Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nothing Like a Hot Bowl of Soup.....


We are now Baruch Hashem in the rainy season, with cold nights. When suppertime comes around, there isn't anything my husband and I like better than to start our meal with a hot, thick bowl of soup.

Hot soup warms the body and soul, takes away any chills and sets the stage for the rest of the meal. No food comforts like homemade soup. 

According to food historians, soup is considered one of the first fast foods. The history of soup is as old as the history of cooking. The act of combining various ingredients in a large pot to create a nutritious, filling, easily digested food was seen as something that both the rich and poor homemaker could prepare to nurture their families. 

Among the earliest soups recorded was a recipe that combined peas, lentils and beans. 

Soups are traditionally classified as either clear soups or thick soups.

Whichever type of soup you are eating, savor the flavor and enjoy its taste.
My husband and I have our favorite soups, and I would like to share the recipes with you. 

Note: Vegetables and legumes should be checked for insect infestation and washed before using. All soup recipes given here are pareve (neither meat nor dairy). The vegetable soup and the spicy red lentil soup can be made into a meat soup by browning either turkey or chicken pieces, and then adding the vegetables and following the rest of the recipe.

If you prefer a dairy soup, you can add grated cheese before serving to the vegetable soup, spicy red lentil soup and the mushroom and barley soup.

Hardy Thick Vegetable Soup.

A complete meal in a bowl.

  • 2 or 3 large carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 medium size kohlrabi
  • 2 white potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large zucchini
  • ¼ cup green pea
  • ¼ cup yellow pea
  • ¼ cup red lentils
  • ¼ cup kasha
  • 1 package baking powder [about 1 tablespoon] optional
  • salt and pepper

Dice all the vegetable and combine with legumes in a large pot filled with cold water and bring to a boil. Skim off foam and add baking powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on a low flame until veggies are soft and legumes are melted, approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours. Stir well.

If you would like to make this soup a complete meal, serve with dumplings.


Make just before serving

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 package baking powder [about 1 tablespoon]
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup of soup liquid
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon hot paprika [optional]
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

Combine flour, baking powder, oil, and mix well. Add seasonings.

Take two spoons and dip into soup pot. Then use one spoon to scoop up the dumpling mixture and use the other spoon to scrape it off into the pot. Repeat the procedure making sure to dip both spoons into the soup each time before scooping the mixture to make sure it doesn't stick to the spoons. Cover and cook for about 12 minutes or until dumplings are soft through the middle. 

Green Lentil Soup.

So easy to prepare!

  • 2/3 cup green lentils [that were pre-soaked for 1 hour]
  • 2 large onions cut in rings
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce [optional]

Bring lentils to a boil and simmer until cooked, approximately ½ - ¾ hour.

While the lentils are cooking fry onion until slightly brown. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Add turmeric and soy sauce. Stir well. When lentils are soft, add seasoned fried onions and cover with boiling water.

For best taste, make soup a couple of hours early and reboil before serving.

Spicy Red Lentil Soup. 
Simple to make

  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 2-3 white potatoes
  • 1 cup red lentils [soaked for 1 hour]
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon hot paprika [if you like it really hot add 1 teaspoon]
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt and pepper 
Combine all the ingredients and seasonings in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes or until all the vegetables and lentils are soft.

Mushroom and Barley Soup..

The favorite in my family.

  • ¾ cup barley
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • 2 or 3 onions diced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Add barley to a pot filled with boiling water. Continue boiling for 3 minutes and simmer until soft.

Fry mushrooms and onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When barley is soft, add fried onions and mix well. Pour in soy sauce, bring to a boil and simmer for another 15 minutes.
This soup is better when it is allowed to ‘sit’ for a couple of hours. Goes well with garlic bread or pita and humus.

Enjoy! Please feel free to comment and share recipes..