Soup’s On!!!!

The winter holidays are over. All of our guests have departed (it was fun!). The weather is cold, windy and stormy (we badly need the rain, so I’m not complaining!). And I’m now valiantly battling a nasty flu. What better time for hearty, healthy, warming soups???

Here in Israel, “Orange Soup” is all the rage. I first had it on my pilot trip at Miri’s house and then with Racheli. My Israeli friend in LA gave me her recipe. It seems to be a national dish, but each person has their own take on it, depending on their cultural tastes and diet. So, here are three different versions, including my own personal recipe that I’ve developed. Any and all orange vegetables are on the table for this soup – and a wide range of spices is typical.

Shoshanna’s Squash Soup

This is a lovely soup, but if you are keeping a Kosher kitchen, notice it’s a meat dish as it uses chicken stock.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium acorn squash, halved
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup sherry

Roast sweet potatoes and squash in a 200*C/400* F oven until softened. Cover the veggies with foil so they don’t dry out. When cool, scoop out flesh and mash in large bowl.

In stockpot, sauté the onion in canola until translucent. Add the breadcrumbs and stir a few minutes on medium heat to lightly toast. Add the water and chicken stock. Add the mashed veggies. Simmer soup for 20 minutes while adding spices. Purée with immersion blender and cook another half hour. Add sherry before serving. Can top with crushed pistachios and parsley.

Tamar’s Vegan Thai Orange Soup

I decided to do a parve, vegan take on it so I can serve this with a meat or dairy meal. The flavors are warming and bold. We love it the next day….. and I make enough to freeze a couple batches in freezer bags after it’s cooled. Add some toasted fresh croutons to the top, and you have a hearty meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large brown onions, chopped
  • 2 large green apples (or pears), peeled and sliced
  • 2Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large butternut squash, halved
  • 3 cups carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1 can pumpkin or 2 large pieces of pumpkin
  • 2 heaping tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala powder
  • 1 can coconut milk(liquid)
  • 2 cups water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Roast the veggies with a little coconut oil in a foil covered sheet pan at 200*C/400*F oven for about 40 minutes or until soft.

In large stockpot, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add apples and onions, stirring until translucent. Mix in the curry and garam masala powders and cook another 2 minutes until fragrance is released. Add in water and coconut milk and stir.

Remove flesh from squash, and pumpkin. Add all the veggies to soup and purée with immersion blender. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tzippy’s Ashkenazi Orange Soup

This one is a tasty, dairy version. It comes from Eastern Europe and reflects the tastes of that region. It is traditional to use potatoes as a thickener, great the next day, and can even be served cold like a vichyssoise.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch circles
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 large leek, washed and sliced (white part only)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled & sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp butter (25 g)
  • 4 Tbsp light cream (15%)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced chives

Slice all veggies finely, except carrots, which should be grated. Melt the butter in a heavy pot. Add veggies and toss to coat in butter. Cover and ‘sweat’ for 10 minutes over medium high heat. Uncover and add water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until tender-about 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf and blend until creamy. Add milk, stirring thoroughly. Taste for more salt and pepper. Just before serving, add the cream and chopped chives. Better if allowed to stand/simmer up to 6 hours.

Osnat’s Egyptian Orange Soup

I love this spicy, sweet take on the standard soup. It has layers and layers of depth and is amazing served with pomegranate arils and of course, spiced chickpeas on top!! Yum!!! This can be made with chicken stock for a meat meal or veggie stock to go pareve.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled & sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed. Reserve 1/4 cup
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne or chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots
  • 6 cups chicken or veggie stock
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and squeezed of juice

In large pot on medium high heat, cook veggies in olive oil until tender. Add garlic, spices and dates and stir as they release fragrance, about 2 minutes. Pour in liquid broth. Heat to a gentle boil for about 5 minutes. Lower heat to simmer and add chickpeas minus reserved 1/3 cup. Blend until smooth with immersion blender. Add the lemon juice and zest. Before serving, heat 1 tsp olive oil and 1/4 tsp each salt and cayenne or chili powder in small pan. Add chickpeas to coat. Stir as they toast, about 2-3 minutes. Serve on top of soup with a drop or two of the oil and pomegranate arils.

The last soup is our favorite right now. Great the next day, and freezes well. It’s earthy and filling. We love it with grilled smoked Gouda sandwiches made with artisan whole grain bread and apple slices tucked inside. The soup is vegan and pareve. As they say in Israel, “B’tayavon!!!”

Tamar’s Zucchini Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 brown onion, peeled & chopped
  • 1 basket brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 large zucchini, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 sage leaves or 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups water or veggie broth

In large pot, sauté the onion, shrooms and zucchini slices on medium high heat until soft. Add the sage and thyme. Continue to heat, stirring an additional 2-3 minutes. Pour in the liquid and bring to slight boil about 5 minutes. Purée with immersion blender and add garlic salt and pepper. Serve hot with toasted garlic croutons.