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

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

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!

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.


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.


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 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!


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!


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!


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

Mauimandy@The Grains of Paradise

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

looks incredible!

Kate @ahealthypassion

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.


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!


Heidi, (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! Cheers, Praj


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


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.


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

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

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

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!!!


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!


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!


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 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 ;)


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 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!


Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.

More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.