Fresh, zingy and a great meat-free midweek meal

This Persian-style herby butter beans with yoghurt is a lovely dish for a summer meat-free lunch or dinner.

  • SERVES: 4-6
  • PREP TIME: 10 mins
  • COOK TIME: 45 hrs OR use my cheats and shorten it to approx. 25 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • IDEAL FOR: family meal, midweek meal, meat-free meal

Ash Reshteh

This herby chickpea dish has some Persian influence from the dish Ash Reshteh.

Ash Reshtech is a classic Persian noodle soup with beans and herbs that is intensely aromatic, and amazingly delicious.

It’s usually served during the festivities leading up to Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

And is made up of 2 distinct Persian ingredients:

  1. Reshteh (flat noodles).

Which are starchier and saltier than Italian pasta and thicken the soup.

2. Kashk – a form of dried, drained yoghurt or whey.

This is saltier and sourer than Greek yoghurt or sour cream.

The feta-like kashk gives ash its distinct flavour.

A classic Ash Reshteh will have reshtech, kidney beans, chickpeas and green lentils.

And cooked with fresh herbs and greens and flavoured with kashk

The texture is less soupy and more like a chilli.

Persian-style herby butter beans with yoghurt

The best beans to use are butter beans or chickpeas.

But if you can’t find those, then cannellini beans are also perfect.


For the beans

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 x 400g jar of butter beans or chickpeas
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

(or you can use ½ cup dried Chickpeas and ½ cup dried Cannellini beans)

The rest

  • 100g green lentils (I used tinned – it speeds everything up!)
  • Approx.500 g baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 2 bunches each of coriander, parsley and dill – tough stems removed, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice


  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, very thinly sliced (this is for caramelised onions so it’s optional if you don’t have time)
  • 250 g Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp mint (dried or fresh)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and add onion with a small pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until onion is tender and golden brown, approx. 5 – 10 mins.
  2. Add garlic and cook for approx. 1min, stirring constantly.
  3. Add turmeric, and 1 tsp freshly ground pepper and cook for another minute. Stir to coat.
  4. Add your lentils with some water just enough to cover them and cook for 20 mins OR use tinned lentils and simply warm for a few minutes and jump to the next step)
  5. (Optional) While you’re waiting, caramelise the onions:  heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium pan over medium-high.
    • Add onion and cook, stirring often, until golden and caramelized, 15 mins. Season with salt and set aside.
  6. In the pan with the lentils, add your jar of butter beans or chickpeas, with their beans stock. This will make the soup nice and thick.
  7. Add spinach, coriander, parsley, and dill and cook until greens are just wilted, approx. 4-6 mins.
  8. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
  9. Prepare the yoghurt: Mix yoghurt with fresh mint, a pinch of salt and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  10. Serve: Divide soup into bowls and drizzle with the yoghurt mixture. Top with the caramelized onions.

Recipe inspired by Primary Beans

For more ideas that are meat-free, check out the Meat-Free Monday section

Persian-style herby butter beans with yoghurt