> Family > Kosher Recipes

Soup to Nuts

May 9, 2009 | by Chef Herschel Arnow

Great soups for every occasion.

Whenever I am asked to cater a party, whether it's a Sheva Brachot, an engagement party, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or even a wedding, I always suggest that soup be part of the menu. When people see or smell a good soup, they come running.

When I serve buffet style, the soup can be hot and ready to eat whenever people arrive. Therefore arrival time is not so critical, and if my preparations of the rest of the food are not exactly on time, the soup fills the gap.

Along with the soup, I serve a bread bar; it is a certain winner when entertaining. Assorted breads, large and small, thin and tall, with a cutting board or two and a couple of kinves. Add some herbed butter and you're all set.

What else do you really need? Sweet and spicy nuts, a treat no one will expect.

Oftentimes to make a good soup, the recipe calls for stock. I have included recipes for vegetable stock and chicken stock. To be honest with you, I will add soup mix in place of stock. May God please forgive me. The main reason people avoid soup mix is MSG. As far as I am concerned, unless you are allergic to MSG, there is nothing to worry about. So to make really great soup, add as much stock or soup mix to complete the creation as needed.

Chef Herschel

* * * *

Chicken Stock

Active time: 20 minutes. Start to Finish: 12 hours (including chilling)

1 (3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lb.) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 carrots, quartered
2 medium onions, left unpeeled, trimmed and halved
6 fresh parsley stems (without leaves)
1 bay leaf (not California)
8 black peppercorns
4 qts. cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Bring all ingredients to a boil in an 8- to 10-quart heavy pot, covered. Reduce heat and gently simmer, partially covered, until chicken is tender, about 3 hours.

Remove chicken and reserve for another use. Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve lined with triple thickness of cheesecloth into a large bowl and discard vegetables. Cool congealed stock, uncovered, and chill, covered, then scrape congealed fat from chilled stock.

Cook's Note: Stock can be chilled 3 days or frozen 1 month.
Makes about 10 cups.

* * * *

Vegetable Stock

Active time: 20 minutes. Start to Finish: 12 hours (including chilling)

1/2 lb. portabella mushrooms, caps and stems cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb. shallots, left unpeeled, quartered
1 lb. carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs (including stems)
5 fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves (not California)
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
2 qts. water

Preheat oven to 425º F.

Toss together mushrooms, shallots, carrots, bell peppers, parsley and thyme sprigs, garlic, and oil in a large flameproof roasting pan. Roast in middle of oven, turning occasionally, until vegetables are golden, 30-40 minutes.

Transfer vegetables with slotted spoon to a tall narrow 6-quart stockpot. Set roasting pan across 2 burners, then add wine and deglaze pan by boiling over moderate heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes. Transfer to stockpot and add bay leaves, tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes. Pour through a large fine sieve into a large bowl, pressing on and discarding solids, then season with salt and pepper. Skim off fat.

Cook's Note: Covered and chilled, stock can keep for one week, or frozen for 3 months.

Makes about 2 quarts.

* * *

Hearty 20 Minute Baby Carrot and Vegetable Soup

When I long for the homey feeling of old-fashioned vegetable soup with barley, but I have little time to chop ingredients or to cook, this is the soup I prepare. I combine baby carrots and other frozen vegetables with bulgur wheat or rice, which cook in 15 minutes. I add diced onions and sometimes sliced mushrooms. The result is a healthy, hearty, warming soup in no time. And it's even fat free! If your market carries several sizes of bulgur wheat, choose the larger size.

Naturally, if you have some already cooked brown or white rice or barley in your refrigerator, you can substitute about 1 cup of it for the bulgur wheat. Your soup will be ready even faster.

1 medium onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced (optional)
3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups frozen baby carrots
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2 cup bulgur wheat or rice
1 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
sald and freshly ground pepper
cayenne pepper to taste

In a large saucepan combine carrots, onion, celery, broth and 2 1/2 cups hot water. Cover and bring to boil. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat 3 minutes. Add carrots and mixed vegetables and return to a boil. Add mushrooms, bulgur wheat or rice, dill and thyme. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until bulgur wheat or rice and vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

* * *

Chinese Corn Soup

300 grams corn
2 tablespoons corn flour
2 egg whites
chopped dill
soy sauce
sesame oil
1/2 cup vinegar
chopped onion
1 liter soup stock with juice from the corn
1 tablespoon sugar

Combine onions, corn along with its liquid, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar to the soup stock. Bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes.

Mix corn flour with a little water and add it to the soup. Add egg whites while stirring and lower the temperature.

Garnish with chopped dill and serve.

* * *

White Bean & Black Olive Soup

Begin cooking 1 cup dry pea beans 1 1/2 hours before you plan to assemble soup.

Saute the following ingredients in 3 tbsps. olive oil, beginning with the first two ingredients:

3-4 cloves crushed garlic
1 heaping cup chopped onion
1/2 cyp diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped pepper
1 cup zucchini chunks
1 1/2 tsp. salt (more, to taste)
black pepper
1 tsp. marjoram or oregano
1 1/2 tsp. basil

Add to:

4 cups stock or water
3 oz. tomato paste (1/2 small can)
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 cups cooked (1 cup raw) pea beans
1 cup sliced black olives
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Simmer, covered, over very low heat for about ½ hour.

Just before serving, add 1/4 cup freshly-chopped parsley.

Optional garnish: freshly diced tomato.

Makes 6 servings.

From Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook

* * *

Spice Lentil Soup

2 tbsps. olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1 medium to large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
6 oz. red lentils, washed
5 cups vegetables or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, and when they began to pop, add the onion and cook until golden. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery, and cook gently for 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining spices and cook 1 minute, then add the lentils.

Pour in the stock. Add the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat immediately and let it simmer for one hour. Remove the bay leaf and, in batches, process the soup to a puree – using either a blender or food processor. Clean the pan and return the puree to it. Gently reheat the soup. When you serve it, garnish it with fresh onion rings, tarragon sprigs, and a dollop of yogurt.

* * *

Sweet and Spicy Nuts

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
6 tbsps. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsps. Salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups walnut halves
2 cups pecan halves
2 cups whole almonds

Preheat oven to 300º F. Spray large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add next 8 ingredients; stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add all nuts; stir until butter mixture coats nuts thickly, about 2 minutes.

Spread nut mixture in single layer on prepared sheet. Bake until nuts are glazed and deep brown, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Cool nuts completely on sheet, stirring occasionally.

Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Makes about 6 cups.


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