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!
1 head garlic (If you are fresh garlic-phobic, you can add in a few frozen cubes instead)
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!|
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.
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!