Archive for the ‘soup’ Category

Vegetable Miso Soup for Gil

November 17, 2014


This month’s Kosher Connection recipe link-up is dedicated to cookbook author and food historian Rabbi Gil Marks. To honor him, we are offering up our best “get well” recipes, along with our heartfelt wishes for him to have a refuah shelaimah.

Every kosher food blogger is indebted to Gil for pioneering in kosher food journalism. Before we were all blogging, before there was a Joy of Kosher Magazine, there was The Kosher Gourmet Magazine. Gil was way ahead of his time with this magazine, which he launched in the late eighties. (As you can see from the above photo, I still have back issues of the magazine. I regularly make the cranberry applesauce from the Cheshavan-Kislev 5748 issue. I highly recommend this recipe for Thanksgiving or Chanukah.)

In the late nineties, Gil began publishing a series of cookbooks: The World of Jewish Cooking, The World of Jewish Entertaining and The World of Jewish Desserts. His next collection of traditional Ashkenazi and Sephardic recipes had a twist: all the recipes were vegetarian. This inventive book, Olive Trees and Honey, won a James Beard award.

Gil’s books are characterized not only by a tremendous curiosity about global Jewish cuisine, but also by a scholarliness about the origin of recipes. His most recent book, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, is a fascinating read. I treasure my copies of his books for their fascinating information and practical recipes. His book on entertaining has very valuable advice for planning large gatherings (see the chapter, “Guide for the Perplexed Host”).

I had the privilege to take a class with Gil in the late nineties and found him to be a charming as well as knowledgeable teacher.

Back in 2010, when Gil had just released his Encyclopedia, I sent him  a query about a Ukrainian cookie called Kosicky or Koshyky. He was very nice about it. He promptly e-mailed me back, telling me that he hadn’t heard of the cookie, and that he asked his Ukrainian contacts, and was not able to get the recipe from them, either. Rather than give me nothing, he sent a recipe for a Ukranian butter cookie called Kolachka, and gave some sage advice about prying the recipe from my friend’s mother. So kind!

For this linkup, I am offering a quick and easy recipe for vegetable miso soup along with my wishes for Gil to have a speedy recovery.


Mario Batali’s Chilled Tomato and Bread Soup

July 4, 2014


This recipe is ideal for when it is brutally hot and you just don’t feel like cooking. It is so easy: just puree canned (or fresh) tomatoes with day-old bread, salt, pepper and fresh basil. Swirl in a little olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and scallions and you are done. The complex taste belies the simplicity of the preparation–no one will know you didn’t slave over this.

Don’t expect this to be like gazpacho, which I find to be too spicy and raw onion-ey. This is subtle and mild. The fresh basil absolutely makes this dish, so don’t leave it out.


Shorba Addis (Ethiopian Lentil Soup)

January 8, 2014

This is that time of year when people start giving more focused thought to eating a better diet. Unfortunately, it is also the season we most crave hearty comfort foods, which are not always so diet friendly. This curried tomato lentil soup is ideal because it is healthful and hearty.

The recipe is from Dr. Neal Barnard’s 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart and is featured on days one and two of the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart.

One unusual ingredient you need for this recipe is fenugreek. It gives a very distinctive taste to the dish and is well worth seeking out. Be careful how much you add, though, because this spice has a bitter edge.


Lemony Red Lentil Soup with Fried Shallots

October 31, 2013


We get a magazine from a local hospital and a recent issue had an article about healthy soups. One of the best was this recipe for Lemony Lentil Sup with Fried Shallots, which was reprinted from a Williams-Sonoma cookbook by Kate McMillan, Soup of the Day.

Did you ever wonder why Esav asked for “red stuff” when even red lentils turns yellowish when cooked? Could it be that the lentils were still raw?


Cold Soups: Smoky Moroccan Red Pepper Soup and Israeli Salad Soup (June Kosher Connection Link-Up)

June 17, 2013


Here are two different cold soups: a smoky red pepper soup with Moroccan spices and a tangy yogurt soup with finely chopped cucumbers and tomatoes.


Savory Richness Sans Beef: Vegan Onion Soup

October 22, 2012

You can make a delicious, rich tasting onion soup without using beef broth. To give the soup  savory depth, take a tip from chef John Schenk: use miso. Why does this work? Because miso is rich in umami, the taste sensation of savoriness. Soup mixes sometimes add savoriness through MSG, but miso is a healthful alternative.

Wines and other alcoholic beverages have umami and can release umami flavor in other ingredients. In order to further add some umami oomph to my onion soup, I added a bit of port, but I think sherry or red wine would have done as well.

The Kosher Connection, an informal group of creative kosher food bloggers from all around the world, proudly present the first kosher recipe challenge.  Each month we will present you with recipes on a different theme from all the kosher food bloggers.

This month is root vegetables!  Follow our recipes on Twitter with #KosherRecipes.

(Is the onion a true root vegetable? Well, yes and no. It counts as a root vegetable, although technically it is a bulb.)


Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

September 28, 2012

It is getting to be hearty soup season. This vegetarian split pea soup gets a subtle savory lift from a little miso paste. The combination of carrots, parsnip, celery, onion, garlic and leek, plus a little dill and bay leaves, gives the soup a little color and rich flavor.

My mother gave me some matzoh balls and I had the idea to add them to my split pea soup, thinned out quite a bit. Even though I usually associate matzoh balls with clear broth, this ended up being a very delicious combination.


Miso Happy

May 16, 2012

Is there anything as cheering on a gray, rainy day as a bowl of miso soup? It is so healthy and energizing.

This isn’t authentic miso soup, but more of a simple cheat. All the same, it strongly reminds me of the kind of soup I have had in restaurants.

It is really pretty easy. Combine miso, water, a little soy sauce, cubed tofu, sliced scallions and sliced mushrooms. Heat to not quite boiling. Put a spoonful of fried onions in a ceramic bowl, add the soup.

Miso is very versatile–no need to save just for soup making (although I hear that a little bit added to French Onion soup is fabulous). You can use it in dressings, spreads and marinades for fish, poultry and vegetables.

Miso-glazed cod is a classic, but you can use miso on salmon, too. I concocted a marinade with 2 Tbl. white miso, 2 Tbl. Mirin, 1 Tbl. honey, the juice of half a lime, a few shakes of dried ginger and a pinch of white pepper. This is enough marinade for a pound of fish. Roast at 425 for 25 minutes.

Here is another thing you can do with miso that is extraordinarily easy: combine peanut butter (2 Tbl.), miso (2 tsp.), and honey (to taste, maybe a teaspoon or two). Spread this on toast and top with sliced apple, pear or banana.  This sandwich idea (with the apples) originally came from Serendipity. The recipe was published in The Serendipity Cookbook, which is out of print. I don’t have a copy of that book and can’t find the recipe online, so my version is from memory. Actually, I think I remember first learning about it from this episode of this show, where the owner of the restaurant Serendipity, Calvin Holt, demonstrated how to make the sandwich. I think the original sandwich involved alfalfa sprouts, but I can’t precisely remember.


Italian Garden Vegetable Soup with Rice

May 9, 2012

Well, the drizzly grayness continues . . .  so, more soup for you!

I flipped through the New England Soup Factory Cookbook for inspiration and settled upon a hearty looking soup with lots of tomatoes, beans and rice. The author, Marjorie Drucker, says that the key to the soup is the mix of diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and tomato juice. I didn’t have all the ingredients the recipe called for (no stock, no fresh basil, no zucchini or yellow squash), but I made do with what I had (mixed frozen vegetables and dried oregano) and the results were very good: a rich tomato-ey base, lightly thickened with rice, chunky with beans and chopped vegetables.

You need a big pot for this soup. This overflowed my favorite soup pot (a 6.5 quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven) and I had to transfer some of the soup to a saucepan (2 quart? 3 quart? I’m not sure). Both pots ended up being filled almost to the brim with soup.


Mushroom Barley Split Pea and White Bean Soup

May 4, 2012

It continues to be drizzly and gray, so I made a very hearty bean and barley soup. There was a enough light to get a picture, but it is not exactly a colorful soup–more like a symphony in beige. I more or less just made up the soup with whatever was in the house, and the results were very satisfying. It somewhat reminded me of the soup mixes that come in cellophane tubes or the soups that my grandmother, A”H”, used to make.