New Year Noodle Soup Recipe

An amazing New Year Noodle Soup from Greg & Lucy Malouf's beautiful book, Saraban. It's a bean and noodle soup at its core 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 which makes the soup heart 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. Amazing.

New Year Noodle Soup

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

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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 minutes - Cook time: 40 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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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

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.


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

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

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!


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

Heidi- 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

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.


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

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

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

laura @ alittlebarefoot

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....


WOW, looks good! Just what I'm craving. Will try this week! Hope you feel better soon! Happy New Year.


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.


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


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

Oh this soup looks so full of great ingredients!

Simply Life

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!


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

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