Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9-14-2011 Rosh Hashanah Soups

Having a soup course during a Rosh Hashanah meal is not mandatory, but is always nice. I make sure to serve a small portion of soup to each person, so that they don't get too full on it. They can always get seconds need be.

If you are serving lunch on warm day, gazpacho is a great option. You can find a good gazpacho recipe below. I might start with serving gazpacho, then serve chilled salmon with dijon sauce, follow that with the main course and a salad.

Traditionally, I make matzah ball soup for our evening Rosh Hashanah meal. I might stray this year, and mix it up with a different soup.

Here are soup recipe ideas:

Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

The combination of ginger and butternut squash is delicious and addictive. This recipe yields a creamy soup without the use of any cream. I love to whip this soup up with my immersion blender right in the pot. This soup also freezes well. You can serve it with a dollop of (soy) sour cream if you desire, although I serve it without a garnish. Oh yeah, and you MUST use fresh ginger.

2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled seeded, and cubed
1 large oranges, juiced or 1/2 cup orange juice
4 -6 cups water

 Melt butter or margarine in stock pot, and add onions. Sautee over medium heat until translucent.
 Add ginger, garlic, and cubed butternut squash. Sautee a few more minutes until fragrant.
 Add orange juice, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, until the squash is tender.
 With an immersion blender, puree until it is completely smooth and creamy.
 Season with salt and pepper to taste. If it is too thick you may add more water.

Carrot Cumin Soup with Israeli Cous Cous

It's customary to eat carrots on Rosh Hashanah because the word for carrots in Yiddush also means "more",  and so eating them should bring you more of everything, such as money, children, and success. This outstanding recipe is from Kosher by Design Short on Time, I tweaked it a bit. My version is perfect for 2 people plus a little extra, feel free to multiply as necessary.

1 1/4 C. water
pinch of salt
1 C. raw Israeli couscous

1 T. olive oil
1/4 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 t. ground cumin
pinch of tumeric
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt
6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 C. chicken broth
1 C. unsweetened soy milk

soy sour cream, garnish
green onions or chives, finely chopped for garnish

To make the Israeli couscous:

Bring the water and pinch of salt to a boil in a small pot. Add the couscous, cover with a lid, remove from heat, and set aside.

In a medium pot, place the olive oil and heat over medium. Add the onion and celery. Sautee for 5 minutes until the onion is tranlucent. Add the cumin, tumeric, nutmeg, pepper, and salt. Stir until the spices are fragrant.

Add the carrots and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the broth, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are fork tender.

Use an immersion blender, and blend right in the pot until smooth. Stir in the soy milk.

To serve, make a mound of Israeli couscous in the middle of a soup bowl, ladle the soup around the couscous. Add a dollop of soy sour cream, and sprinkle on some chopped green onions or chives. Sprinkle with a little bit of cumin, and serve.


Chicken Matzah Ball Soup

The secret to this soup, is first making the broth, and then making soup and using that broth. It's so flavorful and delish. Also, the carrots and celery aren't mushy.

1 chicken, giblets discarded
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 onions, quartered
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
10 peppercorns

Place the chicken inside a soup pot. Add the celery, onions, carrots, bay leaf, and pepper corns. Fill with water until the pot is almost full, maybe 1 or 2 inches under the top of the pot. Put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat, immediately lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 hours.

Drain broth into a large bowl with a strainer. Remove the chicken and when cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Add the shredded chicken to the broth. Discard the bones, carrots, celery, peppercorns, bay leaf, and onions. Set aside the broth with the chicken.

Soup part 2:

1 T. vegetable oil
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 t. garlic powder
Broth and chicken from above
1/2 - 1 t. salt, to taste

In the same soup pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Saute for 10 minutes. Add the garlic powder, broth and chicken. Stir everything together. Start with 1/2 t. salt and decide whether it up to 1/2 t. needs more. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with matzah balls and egg noodles.

Matzah Balls

This recipe make 12 small matzah balls.

2 eggs
2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 C. matzah meal
1 t. salt

In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the vegetable oil, matzah meal, and salt. Stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 t. salt. Form tablespoon or smaller sized balls, should make about 12. Drop the balls into the boiling water. Cover tightly with a lid, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the water.


Roasted Gazpacho

Serves 8. This gazpacho has a different flavor than most because the tomatoes, peppers, and onions are roasted. I found the original recipe for this soup in the Kosher Palette 2, and I majorly tweaked it.

4 lbs. roma tomatoes, cut in half
2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
2 red onions, roughly chopped
1/2 C. olive oil
2 C. water
1 C. tomato juice
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tabasco
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes, bell peppers, and onion on a large sheet pan. Toss with the olive oil and place into the oven. Roast for 50 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and a little bit charred.

Place the roasted veggies into a blender or food processor, and the water, tomato juice, and cucumber. Blend until smooth, you may have to do this in 2 batches. (I've used an immersion blender for this before, and it worked, it just took longer and was a bit of work.)

Stir in the red wine vinegar, hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings, sometimes, I have to add a bit more red wine vinegar, or I'll even add a bit of fresh lemon juice.

Optional garnishes: thinly sliced green onions, finely diced peeled cucumber, or diced avocado


Mushroom Soup
We love mushrooms in this house. This soup is delish!

4 T. margarine
2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 8 oz. package white mushrooms, roughly chopped, set aside and save 2-4 mushrooms for garnish
2 large portobello mushrooms, chopped
4 C. vegetable broth, I use Imagine
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 C. white wine

Melt the  2 T. of the margarine and the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sautee until translucent and soft. Add the mushrooms and the rest of the 2 T. margarine. Cook stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes, until the mushrooms start to soften. Add the broth  and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer. Let simmer for 1 hour.

 Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. I usually add a bit, and then taste and keep adding and tasting (with several spoons) until the saltiness I like is achieved. Stir in the white wine. Thinly slice the 2 mushrooms you have set aside. Ladle the soup into the bowls, and sprinkle with thinly sliced fresh mushrooms.

Coming tomorrow: Meat and Chicken recipes for the main course.

Have a good night!

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