Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Toldos: Lentil Pottage

November 25, 2011

What did Esav mean when he said “Behold, I am going to die; so why do I need this birthright?”

Did he really think that he would die unless he got the lentil soup? Was he justifying selling his birthright as pikuach nefesh? Was this hyperbole to rationalize satisfying his animal impulses? What did he mean?

In “Parshat Toldot, What is So Important about the Soup,” Rabbi Fox, OU Torah lists a some other explanations.

Rashi: The birthright involved priestly service, and violations of restrictions on service were punishable by death.
Esav’s reasoning: If I will die from inevitably violating those restrictions, what good does the birthright do me?

Nachmanides: Because of his violent lifestyle, Esav believes that he is destined to die, possibly before he can inherit the birthright.
Esav’s reasoning: If I die before Yitzchak, what good is the birthright to me?

Targum Yerushalmi: Esav did not believe in the afterlife and the resurrection of the dead. He was only interested in the material “here and now” world, not the eternal and spiritual.
Esav’s reasoning: if divine service through the birthright only provides reward in the world to come, and only this world exists for me, what good is the birthright to me?

Rabbi Weisz points out that Esav’s descendants do believe in the world to come, but believe that man is born into a state of sin and depend on divine salvation. He suggests that Esav’s statement about death might have been an allusion to Edom’s notion of original sin.

According to the Midrash, this was the day that Avraham died, and Yaacov was making lentils as mourner’s food (The roundness of lentils symbolizes the circle of life).

Esav’s reasoning: Sin leads to death. Because of Adam’s sin, man must die. Even a person as free from sin as Avraham is not spared death. What is the good of divine service through the birthright if it will not spare me from death?

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The Rebbetzin’s Butternut Squash Soup

November 18, 2011

This soup recipe came from the rebbetzin. Which rebbetzin? I don’t know, actually.

I got this recipe from someone who saw it demonstrated by someone else, and all I know about the source is that she is a rebbetzin.

Anyway, the recipe is kind of loose, a little of this and that seasoned to taste. You can make the full amount and have a nice amount of soup for today and for some other time.  Or, you can cut it half, like I did, and still have plenty.

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Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

November 8, 2011

My husband is a huge fan of sweet and sour cabbage soup, and this is one of the most popular varieties at the New England Soup Factory.  I was all set to make the recipe from their cookbook when I noticed that the recipe calls for 2 cups of brown sugar plus 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Even with the batch cut in half, that is a whole lotta sweetness going on.

I just couldn’t put that much sugar in my soup.

So, I changed around the recipe, substituting extra tomato juice for some of the broth and doubling the amount of stewed tomatoes. Original recipe (cut in half): 7 cups of broth, 1 cup of stewed tomatoes and 1 cup of tomato juice. My version: 2 cups water, 2 cups stewed tomatoes, 4 cups tomato juice. my thinking that the extra tomatoes would supply natural sweetness. Tomatoes are acidic, so I cut back the lemon juice a little. With these changes, I only needed about 2-4 Tbl. of maple syrup and about 1-2 Tbl. of brown sugar syrup (you could use a mix of maple syrup and brown sugar or all maple syrup, adjusting sweetness to taste, starting with the smallest amount).

The flavor of the soup is reminiscent of stuffed cabbage. I bet this would be good with some meatballs floating in it. Or with some flanken. But, it is delicious as a vegan soup.

An observation about the caraway seeds and the dill: both are optional, but the caraway really gives a special flavor (skip it if you dislike caraway, of course).

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Tomato Butternut: Victory at Last!

November 7, 2011

I was flipping through the wonderful New England Soup Factory Cookbook, when I came across this vegan recipe for Tomato, Butternut Squash and Herb Soup. According to the headnote, butternut squash puree is ideal for tempering the acidity of tomato soup and giving it dairy-free rich body. Even though my husband has always professed a deep distrust for anything butternut, he is a huge fan of cream of tomato soup.

The final result was more butternut soup with a hint of tomato than the dairy-free creamy tomato soup I was expecting. Even so, this soup was such a huge hit that butternut squash has moved from the banned vegetables list to the “must make frequently” list. I would like to try this soup again with the proportions slanted more towards tomato, just to see whether I could get something that more closely resembles cream of tomato soup.

I didn’t have the fresh basil the recipe called for, so I used a Tbl. of pesto. I cut the recipe in half because the full recipe makes a huge pot of soup.

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Spicy Sweet Roast Kabocha

October 24, 2011

Kabocha . . . ka-bow-chah. A pretty green-skinned orange-fleshed winter squash. Tastes delicious sliced and roasted with warm fall spices and a little brown sugar. The only hard part is slicing the squash–use a sharp knife and be careful! (next time I may roast it whole for 15 minutes to soften it for slicing) The skin is edible–no need to peel.

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Kosher Samurai’s Leek and Potato Soup

September 26, 2011

My children had just learned about leeks and were very excited to see two large bunches in the kitchen. They had been told that it was used for making leek and potato soup, and they really wanted me to make that.

I just needed one bunch for my Rosh Hashana leek fritters, so I agreed to use the remaining bunch for soup. After a quick Google search, I settled on a recipe from the fairly new blog, Kosher Samurai.

It was easy, it was delicious, it was polished off in no time. The taste is rather like potato kugel. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Kosher Samurai says that this tried and true recipe also freezes perfectly–just thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat gently over a low flame.

And the recipe is easy to remember: 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 3 leeks, 4 potatoes, and 5 cups broth. Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!

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Bubbie Lottie’s Cabbage Soup, Sort of . . .

January 26, 2011

I was going to make the cabbage soup from Wholesome Harvest, but then my husband reminded me that he craves his grandmother’s soup, which has potatoes in it. So, I kind of veered off course . . .

It doesn’t look so exciting, but my husband scarfed down two huge bowlfuls. (more…)

Pizza Soup

January 10, 2011

I have made a tomato soup from One Big Table twice already. It is supposed to be a wholesome clone of Campbell’s tomato soup.

The first time I made the recipe as written (well, more or less). I served it with salad with breaded warm goat cheese rounds (in both One Big Table and the NYT cookbook), mac’n’cheese (for the kids), and the whole wheat muffins.

The other night, I made the soup again, and gave it a pizza spin by adding a little oregano and Parmesan cheese. I served it with cheese toasts. Lacking any sliced bread, I melted cheese onto whole wheat matzah, but I think cheese melted on Italian bread slices would be even better (or, at least, more pizza-ish). (more…)

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

December 31, 2010

This soup was a good way to use up pumpkin puree leftover from making pumpkin challah. It is so warm with spices and so creamy that you will think that there is chili powder and cream in the recipe–but there is neither. The pumpkin makes it creamy and cinnamon and ginger supply the subtle heat.

And the recipe is so easy–it takes less than a half hour from start to finish and uses stuff in the pantry (well, stuff I always have in my pantry). It only tastes like it was hard work to make.

The recipe is based upon a recipe from Once Upon a Tart. The original recipe called for dried beans and fresh tomatoes, and, out of laziness, I changed it around to use canned beans and canned tomatoes. (more…)

Sour Cherry Soup

August 10, 2010

I love sour cherry soup. I have made it from bottled and even canned cherries, but nothing compares with fruit soup made from fresh sour cherries.

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