Sometimes, the only solution to life’s problems is soup. No strangers to hardship, Jews through the ages have mastered the art of a good pot of soup, be it delicate Persian gondi to bring in Shabbat or tangy Ashkenazi dill pickle soup for cold winter nights.
So, here are 21 Jewish soup recipes from around the world to soothe your soul, your sore throat (see: Jewish penicillin), your stomach post-Yom Kippur fast, or any other ailment your bubbe is currently losing sleep over.
Fragrant, filling and chock-full of veg, this soup is a one-pot meal. North African Jews typically eat it to break the Yom Kippur fast, but it keeps us warm all winter through.
A deliciously tangy Ashkenazi recipe that heroes salt-brined pickles. Easy to make and ready in 45 minutes; What are you waiting for?
The “Top Chef” judge shares her grandmother’s recipe for classic Jewish penicillin with schmaltzy matzah balls.
Meat borscht meets carmelized cabbage in this rich, hearty soup that may well lead to the best nap of your life.
Slow-cooked chicken soup always yields golden, glorious results, but this recipe gets an extra kick from turmeric-forward hawaij, a savory Yemenite spice blend.
A Mexican take on classic MBS, with flavorful ‘balls and a spicy broth. So tasty you won’t miss the meat.
A simple, satisfying soup is brought to life with a dollop of zhug, a herbaceous Yemenite hot sauce that’s very popular in Israel. Winter blues, be gone!
Literally “egg and lemon soup” (aka avgolemono), this velvety Sephardi chicken soup has a fascinating Jewish backstory.
9. Kubbeh Selek
Beets are not limited to borscht in the Jewish soup cannon; this ruby broth is the perfect wading pool for pillowy semolina dumplings stuffed with seasoned beef.
The brainchild of Brooklyn restaurant Shalom Japan, this recipe is a love letter to Japanese and Jewish soup traditions. The perfect cooking project for a rainy Sunday.
Egyptian Jews prepared this soup, called Bata Bel Lamoun, for Shabbat. Deceptively easy to make, this sunny soup is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Spaghetti and meatballs, but make it soupy.
13. Persian Gondi
This light, delicately spiced chicken broth with tender chicken and chickpea dumplings is a classy soup. Traditionally eaten by Persian Jews on Friday night, it’s the perfect edible tribute to the Shabbat queen.
You say potato soup, I say kartoffelzup. Either way, this creamy soup hits the spot, especially when topped with roasted smoky shiitake mushrooms and a dollop of sour cream.
Matzah ball soup gets a Filipino revamp with the aromatic flavors of arroz caldo (rice porridge). Think: ginger, garlic and tart calamansi.
The best way to use up sad, stale challah is to turn it into these deeply savory croutons.
Tangy, smoky and hearty, this is borscht like you’ve never seen it before.
There are chicken soup recipes and then there’s Ina Garten’s chicken soup recipe. It’s rich and decadent as the Barefoot Contessa herself. (Three chickens! Preferably hand-slaughtered from your own backyard coop, but if not, store-bought is fine).
A warm hug of a soup, this nourishing dish (aka krupnik) has sustained Ashkenazim for generations. In this recipe, the crockpot does all the work.
Classic, creamy roasted butternut squash soup is revamped with a couple of twists: spicy North African harissa and a topping of creamy labneh.
Just as soothing as traditional MBS, this veggie version hits the spot.