There is something about soup. It is a warm comforting food that is relatively easy for the home cook to make. It is forgiving in the sense that you can add a bit more or less seasoning, swap in a protein or a vegetable that isn’t on the list of the ingredients and still have a delicious meal in a bowl. As the weather in spring jumps between golden sun and freezing rain, soup remains our go to meal for the family at night. In Rayzel’s family a big Yemenite soup (with matzo balls!) on Friday night with a piece of challah and some fish beforehand is usually the entire meal! Here are two of Rayzel’s favorites, made so often at family request, that no recipes are consulted. We remade them for you with pen in hand, to capture the measurements, so you too can share these bowls of goodness with yourself and loved ones. Remember also that soup freezes well! Freeze some in individual potion sizes for times you need to warm something nourishing and tasty just for one.
Red Lentil Soup
6 cups chicken stock or 6 cups water and two bouillon cubes
1 lb. red lentils
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 pinch cayenne pepper
½ tsp. black pepper
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
½ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
Bring liquid and lentils to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and onion, and cook until the onion is softened and translucent, about three minutes. Stir onions into the lentils and season with cumin and cayenne. Continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about ten minutes. Puree the soup in a standing blender or with a stick blender until smooth. Stir in cilantro and lemon juice and kosher salt before serving.
No-Fail Chicken Wing Soup
1 pack of raw chicken wings, approx 1-2 lb.
8 zucchinis washed unpeeled and chopped in large chunks
1 large onion (any type) chopped
Water to cover
3 Tbsp. Onion soup mix (if you want to have no processed ingredients, you can leave this out, with some taste variation but still a great soup!)
3 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
1 Tsp. black pepper
Pour oil in a large stockpot. Place chicken wings in pot and brown over medium heat about five-ten minutes. Place zucchini and onion in the pot. Pour in enough water to just cover zucchini and onion. Add onion soup mix if using. Add salt and pepper. Bring soup to boil and then reduce to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until zucchini is soft. Fish out the chicken wings with a slotted spoon, blend soup with immersion blender and then put the chicken wings back into the soup. Serve and enjoy!
Chavie Hagler and Rayzel Yaish are two Bergen county based full-time working mothers who have a passion for delicious food! In the spirit of friends and family who we hope enjoy hanging around and chatting over our kitchen sinks, we hope you will enjoy our tasty thoughts and will share your questions and kosher food ideas with us at kosherkitchensink_jewishlinkbc.com
By Rayzel Yaish and Chavie Hagler