooks? I'm from Melbourne too..
Hope you're feeling better soon.

HS: She does! Say hi for me if you see her on your next visit.


I am Persian and grew up eating this soup although we eat it in the winter time mostly because it is so rich and heavy. If you can find liquid whey from a middle eastern grocery, I highly suggest you use it i/o sour cream or creme fraiche, which gives it a more pungent flavour (and is the authentic ingredient). My family also sauteed dried mint in oil and poured that on top.

HS: Thanks for the suggestion Marjan, and the sauteed dried mint oil sounds outstanding.


Hi Heidi, I've been reading you blog for a good year now but haven't ever commented! Just wanted to say I love your site and this recipe looks so good I'm popping out to the shops now to buy the ingredients for dinner! Thanks for the many inspirations!


Hello Heidi,

This looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Happy Healthy New Year.


Something for me :) Happy New Year, Heidi! Thank you for your books and your site.


Happy New Year ♥
Moltissimi Auguri
per uno splendido 2011


Je vais adorer cette soupe !
Merci pour toutes vos jolies recettes, anciennes et futures. Je vous souhaite une merveilleuse année 2011 !
And if my english is not too bad ... ;o)
I'll love this soup !
Thank you for all your lovely recipes, past and future.And happy new year 2011 !


This looks like a wonderfully warming soup. Perfect for chilly Jan nights. I love the long slurpy noodles and hearty beans.


I've had your new cookbook on pre-order since September, can't wait!!

Gail Harries

I just happen to have most of these ingredients on hand! 2011 will be good to you, Heidi!

A Teenage Gourmet

What a fabulous recipe! I was thinking soup yesterday but ended up with a pear salad and lamb chops.

Resolution: Simplify.


Caroline Shields

Just got back home last night after a long road trip and found your wonderful soup recipe... so, even if I did not prepare the exact recipe, this morning I heated up some broth, added noodles, some cilantro and spinach I just happened to have in the fridge and guess what... here in the South we have to have blackeye peas for good luck every New Year.... squirted some lime juice and it was great. Can't wait to make the complete recipe as written. Thank you, get well soon... I absolutely love your good food choices. May in Atlanta, GA

HS: Way to improvise May!

May Bingham

This soup looks delicious and your travel plans for 2011 are impressive! Happy New Year!

Funnelcloud Rachel

thanks for this recipe! a light and healthy counterbalance to my new years feasting. here's to another delicious year and even more creativity in the kitchen in 2011...

i3etty @ veggie potluck

This soup sounds fantastic! It involves many of the spices I've been trying to incorporate more into my cooking the last few months (turmeric, cumin) as well as the borlotti beans that my husband is obsessed with. We happen to have most of the ingredients on hand so I am looking forward to trying it this week!


Hope you feel better soon! This soup looks like the perfect cure to whatever ails you!


Happy New Year to you Heidi and thanks for doing this blog ... eight years is a real commitment, and thanks again!

My substitutes for this recipe included canned tomatoes, canned black beans, goat milk, as I have goats and freeze the milk for winter use, and broken spaghetti. Mint oil sounds great!


Heidi, your book and recipes started a food evolution for me 3 yrs. ago. It started with a gift of your book from a dear friend. I began with your sushi bowl (with some influence from Cafe Gratitude) onto your Yellow Split Pea, Wild Rice and Lively Lentil soup recipes. I put more 'condiments' (avocado, nuts/seeds, yogurt, sprouts, sauerkraut, marinated garlic, more) on rice and soup dishes now that they are masterpieces full of yummy sour/sweet/savory/creamy textures and tastes at every turn.

I just wanted to send HUGE appreciation your way as you recover!


I just made this soup and all the toppings are ready! Can't wait to have it in a few minutes. I substituted kidney beans for the borlotti beans. I didn't have turmeric so I hope it turns out ok anyway!


Happy New Year. I hope you'll be back on your feet soon. I like your plans for 2011, especially the road trip. Driving across Canada would be interesting--the landscape certainly varies from coast to coast, but there's a lot of flat, empty space in between! I lived just outside of Toronto for a good long time, but if you don't do the Canadian road trip, I suggest at least going out east to Halifax, Nova Scotia--fabulous seafood!


Happy New Year, Heidi!

I finally fulfilled a New Year's Resolution made long ago: I got to photograph Central Park in the snow over the Holidays. It was as fabulous as I imagined!

This year, I hope to get my blog up. It's been difficult, because I have a burning desire to make it food-related, but bloggers such as yourself have so competently covered the bases, with over-the-top beautiful photography - and have set the bar so high! - that I have spent an extra year in research on a slightly different angle.

I wholeheartedly share your feeling about road trips, and I could not end without putting in a good word for the cross-Canada road trip.

I think you would really enjoy touring Vancouver Island - as it's a friendly community doing great things with delectable produce from sustainable growers. Excellent food and wine in the region! And there's fantastic camping and hiking throughout the Rockies.

I must mention my Toronto, a fantastic multicultural city with vegetarian restaurants galore, and two great cool climate viticulture areas east and west of us worth exploring, especially the successful Niagara winery region. Open year round, there is much celebration at September's grape harvest, and an Ice Wine Festival held in January that makes for a unique mid-winter destination. We go every year!

Quebec is also fabulous road trip territory: excellent farm-fresh cheeses, orchards, and micro-breweries to visit in glorious pastoral settings. Beyond Montreal, there is Quebec City - great restaurants, and summer festivals galore. We often attend the New France Festival and still love the feelings of conviviality we experience there.

I'd be happy to send you more ideas when you're ready. But wherever you travel, I hope 2011 is happy, healthy and prosperous for you and yours.

Primordial Soup

Just a footnote... the new year celebration in Iran is the spring equinox, not Jan. 1. But that's okay, the other traditional new year's dish is rice mixed with lots of springtime herbs, served with fish, which in my family we now serve for both new year's celebrations. The soup, with many variations, is eaten all year round, though the noodles are special for the occasion. At other times, barley or rice can replace the noodles, and different types of beans will do. Many different greens are used (try radish tops, for example, chopped baby leeks, or lots of flat-leaf parsley).
Most critically though, where this recipe calls for creme fraiche or sour cream, the classic topping is kashk - made by dehydrating the whey from hung yoghourt. It has a slightly grainy, creamy texture, and very strong flavor, not quite like any other dairy product I've encountered anywhere in the world, and is worth looking for at an Iranian grocery store. It's also used in eggplant dishes.


This looks fantastic! Can't wait to try it! I've really enjoyed your blog and the many recipes you've shared. I split a family-size CSA box with three other girls this year - and I knew I could always count on finding new and interesting recipes to use for all those farm-fresh veggies! Thanks for sharing, Heidi! Here's to a happy and healthy 2011!


Lovely and interesting soup! Had it for dinner this evening with fresh baked Irish soda bread. Yum! This may become a tradition--Happy New Year!


Made this tonight, using all Roman beans. It was SO delicious! I will definitely be making it again. Thank you!


I knew I'd have to make this soup the moment I saw it go up: I've got a nice, steaming half-bowlful next to me right now and it's delicious. (I ended up using kale instead of spinach, since it's what I had on hand -- but yum.)

I think this one's a keeper, thank you!


This soup looks delish! I will definitely be trying it soon.
On another topic-- I noticed you said you'd like to brew beer more. That is something that I want to try this year... do you have any advice or suggestions on this? Or maybe good websites? Basically anything would help me out! My husband and I are total novice beer brewers... but expert beer drinkers! :)
Thank you so much and Happy New Year!

Lauren L.

Looks delish and so comforting with these recent showers on the west coast. Hope you feel better soon.


I can't wait to try this one...looks so yummy. Hope you feel better soon. I know so many people that are sick with the flu right now.


Beans are one thing I want to get into eating more of. It's one of my new year's goals actually. So this soup is perfect timing!


A perfect light dish but with lots of protein. Thanks for a good recipe. I like the natural and vegetarian approach taken on this site. I enjoy food and cooking but have to apply a healthy/vego filter to everything. Thanks.

Dark Mistress

Happy New Year, Heidi!


Happy New Year Heidi - Thank you for so many delicious recipes and beautiful pictures. You've given me kitchen inspriation so many times this year! I was just thinking last week that I'd like a new recipe that combines legumes in an interesting way, and here it is. I'll be making this for dinner this week. Feel better soon.


I love this delicious foods. I love to eat and I think this would be a great recipe for 2011.

Happy new year everyone!!!

jewelry making kits

This soup looks perfect!


What a tasty looking soup! I am going to try this recipe out tonight.


This soup looks fantastic! All the best in 2011!


this sounds absolutely perfect. dinner tonight cannot come soon enough :)

i hope you all enjoy this soup and the new year as much as i know i will.


I am so excited for this! I have a cold and my soup-hating husband (who hates soup?!) is away, so I can enjoy the big pot with no guilt!


I just got another book by Greg and Lucy Malouf - Saha: A Chef's Journey Through Lebanon and Syria. I had checked it out from the library and couldn't stop thinking about it after I returned it, so I finally bought it. Looking forward to making this soup and many more of their wonderful recipes - it's a stunning book.


Walk with confidence into 2011! You are a star and we all love you. And, your recipes :-)

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I rang in the new year with a head cold (and many bowls of soup!) too - hope you're feeling better! I'm sure this soup helped; it looks so warming and comforting. Happy and healthy 2011!


This soup is incredible! i made it yesterday and thought it would take longer/be more difficult than it was. Time spent totally pays off--with interest! Thank you, Heidi--hope you are well on the road back to health!


I'd be interested in hearing if anybody adapts this recipe for the slow cooker. Thanks for any tips on procedure or timing!


Great pics and I love the sour cream. Not sure how I feel about the walnuts, but short of that it's a dream ingredient roster for me. Good luck with the resolutions. I'm looking to take another trip up Sir Francis Drake Road to Point Reyes! - Gary


LOOKS FANTASTIC!! Will be making this tonight!!


happy new year heidi, hope you're back in top form!

i've made the soup today, partly because its name seemed to be appropriate for this time of the year ;) but also because it looked delicious and sounded interesting! and i'm glad i did - it was lovely! i did skip some ingredients (borlotti beans and cilantro) and add some others (ground ginger to the broth, sesame seeds as a topping) - still delicious! thanks so much for sharing another wonderful recipe and i can't wait to see more of them both here on the site and the upcoming book! x


oh forgot one thing (too excited about the soup!) - i'd LOVE to have you guys over to japan again, obviously, but i must say kauai is fantastic - definitely one of the most beautiful places i've ever been to. love to go back for a visit myself!


This soup looks wonderful, and so comforting! You can't go wrong with all of those beans and especially the onions!

jodye @ 'scend food

This soup looks like the perfect food to accompany the rain and cold that LA is experiencing right now. I'm going to brave the weather to go out and get all those ingredients!
You said you were interested in driving to the tip of Baja, but thought that might be a good idea. I'm here to tell you it's one of the best ideas and drives to be had! I spend a lot of time driving up and down the Baja (my family has a farm in Todos Santos, north of Cabo San Lucas) and it is perfectly safe. Just be aware in Tijuana and just south, after that you should be home free and ready to enjoy the beautiful drive!

HS: Thanks for the insight CK, it has been many, many years since I've been on a Mexican road trip. But the ones I've taken were always pretty amazing.


this is a very unusual take on ash-e reshteh! looks delicious.


made this soup tonight for's delicious! thanks so much for sharing :)


Oh my god! One of my good friends is Persian and makes this incredible soup, but she doesn't know what any of the ingredients are called in English to teach me to make it! Can't wait to try yours...


I'm making this soup right now, but it seems i lost the spinach between the grocery store and home. I found some old frozen spinach which I may add. I'm going to taste the soup first. there's enough so it will last for days it looks like, so perhaps i can wait till tomorrow and add some fresh spinach.


this is seriously good stuff. I added a little of the frozen spinach, too.


I'm running to the kitchen to make this with blackeyed peas and either dried dill or fresh cilantro right now.


This soup was great for a new year as I used it to clear out some of the old year's supplies like dried garbanzos and peas and chard leaves instead of spinach, all from our garden, and two different kinds of stocks saved months ago in the freezer. I used yoghurt at the end and am draining some to try the whey with the leftovers tomorrow night. Definitely don't skip the toasted walnut and carmelized onions on top. Fantastic! The husband liked it, too. Thanks Heidi. Hope you're on the mend by now.


Happy new year to you and yours Heidi! Thanks for your wonderful blog. Tried this last night and it was wonderful even though I used brocolli instead of spinach and added chicken thighs instead of the beans (I kept the lentils however). Naughty girl I know but it was still very very tasty. Looking forward to the left overs for lunch as i type! Yummy!


I was so amused by the name of this dish that I had to make it. It looks and tastes amazing! I sent you a link on facebook to the picture of my version! I hope you're proud :)

HS: Thanks Sunita, I'll look for your note.



I've been a huge fan for years, but never commented. This is my first and its to say thanks. Thank you for all your inspiration in the kitchen. I actually wrote a post about you on my site. I hope you enjoy it. I wish I could do you and your work justice!

SO glad you're enjoying the soups. And thanks for the nice words on your site. I suspect there will be plenty of new soups to come in the new year ;)

Grish @ YouBlinkWhenYouLie

Take a camping trip to Idaho this summer, Heidi--gorgeous scenery and plenty of outdoor activity! Lovely soup recipe-- chickpeas and noodles are the best when you've got a cold. Feel better soon:).

HS: Hi Kelly, I have family in Idaho, and one of the peaks in the Sawtooth's is named after my grandfather who was in the forest service. You're right, Idaho is very beautiful, I don't get there often enough.


I love noodle soups in general, and when I saw the photo of this dish I knew I had to make it. I followed the recipe to the T and it was FANTASTIC! I never would have thought to combine cilantro and dill together, but the flavors work together perfectly. Don't skip the toppings! I thought at first the caramelized onions on top of an already onion-heavy soup would be too much, but the sweet flavor of the caramelized onions adds a wonderful depth to the soup. The sour cream provides a touch of richness to an otherwise really low-fat and delicious dish. This is definitely a keeper recipe for me. Thank you Heidi!!

HS: So glad you liked it Tracy. Totally agree with you re: the caramelized onions. They take the soup over the top.


This is my favorite kind of food, deeply aromatic, soothing and simple! We followed your recipe, and added some spicy roasted chickpeas for additional crunch and heat. Beautiful bowl of noodle soup!


if you do travel to the pnw, you can share my kitchen!


Thanks for sharing- I often find that vegetarian soups are either thick & creamy or full of large vegetables and tomato-y.
This seems like a vegetarian's answer to chicken noodle soup- would adding matzah balls be overkill? Or delicious?

HS: Let us know if you try it Jess, maybe in place of the noodles?


Looks incredible.

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods

Happy New Year, Heidi! Thank you for creating this site/community, love your books and site (especially the soup recipes). My new year's resolution is to participate in 101 Cookbooks Library more! I have too many cookbooks not too ;-)


Along the lines of the stock question above, do you have a good recipe for stock? They generally taste too much like tomatoes or carrots to me, and the Rapunzel you mentioned has yeast extract (MSG) as its second ingredient. I really can't eat MSG, and I just can't find a well-balanced flavor from the recipes and packaged stock I have tried.

HS: I'm not sure that yeast extract = MSG. Regardless, now I'm curious. I'll give them a call and see if they can help me understand yeast extract better, how it's produced, and how they use it. If I find anything out I'll ping you.


I have been enjoying soup - and a variety of other items - from the crock pot a lot recently. I love how adaptable soup is. I made a delicious minestrone-like soup this weekend. I wasn't sure about it when I got started (as that wasn't the originally intended final product), but it turned out great.
Seeing chickpeas in the soup makes me want to make the "Moroccan Chickpea Stew" recipe I got off the food network several years back.


I like the tumeric addition...makes me think of nice warm thoughts!


This soup looks wonderful! I'll have to add it to my weekly menu planning! If your interested in a raod trip through Canada, taking the ALCAN is fun and interesting. Lots of little dives to stay at, camping and beautiful scenery along the way. Here in Fairbanks we have a busy farmer's market through the summer with a great range of produce, from morels and boletus early on, to wild berries towards the end. We had lots of burn areas last summer, so the morels should be plentiful! Anchorage is WAY south, and the drive is long, but the scenery is amazing, wether you go the long way, or the short way past Denali.

HS: Thanks for the tip Amanda!


this looks delicious. What a perfect warm meal, with not too many calories for the cold months! Love it. thanks for sharing.


I love your blog and healthy soups. My newest favorite is a Corn Chowder soup from A Beautiful Bowl of Soup (

Cucee Sprouts

So many recipes from this site are now favorites I cook over and over. But I'm having an increasingly hard time following the newer recipes, where ingredient amounts are often given only in grams and ounces. If you could *please* include the measurements in cups I would be so grateful! (And eliminating the guess-work involved in grams and ounces would no doubt make my productions taste better!)

HS: Thanks S. Yes, I'll try to keep that in mind.


Made it for dinner and loved it. Used beans from Rancho Gordo for maximum flavor and freshness. Yum! Thanks for a great recipe for these cold, foggy days.

Clover Eighty Eight

Made this DELICIOUS soup today.The tempature here is 22C so you don't have to have cold weather to enjoy this soup!! l substituted cooked lima beans from the freezer instead of bertolli beans, and used greek yoghurt instead of sour cream! Thanks Heide thouroughly love all your recipes even though our seasons are reversed in Australia. Keep up the great work and hope you are feeling much better.

HS: Hi Mila, thanks for the nice note. I've started categorizing recipes by season after a few notes from S. Hemisphere readers. If you look in the left-hand column under the ingredient list, you should see winter, spring, summer, fall. This way you can look for summer-inspired recipes even if it is winter where I am. Hope this helps a bit.


How did you freeze the borlotti beans?
Can your method be used for other types of beans as well?

I just drain them well after cooking, double bag, and freeze them. I freeze lots of different beans this way. Grains too - farro, brown rice, wild rice, etc.


Happy new year! one of my new years resolutions was to try to eat more healthy food. This is how i stumbled upon this webpage and I am glad I did. Thank you for the great recipe.


Heidi, Happy New Year! What a gorgeous soup! I have declared that I am making soup three days in a row. I am saving this one for Friday, when it's supposed to snow around here. I plan to sit around our house with a bowl of this and a good book. I am very thankful that I am still on break. I needed it.

As always great post! Oh, and before I go- the changes that you made on the site- they look awesome! Great job! :)

HS: Thanks Kamran, soup always goes nicely with a good book :) Enjoy your break.

kamran siddiqi

I am new to your blog. I appreciate you mindfulness and balance between sweets and healthy choices. I look forward to reading your archives.

HS: Thanks Jeffrey, I do my best to strike some sort of reasonable balance :)

Jeffrey - The Therapist

Another vote for the cross-Canada road trip. A friend and I did the trip in the summer of 2006 when I moved from Ottawa to Vancouver, and I still reminisce about the scenery, people, and open road. Highly recommended. And the soup looks good too :)

HS: Ali, which route did you drive if you don't mind me asking?


Heidi-If you buy veggie stock, which brand do you use?

Jessie George

I just made this soup and it is incredible!! Thanks for a great recipe. I will definitely be making it again in the weeks to come!!

Rachael Grant

This looks delicious! I can't wait to make it. I am accumulating all my soup recipes at the moment.


I just made this soup tonight and it really was wonderful. Lovely depth of flavors. The toppings really enhanced the soup, even my 8 year old son tried them all and loved it. Thanks for all the delicious recipes.


Heidi, thank you for your insight, your travels, your beautiful photos and recipes that have nourished me over the past year. I am struggling with this new year, as it brings a time of major decision making and life changes that I am finally ready to confront. I wish you the best for 2011. If you do make it put to the Northwest, I would love to spend time cooking with you and showing you the incredible scenery Seattle has to offer. Best to you in this New Year.


Omg! This soup was very good! My family enjoyed it. Thanks!


The local While Foods didn't have Borlotti beans. What would be a good substitute? Kidney beans maybe? Love your blog :)


I came across your blog entirely by chance and I immediately fell in love with it. There are loads of great recipes that I can't wait to try. I also have a blog, which is called Healthy and Tasty (when translated to English) so your blog is an endless supply of ideas for me. I'm really so glad that I found it! Greetings from Poland.


WOW...8 years is a long time. Keep up the good work.

The Food Hunter

I've never quite had a soup like this before, but I think it would be a great thing to try for the sick fiance - I think he's sick of chicken noodle! I think I'll have to substitute for the Borlotti beans though... Would you recommend kidney or black instead?

Kristen |

I love your blog! And this soup - amazing!! My husband was excited because of the turmeric. Even tastier the next day. Thanks!


Just made this today - it was wonderful and I can't wait to eat leftovers tomorrow! The dollop of sour cream on top was just the right touch. So so so good!


Hi Heidi,

I just wanted to report that we had this soup this evening and it was delicious (especially the dill).

I used sliced pointed cabbage as I couldn't get hold of spinach, and natural yogurt rather than sour cream. Both of these worked really well.


This soup is fantastic. I have to admit I wasn't sure about the ingredients, and had to use what was on hand- white beans rather than chickpeas/borlotti, a red onion instead of white, no chiles, and I didn't add the topping (though I did add a splash of cream at the end). I almost left out the dill (I used 1/3 as much, dried) but am glad I didn't. Even with all those changes, this was a great soup, full of texture and flavor. Thank you!


Just made this for dinner. Like every single recipe I've ever made from 101cookbooks, it was incredible. I experimented by adding a touch of soy sauce to my second bowl (so good, I had to go back for seconds!) and, as I suspected, it complimented the broth very well. Heidi Swanson, I've fallen in love with cooking ever since I stumbled upon your blog last year. You're the best :)


This is exactly the pick-me-up recipe I've been looking for. I get so burnt out with my pesky habit of always topping soups with cheese- your toppings are always so creative and delicious! Keep em coming ;)


I just made this soup a couple days ago and posted it to my own blog. Like Clea I had to make a few changes because of what I had but it was still really good. I loved the spinach, cilantro and lime flavors!!! It was a bit heavy but I'll modify it a bit next time.

I think a lot of people who complain that they can't find things in your recipes just aren't thinking in the spirit of cooking; you are allowed to make changes! Thank you for all your tasty recipes and ideas!


this recipe is awesome!! so delicious and perfect for a cold night! the greens and the onions/walnuts/creme fraiche brightened it right up. yum!


this was soso good. just last night my sister asked if fiancee and i would make meat dishes for people when they visit. i answered i didn't think there'd be a need, and this soup is proof. thanks for post on the book, too. can't wait to have a copy on my shelves. congrats!


I'm with Lisa, soooooo delicious. Just made the soup and feel so warm and cozy inside right now. The Creme Fraiche really helped to make this soup. Thank you for making me love cooking. Your recipes always introduce me to new ingredients. SO FUN!!!


It took me a while to find the right beans but this is by far my families favorite! I'll be making this early fall through winter. Just fabulous! thank you for sharing with us all!

Sonja Lovas

Happy new year! What a great recipe - I can't wait to try it this week! I feel like you could also make it without the noodles and turn it more into a stew - I might experiment with that and see how it turns out. Thanks again for such awesome recipes with fun combinations of ingredients!

Anjali Shah

I'm also a soup nut, especially to get back on track after the holiday binge. I love how you build layers of flavor from the bottom of the pot on up. Thought you might also enjoy this one...
Feel better soon! xo from 90210.

90210 Farmgirl

One of my new year's resolutions is to cook more. I spent the last semester switching off between pizza and Chinese or just not eating at all. So I decided to try this because it didn't sound too complex and it was interesting... I definitely didn't do everything right, I couldn't find the right noodles and I fretted over how to properly shred spinach, but despite my mistakes, I was so happy when it came out tasting good. It's a wonderful recipe that can take a little fouling up and still taste wonderful. Thank you for your blog.


Made this soup last night for dinner, IT WAS AMAZING! all the flavors work so well together!
a must try for everyone!



(As over-abused as the expression is...) O.M.G.

I expected this soup to be tasty... but it turned out to be delicious! I used udon noodles and it worked great. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!




ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! So different, comforting, and tasty. I made this for the first time for guests and really had no idea what it would be like. When we sat down to eat, I had to contain myself from tooting my own horn! Everyone at the table couldn't get enough of it. The toppings were perfect!

Thank you, thank you for bringing this recipe into my life! I will check out the cookbook!


I made this soup tonight. It is perfect for the snowy, cold, winter day we had in Chicago today. This is a great soup and one that I will be making again. Thanks for sharing your recipe.


looks incredible!

Kate @ahealthypassion

I just clicked over from another site and figured I should take a look around. Like what I see so now I'm following you. Look forward to checking out your some of your posts again.

nike air max 90

Just made this last night! Incredible!!!! A new favorite for sure! Thanks for sharing :) Aloha!

Mauimandy@The Grains of Paradise

i have been stalking your website for months and have loved everything i've tried! i started by swapping coconut oil for the olive oil and once the turmeric went in the aroma wafting from the pot was infectious! i did end up throwing in a dash of curry as well and some extra veg stock as my noodles were a bit thicker than the ones in your pic... holy tasty delightful dinner with some well toasted multigrain bread! thank you!


I too have been fighting a cold for a couple of days and my boyfriend suggested this recipe for me. I was a little nervous about it. For some reason I thought it would turn out too bland with all of the beans, spinach, and lentils. But I just made it yesterday and it is awesome! A few changes I made: I hate the flavor of cilantro so I left it out and it was just fine, I used Chinese noodles (like the ones in Ramen Noodle soups) because I couldn't find any thin egg noodles. Also chickpeas are a lot less expensive than bortotti so I used more of the chickpeas--still good. I used a green serrano pepper rather than a chile and I suggest choosing a very flavorful vegetable broth because the flavor of the broth really adds to the soup. This is definitely a recipe I will be making for years to come!


This was great! To top it I used sour cream, avocado, and those roasted cherry tomatoes that you used to top the tortilla soup. Thank you!


Hi Heidi,

I'm new to your blog and I love it. I had to let you know that I made this soup this week and it was wonderful! I accidentally dumped the entire bag of noodles in it, though, so mine was more like a pasta dish than a soup. :) Either way it was delicious and perfect for the icy/snowy weather we've had in Charlotte this week. Thanks so much for sharing!

Wine Girl

This is the kind of recipe that I want to drop everything and make right now. Sadly I am headed out of town this weekend, but this is going to be on the menu next week for sure. Looks delish. Love soup and beans and this is different from anything I've made.


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