Category Archives: Soup

Cold Cucumber Soup

Since the girls started school, it feels like a whirlwind of nonstop activity! It seems as though I am even more time challenged than ever before. 

I want to post this recipe, however, before the winter really sets in and no one can even think about making a cold soup. There is always the possibility of an Indian Summer.


This recipe is the outcome of one of my wonderful patient’s generosity. Bob shared with the group a few weeks ago some of his fresh, homegrown, basil, peppers and cucumbers. With such luscious produce, I experimented and came up with this recipe for cold cucumber soup. 

This recipe is extremely fast and easy. It’s almost like salad in a bowl. And, it’s perfect for those time challenging moments when you want something slightly different and slightly fancy.

The measurements are imprecise and VERY flexible.

Ingredients

2 English cucumbers

1 zucchini

(The idea is to have twice as much cucumber to zucchini)

1/2 onion

1/2 pepper

1 lemon juiced

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh basil, chopped

Water to desired consistency, but be careful not to add too much.

Instructions

Place all ingredients into food processor and blend to desired consistency.

Simple, easy & elegant!

I am happy to say that this was a successful experiment. Everyone loved it! The fresh basil made all the difference!

Nothing beats garden fresh produce.

Enjoy!

Gazpacho Soup

Today, I had a wonderful group with my patients.

Sometimes, when I run a group, I ask patients to introduce themselves with the following questions: “what do you love to do?” Or, “what do you do that makes you lose track of time?”

Surprisingly, such a simple question generates a lot of discussion. It engenders positive feelings of well-being and it is an opportunity for patients to share with each other their passions in life.

One patient, Henri, (I wrote about him in The Birthday Party https://coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/the-birthday-party/) shared in an earlier group that he loves to garden and he even grows his own vegetables.

Today, he surprised us. He brought in his first crop of tomatoes. With such luscious tomatoes, I decided to make gazpacho soup.

I have not made gazpacho soup in years. I forgot how great it is.

This recipe comes from my Aunt Perel (A”H). Aunt Perel was a fabulous cook! I think of her often, especially when I cook.

Cooking was Aunt Perel’s passion in life. She could quote the source and the originator of a particular recipe the way other people discuss academic research.

This soup is particularly great when using fresh, ripe tomatoes. It feels like eating salad in a bowl.

Ingredients

1.5 lbs ripe tomatoes

3/4 cup onions

1 cucumber, peeled

1 small green pepper

1-2 garlic cloves

1.5 teaspoons salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup olive oil (can add up to 1/3 cup, but my family does not like things with too much oil)

1/2 cup wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

Optional: 3/4 cup dried breadcrumbs, or serve with croutons

Instructions

Place ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Adjust seasoning. Serve chilled.

tomatoes shared during our group

voila! final product

I must say, this soup surpassed my wildest expectations!

My husband loved it! He said, “this is fantastic! I don’t even like gazpacho….. Can I have some more?”

A true vote of confidence!

Many blessings to Aunt Perel (A”H) for sharing her wonderful recipes and culinary expertise.

 

Zucchini Mushroom Soup 

Like many Jewish women, I spend my whole week planning for Shabbat. And, I spend my whole year planning for Passover, which is 3 weeks away. 

Cooking and Shabbat are closely connected in our house. 

It is to the point that if I am cooking, the first thing Yaffa says is “it is Shabbat yet?  Mommy is cooking for Shabbat!”

  

It’s very cute, because there is also a children’s story,  Is It Shabbas Yet?  that I used to read to the girls when they were little.  Yaffa has almost memorized it. An incredible feat when you consider that she is significantly hearing impaired in addition to her cognitive challenges. Cute gets you very far! 

Raizel also found a number of YouTube videos about the book, that Yaffa loves to watch. 

If anyone is interested, this is one of the multiple versions available online:

The constant repetition has enabled Yaffa to learn the story. 

Friday morning is usually my marathon cooking time.  I prepare all the food on Thursday. Then, I get up at dawn and do the cooking before going to work.

One of my new favorite things to make Zucchini Mushroom Soup.  This is an extremely flexible recipe. Sometimes I make it with the mushrooms, and sometimes I make it just with zucchini. I usually add an onion, but, the amounts vary.

Ingredients 

1 onion, quartered

1-2 zucchinis, cut in large chunks

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

Water to cover

Salt and if desired pepper to taste

Instructions:

Add all the ingredients to the crockpot.

The secret to making the soup this way is to use a small crockpot, and slightly overfill it. I tend to add more water than necessary, (about half way up the crockpot) as I leave it in the crockpot for more than 8 hours. With more liquid, it is less likely to over cook.

Then, once I come home, I remove some of the liquid, and using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables, and adjust the seasoning.  The soup should be slightly thick.

It can also be made on the stove or in a pressure cooker, 2 minutes to pressure.

Here are the pictures:

Here, all the vegetables are in the pot. I also cut them into large pieces, to prevent over cooking.

Here is what it looks like once it is cooked. Before I puree it, I remove most of the liquid, so that it will not be too thin.

Voila! Here is the final product:

Yaffa loves zucchini, and this is one of her favorites!

 

Enjoy!

If anyone is interested in the book that Yaffa and Raizel like, here is the link for that too:

http://www.amazon.com/Is-Shabbos-Yet-Ellen-Emerman/dp/1929628021

 

 

Lentil Mushroom Soup

During Sheva Brachot, I served 2 soups.  This was the second soup that I served.  It can be made with either red or green lentils. I find the red lentils have a finer texture, but the green lentils are more hardy.

Lentil Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

1 onion

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

4 bay leaves

2 cups lentils, red or green

1 tablespoon salt, to taste

Optional: pepper and or garlic, to taste. I usually do not add either, unless the vegetables are not flavorful.

Water to cover

Optional: chopped fresh cilantro or parsley to garnish

Instructions:

Sauté onions and mushrooms. Add lentils, bay leaves, and salt.

Add water and then bring to a boil, cover and simmer until lentils begin to soften.

Next, add the celery and carrots. Continue to simmer until done.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

In pressure cooker: bring to pressure for 5 minutes. Released the pressure quickly by running cold water over the lid when done. Then, add carrots and celery and simmer until done.

Crockpot. Add all ingredients into crockpot. Cook on low until done. If desired, add carrots and celery half way through the cooking, and then continuing cooking until done. Less water is required.

It is important to add just enough water, but not have it be too thick or too thin.

Here are the pictures:




This was another hit!  Many of our guests requested second helpings.

Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

For the Sheva Brachot, I made 2 soups. 

 This soup was a hit! 

Below are the basic amounts, but, this recipe is very flexible. 

I made enough to serve 28 people, so I adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Ingredients:

2 butternut squashes, peeled and roasted in 425* oven

2 onion, sliced

2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut

Alternative: my sister adds cooked chickpeas instead of sweet potatoes.

4 carrots, peeled and roasted

Optional: 2 parsnips or parsley roots, peeled and roasted. I used a small amount 

Optional:1 bay leaf

Salt, pepper, fresh garlic

Optional: my mother makes this soup with ginger and cumin.

Water to cover

Optional: chopped fresh cilantro or parsley to garnish

Instructions:

Roast squash, carrots, and parsnips in 425* oven.

Sauté onions in the pot until caramelized. Add roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes, and spices.  

My sister says that sautéing the onions is what gives it a great flavor. 

Add water and then bring to a boil, cover and simmer until done.  

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Puree with an immersion blender and adjust liquid to personal taste. 

I recommend not cooking with too much water and then adjusting the thickness of the soup after it is cooked. It is important to not make it too thick or too thin. 

My mother said that it is important to maintain the colour of the soup, so she does not recommend using white potatoes.

This can be made in a regular soup pot, a crock pot or a pressure cooker.

In a crockpot, cook on high or low until done. This is not my preferred method, as it makes the soup too dark.

In the pressure cooker: cook 3-5 minutes to pressure, quick release method, depending on how small you cut the sweet potatoes.

Adding fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro give it a beautiful fresh flavor and a dash of color.

Here are the pictures:

 

   
  
  

I guess I was a little time challenged, so I didn’t take pictures of the whole process.

As you can see, this is a very flexible recipe and easily adapted to individual preferences. Since I did not know the people who were coming, I opted for simple and basic. Some people can back for seconds, so this was a culinary success!

Enjoy!

Lentil Soup

This past Saturday, we were supposed to go away to visit friends. However, due to the anticipated snow storm, we ended up staying home for Shabbat. Instead of cholent, I made lentil soup.

Ingredients:

1 lbs lentils

1 lbs stew meat

1 onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 parsnip, peeled and chopped

3 potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon salt, to taste

1 teaspoon pepper,  to taste

1 teaspoon cumin

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Water to cover. If using the pressure cooker, use 3:1 ratio of water:lentils

Optional: add chopped fresh parsley or cilantro before serving

Instructions

Sauté onions, carrots, celery and parsnips. Then add the spices, meat and lentils and continue to sauté until fragrant. Add potatoes, bay leaves and water.

Stove top: bring to boil and let simmer until done. Add garlic and adjust seasoning.

Pressure Cooker: 7 minutes to pressure and then release the pressure quickly by running cold water over the lid when done.

Crockpot: Cook on low until done. When using a crockpot, less water is required.

Before serving, adding chopped cilantro or parsley adds a nice gourmet touch.

This week, as I was time challenged, I just added all the ingredients into the crockpot and let it simmer all day. When I got home I adjusted the seasoning.

This can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the meat.

Yaffa could hardly wait to have it, and ate it for a snack!

Frankly, it came out great, but, Raizel is visiting my mother, so, I do not have any robust eaters at home.

Enjoy!

Savory Carrot Soup

I had leftover cooked carrots this week that I didn’t want to go to waste. So, at Raizel’s request, I made this carrot soup.

This is a very fast and easy recipe and a great way to serve vegetables!

Ingredients 

2 lbs carrots

1 lbs parsnips 

1 onion, chopped 

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon coriander 

1 teaspoon ginger, I used dried, but fresh is always better

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 

1/2 pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, fresh garlic is preferable 

1 tablespoon salt, to taste

Water to cover

Optional: fresh cilantro 

Alternative Additions: This can also be made with butternut squash and/or a potato.

A potato would give it a thicker, creamier texture.

I have also added almond butter, which gives a really rich taste, but a little too risqué for some people.

Instructions 

Sauté onions, add carrots and parsnips and water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until done. Add spices and then blend with an immersion blender. Adjust seasoning.

I made this on top of the stove, but it could be made in a crockpot or pressure cooker. 

In a crockpot, be careful not to over cook. 

In a pressure cooker, 2 minutes to pressure if vegetables are sliced.

Everyone loved it! Yaffa even asked to take it to school for lunch.

Enjoy!

Here is the picture: