Sunday, October 21, 2012

Orange Soup - Kosher Connection Recipe Linkup

Ahh, root vegetables.  This month's theme brings to mind autumn.  Caramelized roasted vegetables, hearty stews, warming soups.  It all sounds wonderful, like fall foliage, roaring fires, warm slippers, and fleece blankets.

Well, it would, if only we actually had a fall season here.  It's still very much summer outside, with today's forecast hitting around 90.  The A/C is on, flip-flops are the footwear of preference, and it's too warm to think about running the oven or standing over the stove for a long time.

And yet, my family is still a bunch of soup lovers.  We have chicken soup each and every Friday night of the year.  One daughter even enters the house on a regular basis with the delightful greeting, "Did you make soup?  Oh, no?  (insert sad and pensive face here)... Maybe I'll make some myself (put upon look)."  Oh, my poor sweetie, I was too busy eating bon-bons and polishing my toenails, while the elves were busy taking care of the housework and running my business.  But I digress...

So tonight we are having soup, and so can you, whether it's autumnal or or not (yet).  "Orange soup" is an Israeli classic, a pureed soup made of a variety of orange vegetables.  It can be sweet or savory, depending on the other components, from the added vegetables to the seasonings.  This version, which in its original form came from my friend Shoshana, is an easy and delicious addition to your table any time.  It stars carrots and sweet potatoes, along with pumpkin, zucchini, onions, and garlic.  It tastes great and it's not so heavy that you feel overheated just from eating it.  There is no sauteeing, no hard work aside from peeling and cutting.  And it cooks rather quickly (easy enough for a teenager to put together after school!).  Shoshana makes this in a meaty version, browning some stew meat before adding the other ingredients, and then removing the meat and some of the carrot slices before pureeing.  Because we love to have soup on hand all the time, I turned this into a pareve version, adding a bit of cumin for a smoky, beefy background flavor.  If you have beef flavored soup powder, it is a tasty enhancement, but we just don't find it too often on the grocery shelves in our part of the world.  For a special accent, you can add knaidlach, which makes this extra-enticing for my youngest child, who believes all things are better with matzah balls. Garlic croutons are great with this as well.  Feel free to play with the quantities and proportions of vegetables to suit your taste and your refrigerator!

Orange Soup

2 onions
1 head garlic (If you are fresh garlic-phobic, you can add in a few frozen cubes instead)
4 carrots
2 zucchini
2 sweet potatoes
small chunk pumpkin (optional)
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon beef soup powder (optional)
several shakes cumin

Peel and chop onions, carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin.  Peel cloves of garlic.  Place all ingredients into stockpot, and add water to cover.
That's it, all the hard work is done!
Bring to a boil, then simmer until vegetables are very tender.  Puree with an immersion blender. 

To add knaidlach:
NOTE - these are not the matzah balls we add to the Friday night chicken soup.  Those are delicate things of beauty, with a carefully combined batter that gets a rest in the refrigerator to let the matzah meal absorb the other ingredients.  It is then gently rolled into balls and dropped into a pot of boiling water flavored with salt and chicken boullion, and cooked until perfectly round, light, and fluffy.  These are not them.  These are rustic knaidlach, a little chewier and heartier, quickly mixed and dropped into the simmering soup by teeny tiny spoonful.
Mix together
1 egg
1/4 cup matzah meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Drop into simmering soup by teaspoonful, and cook about 10 minutes.  Enjoy!
Now that you can make your soup and eat it too, check out the other Root Vegetable recipes on the Kosher Connection this month.  And leave a comment to tell us what you thought!


Kitchen Tested said...

The name of this soup is hilarious! I was like, orange flavored soup? But it's just the color and the root vegetables you used make for a very hearty soup. I look forward to trying this out soon.

Anonymous said...

This sounds really delicious. The garlic does sound like a lot, but I guess boiling the garlic cloves whole makes them milder.

Dvora said...

The name in Hebrew - Marak Katom - leaves no room for confusion, as Katom refers exclusively to the color. It seems so normal to me (it's on every menu everywhere, and like eggplant, most cooks here have at least a couple of versions) that it didn't occur to me that it might sound funny!

Dvora said...

The garlic is a lot, and immediately after pureeing, it can taste a little sharp. It mellows though, very quickly. Another friend makes the soup with three frozen garlic cubes, which is just enough garlic flavor for her crowd.

RonnieVFein said...

So nice and homey. I LOVE the idea of knaidlach in this soup. Not traditional but wonderful. I assume the knaidlach absorbs LOTS of flavor from the other ingrredients.

Avital said...

So first of all, as soon as I saw "orange soup" in the linkup, my brain immediately translated it to "marak katom." But I do see how it would sound odd otherwise. :)

I bet a head of roasted garlic would be delicious here if the raw garlic seems like too much. I keep telling myself to just roast a couple of heads at the start of the week so I have them on hand for recipes. And yes, I've been roasting things even in this still-summery weather!

The Kosher Spoon said...

my family loves this soup! i make it with butternut squash, as well. said...

Melinda, when I lived in Israel I felt the same way about the name of this soup... it became a pet peeve of mine, even though the flavors are awesome, this is a a delicious dish - no matter if the name makes me crazy!

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