Tag Archives: soup

How to Make Perfect Chicken Soup and Matzah Balls

Yield:
8-10 servings

More than any other question that I get from friends and readers is how to make a great chicken soup with matzah balls. Chicken soup is universal, comforting and enjoyed year-round, as opposed to some traditional Jewish foods that are only enjoyed at a particular holiday.

It’s not complicated if you follow a few easy steps, and this year we decided to help out even further by making a short video to help take away the mystery of making perfect chicken soup every time.

How to Make the Perfect Chicken Soup

We love debating sinkers versus floaters when it comes to matzah balls, right? Well I am firmly in camp fluffy. How to make fluffy matzah balls for your soup? Roll them very gently in the palms of your hands, make sure to wet your hands with ice water in between rolls and don’t forget the schmaltz. Or you can watch this video to help make the perfect fluffy matzah balls to go with your chicken soup.

The Secret to Fluffy Matzah Balls

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Best Chicken Soup

Posted on March 17, 2015

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Power Greens Matzah Ball Soup

Yield:
4-6 servings

Although I love tweaking traditional recipes, especially around Passover, (hello White Wine Braised Chicken or Manischewitz Ice Cream) there are some foods I never thought I’d touch. Such as my Bubbe’s matzo ball soup.

power greens matzah ball soup1

The rich homemade broth and with light and fluffy matzo balls and rounds of carrots, celery and my favorite parsnips. Its magically powers are unparalleled. Matzo ball soup has the ability to cure most ailments, bad days, and even my gentile friends request it all year long.

greens for matzah ball soup

But Passover food can be heavy. Potato kugel, chopped liver, flourless chocolate cake. I love it all, but sometimes it just doesn’t love me! The lack of greens and abundance of browns is apparent. This green soup cures that. What’s greatabout it is that you can pretty much throw in any greens you have in your fridge: broccoli, kale, Swiss chard. Throw it in there! It’s vegetarian friendly, and can be made ahead of time. In fact. The flavors just intensify as the days go on. Make sure to store the matzah balls separately, unless you want green balls. Which isn’t totally a bad thing.

power greens matzah ball soup2

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Power Greens Matzah Ball Soup

Posted on March 15, 2015

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

This Week in Noshing

I feel like I have barely left my apartment building for the past several weeks. Every week has been another snow storm, another reason to hunker down, bake something and avoid the wet, dreary weather. All you people living in warm climates – I know you have no idea what I am talking about. But my friends in Boston can certainly sympathize as the Northeast braces for more potential snow in the coming week.

While I might be going a bit stir crazy, the time indoors has allowed me to explore some new recipes and ingredients.

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I love making banana bread, pumpkin bread and zucchini bread, but sometimes you just want to shake things up a bit, you know? I came across this recipe for banana pineapple bread from The View from Grand Island, and I knew at once I needed to make it. The bread came out perfect and I loved the slight crunch from the poppy seeds. The pineapple added a nice tropical touch, a welcome flavor in this winter weather.

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I also made this chicken and chorizo gumbo from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.It was SO good, and much easier than I thought; I was a bit nervous to try my Northern hand at making such a Souther staple. I even replaced the okra with broccoli stems because that’s what I had in my fridge. If you are wondering: Kosher chorizo? The answer is yes! Have you heard of Jack’s Gourmet Kosher Sausage? They have a number of delicious flavors which you can find at your local kosher market or even order online. I have also made this potato and kale soup with chorizo using the sausage. It is spicy, but delicious.

chorizo

It’s officially citrus season! I look forward to blood oranges all year, and so last week during the snow storm I invited some neighbors over and made a batch of blood orange martinis, one of my favorite ways to enjoy the winter fruit.

blood orange martini

And in case you missed it, I also made my husband’s absolute favorite: spiced chocolate pudding pie with bourbon whipped cream.

pudding pie

I still have a few recipes up my sleeves including some upcoming hamantaschen recipes for Purim. I also came across this adorable idea for a heart-shaped caprese salad that I think could be made with triangle or other kid-friendly shapes, or even Jewish-shaped cookie cutters for holidays. And next week I will be checking out the Ninth Annual Kosher Food and Wine Expo where I am hoping to take in some great new kosher wines to share with you all too.

What are you cooking up? Don’t forget to tag your photos with the hashtag #noshthis on instagram, twitter or post right on our Facebook page to be featured as part of our monthly photo contest.

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Posted on February 4, 2015

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Chicken Soup with Quinoa, Leeks and Albóndigas

Yield:
10-12 servings

In the chill of January and February, comfort foods are more than just a welcome respite on the table. For a soul-warming winter dish, I often make soup. And there is one soup that I make that combines several of my favorite flavor profiles: Chicken soup (read: Ashkenazi all the way) with leeks (read: French- and Sephardic-influenced), albondigas, or little meatballs (read: Arab- and Mediterranean-influenced) with quinoa (read: healthy and Latino-influenced).

chicken soup with albondigas and leek and quinoa4

Quinoa has been a culinary darling for a number of years, but this Peruvian–Bolivian grain is worthy of the attention it gets. It’s packed with protein and gluten free. Oh yes, and it’s kosher for Passover too. The key to quinoa is to rinse it well and let it drain before using, and cook it until the little white circles—those cute curlicues—lift away from the center of the each grain.

uncleaned leeks for soup1

In the U.S., leeks, unlike quinoa, are still living in the shadow of other foods—largely by other members of the allium family, like onions. But leeks have a wonderfully gentle flavor that has always been loved in many other areas of the world. Now, they are a bit messy to deal with since soil is embedded between those big leaves.But you can buy them already nice and clean, all cut up, in well-stocked grocery stores, either in the produce aisle or freezer case.

Albondigas means meatballs in Spanish, though they aren’t Spanish at all – they originate from the Middle East. And just about every culture in every country has come up with their own meatballs, based on what they had available and their favorite herbs and spices. For Latino countries, that often meant onions, a bread-style binder, eggs, and fresh, local herbs such as flat-leaf parsley, Mexican oregano, mint, and epazote (another Mexican herb). In Mexico and Central America the most common way to eat little meatballs is in soups.

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This chicken soup is an amalgam of flavor profiles, with a distinct emphasis on Latin flavors. Enjoy it—and make it your own; the recipe is as much a formula as a template for your favorite flavors. So reach for what you like best, and have fun with comfort foods from around the world.

Notes

To clean leeks, remove the tough green outer leaves and root ends.  Cut them in half lengthwise and slice crosswise in half-circles. Fill a bowl with water, place the leeks into it and wash well, separating the interior layers with your fingertips. Leeks absorb huge amounts of dirt and sand as they grow, so keep washing until they are perfectly clean; the dirt should fall to the bottom of the bowl while the leeks float to the surface. Lift the leeks out of the bowl and set aside. (Don’t drain by pouring the water out of the bowl over them or you will be pouring the dirt back onto them.) Rinse the bowl thoroughly, fill with water, return the leeks to the bowl, and soak until you are ready to use them.

Pimenton, a sweet smoked paprika is Spain’s favorite seasoning. It imparts both sweetness and smokiness to recipes and is beloved throughout the Mediterranean region.

Masa harina is a traditional Mexican cornmeal flour. Dried corn is processed in a mixture of lime and water, which makes it easier to hull and also makes its nutrients more accessible. The wet, processed corn is ground into a dough called masa. When the processed corn is dried and ground into flour, it is called masa harina.

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Chicken Soup with Quinoa, Leeks and Albóndigas

Posted on January 26, 2015

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Curry Pumpkin Corn Soup

Yield:
4-6 servings

curry pumpkin corn soup

When you think of pumpkin and spices, your mind likely jumps to pumpkin pie spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. But did you know that pumpkin and curry also pair perfectly?

A quick google search for pumpkin curry will reveal an array of recipes such as pumpkin curry empanadas (does someone want to make these for me?), pumpkin curry with chickpeas and slow cooker vegan pumpkin curry.

And welcome to the scene my curry pumpkin corn soup. I dreamed up this soup while trying to recreate one of my favorite lunchtime soups I enjoy at a midtown NYC eatery called Dishes. They always have a creamy, pumpkin corn bisque this time of year, and so I wanted to recreate it, but with a bit of my own spin. I added some curry to the mix, and swapped out heavy cream for coconut milk and voila: a nondairy pumpkin curry soup perfect for a Shabbat starter, light lunch or even a dish for Thanksgiving dinner.

If you have never cooked with curry before, this is a great introduction, since it really combines the familiar flavors of pumpkin and corn with the slightly exotic taste of curry. You will wonder why it’s taken you so long to combine these delicious flavors.

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Curry Pumpkin Corn Soup

Posted on November 10, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Favorite Fall Soups

It’s that time of year when soup reigns supreme. Fall vegetables really lend themselves to being roasted, pureed and blended with stock. Soup is warming, comforting and an easy meal that is perfect for lunch or dinner and even better as leftovers the next day. Not to mention, my daughter loves soup lately, which she calls “soupy.” So of course a Jewish mother is inclined to feed her kid whatever they ask for, within reason.

Last year I put together 9 satisfying soups, but I wanted to expand the list this year to give you even more delicious ideas for your fall soup consumption. Add your favorite recipes below!

Soups for Fall

White Cheddar Pumpkin Ale Soup

Parsnip and Carrot Soup with Tarragon from The New York Times

Cream of Carrot Soup with Roasted Jalapeno from Meredith Keltz

Pumpkin Red Pepper Soup with Challah Croutons from Leora Kimmel Greene

pumpkin soup with sage and challah croutons3

Hearty Lentil Soup from Liz Rueven

Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Soup from Martha Stewart

French Onion Soup with Challah Toast and Munster Cheese

Curried Cauliflower Soup from Food52

curried cauliflower soup

Roasted Potato and Leek Soup with Jalapeno Oil from Whitney Fisch

Parsnip Pear Soup from The Food Yenta

Creamy Roasted Beet Soup

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Egg Drop Matzo Ball Soup from What Jew Wanna Eat

Chicken Soup with Dill

Vegetarian Chicken Soup from Leah Koenig

Cuban Matzo Ball Soup from Jennifer Stempel

Cuban Matzoh Ball Soup

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Posted on October 29, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Roasted Potato & Leek Soup with Jalapeno Oil

I’m having a love/hate relationship with food lately. By “love,” I mean, you know, I want to eat yummy food all the time.  By “hate,” I mean I don’t have the energy for it any more. And this isn’t just a post-high holiday thing. This is all about trying to find the time and energy to feed a two year-old every. single. day.  And I only have one child – I don’t know how the moms with multiple kids balance everything!

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For those just joining me in this weird journey, I’m currently living a life of temporary single parenthood.  It’s important to note that this set up of mine is, in fact, temporary. I have the privilege of having a supportive and loving husband.  We call each other, he offers me emotional support and he comes to visit every so often (more on why I’m in this situation here). The parts of this temporary single parent status that I expected to stink (time has become my most sought after currency. I got up at 5:30am PST just to finish writing this post) but the part of this situation that I didn’t expect is the effect this has had on our meal times.

We used to have family dinners. We’d eat together, the three of us, at least 3 nights a week plus Shabbat. The husband and I committed to that when we had a child.  As a social worker and school counselor, I am well aware of the statistics that go along with shared family meals (35% less likely to engage in disordered eating, 24% more likely to eat healthier foods and 12% less likely to be overweight, Hammons & Fiese, 2011). Plus the fact that family mealtime offers uninterrupted time for us to spend time together.  Or so I’m told. I have a toddler.  Regardless, family mealtime combines my two favorite things: my family and food!

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But now that it’s just me and the kiddo, the aspects of managing our day-to-day life of work/school/family has driven me to want to collapse when she’s in bed at 8:00 pm.  And so, I’ve developed a habit of cooking just for her at around 5:30 and then settling in with a salad and TV for myself after she goes to bed. That salad, of course, consists of things like pre-washed kale, shredded carrots, shredded cheese (neither of which I shred myself, yikes.) Its not as sad as it sounds. OK, it’s a little bit as sad as it sounds. That being said, I realized things had drastically changed when I went from making Shabbat meals with multiple courses to one pot of veggie quinoa soup for the kid and myself and calling it a day. So after roughly the 12th night of the same salad, I decided I needed a change of pace. The kid and I needed to get back to family dinners and I needed to get creative with my meals again. A few tricks that are helping me reach my goal:

  1. Batch cooking – Each Sunday I make big batches of something, i.e. roasted vegetables, sauce, rice or quinoa, that I can use in various recipes for the remainder of the week
  2. Remix – Since I have to make my own lunch, I did myself a favor and bought into the kiddo’s kosher school lunch plan.  They always send home leftovers (and there is always leftovers), which I remix into something else for her dinner (read: stir fry!)
  3. The kid stays in the picture – Now that she’s a little over 2, she actually can help me cook, which has been very fun and exciting. She’s officially in charge of all seasoning and can sprinkle cheese on a homemade pizza like nobody’s business. Getting her involved has made cooking fun again and has even forced me to get creative with meal planning.
  4. Soup – The kid loves soup. I love soup. Soup is always a great way for us to get our vegetables in us. Therefore, I’ve started making a soup that we might both love but dressing it up for me. The perfect example of that is this roasted potato and leek soup recipe. I dress it down for her, though she does get a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. I dress it up for myself by sprinkling cheese on it AND drizzling the jalapeno oil. It’s a win/win!

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The kid and I are surviving and at times, we’re even thriving. She’s at that amazing age where she’s starting to have conversations so sitting down together isn’t just about me making sure she’s actually eating, like back in the days of her infancy. Rather, mealtime has become this magical time of actually getting to know the person she’s becoming and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to slow down and listen.

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Roasted Potato & Leek Soup with Jalapeno Oil

Posted on October 22, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Pumpkin Soup with Sage and Challah Croutons

We made it through the first set of the holidays. Congrats to all of us. Of course we look forward to and enjoy the holidays with out families, but they are also exhausting.

And what’s next? Another holiday of course. It’s time for Sukkot.

pumpkin soup with sage and challah croutons1

By the time it’s Sukkot I am ready for lighter meals, which is why a delicious soup with a salad, cheese and crackers is my ideal menu. It’s satisfying, but a little lightened up after the past few weeks of meal-laden celebrating.

Sukkot also coincides with the fall, and my obsession for all things pumpkin. Cakes and pies, grilled and roasted: you name it I have done it or will be doing it. This soup is amazing because when you are roasting the pumpkin and red pepper with the sage you entire house will smell like the warming flavors of fall.

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Note: I prefer to roast the red peppers the day before making the soup. The skin comes off more easily with plenty of time for cooling.

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Pumpkin Red Pepper Soup with Sage and Challah Croutons

Posted on October 6, 2014

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Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Yield:
8 servings

Gazpacho is a perfect summer appetizer: it uses up some of those super fresh summer vegetables and won’t keep you indoors slaving away at a hot stove. But I know that cold soups are a bit of an acquired taste for some people. Even my husband, who likes almost everything, is not such a fan of gazpacho.

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But this gazpacho is for even those people that swear they don’t like it. And yes, since it is called “bloody mary gazpacho” it really does have vodka. It is a perfect starter for any summer meal, served in martini glasses and garnished just like the beloved brunch cocktail.

Don’t want to include vodka? Just leave it out. Like yours super spicy? Add some more hot sauce and horseradish. This recipe can be altered in several ways depending on your taste.

bloody-mary-gespacho-1

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Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Posted on July 14, 2014

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French Onion Soup with Challah and Munster Cheese

Yield:
6 servings

Most weeks it’s hard to find a crumb of challah leftover after Shabbat, especially since my husband and I love hosting our friends for Shabbat dinner whenever we can.

But every few weeks or so we like to enjoy a quiet Shabbat just the three of us, and when this happens, there is inevitably part of a challah loaf leftover.

veggie-french-onion-soup-stOf course, I make French toast. I make croutons, bread crumbs and even bread pudding. But sometimes a gal just wants to try something new.

I found this recipe from the Inventive Vegetarian and knew I wanted to use up some of my challah to finish off a rich bowl of French Onion Soup. Topped with bubbling, melted munster cheese and you have a Jewish version of this iconic soup. The onions make the soup sweet, and the richness of both the eggy challah and gooey munster cheese make each bite practically sinfulveggie-onion-soup-stamped

French Onion Soup with Challah and Munster Cheese

Posted on February 4, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy