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Ash-e-jow (Iranian/Persian Barley Soup)

Ash-e-jow (Iranian/Persian Barley Soup)

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Autumn Leaves

I've seen a lot of recipes for this soup; however, my mother-in-law adds tomato paste for a bit of a different flavour and she doesn't add any lentils or beans. It's thick, filling, and delicious, and you could make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock.

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 193 kcal
  • 10%
  • Fat:
  • 7.2 g
  • 11%
  • Carbs:
  • 28.3g
  • 9%
  • Protein:
  • 5.5 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 9 mg
  • 3%
  • Sodium:
  • 226 mg
  • 9%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet


  1. Heat the chicken stock in a pot to a gentle simmer.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat and saute the onion until translucent. Add the pearl barley to the pot and stir for one minute. Stir in the hot chicken stock, turmeric, lime juice, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Mix in the carrots and continue simmering 30 minutes or until the soup has thickened and the carrots and barley are tender. If the soup is too thick, add hot water, one tablespoon at a time.
  4. Place the sour cream in a small bowl. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot soup mixture into sour cream, whisking constantly. Gradually add the sour cream mixture into the soup pot, whisking constantly. Stir in the fresh parsley. Serve with fresh lime wedges.
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My best friend is Persian, and I love the rich flavour of Persian food. This soup is great and full of flavour. I've always tried to make Persian food myself, but whenever I've tried it doesn't taste the same as my best friend's mom. This is the closest I've gotten so far! Excellent recipe and really easy. Update: I've since made this dish countless times and it is definitely Persian approved! I do things slightly differently though. When I saute the onions I add the tumeric. I definitely add more then a teaspoon of tumeric. I keep adding pinches until the onions are a bright yellow-orange. I also add saffron, which makes this dish more authentic. I take a few saffron stems and mix them with about a 1/2 teaspoon of hot water so it becomes a liquid, and I add it in the beginning to the onions. I also add the finely diced carrots when I add the barley, because I find it takes a while for the carrots to cook in this recipe. Fresh parsley is also a must, and I probablly add at least a cup of it finely chopped. And finally this recipe makes the barley into a thick stew, and it isn't really like a soup texture. If you want to to be soupy add more broth and decrease the barley.

Leslie D

I never do these online review things, but I had to say how much I loved this soup! The ingredients are so simple, but somehow it's more than the some of its parts--it has a rich, subtle, slightly elusive taste that even my 8-year-old loved. The only changes that I made were to add some saffron (a good pinch) to the broth while it was heating, and I added chopped fresh dill at the end along with the parsley. And the sour cream works great, but you can also substitute creme fraiche--and in that case, it doesn't need to be tempered when you add it to the soup, you can just stir it in; it won't separate. I'm so glad to have this as part of my "repertoire"! I plan on making it a LOT.


Added cubed chicken. I recommend using yogurt instead of sour cream. I doubled the amount of yogurt as I like my soup a little sour. Great recipe.