Taco Soup

Taco Soup – a perfect Sukkot meal

As the weather has gotten colder, like all of us, I’m making soups more often. And lately I’ve been obsessing over this Taco Soup! I got the recipe inspiration from Mayra Wendolyne of @low.carb.love on Instagram.

Once you make this soup, you’ll be craving it for a while, trust me. ūüėČ Not only is it delicious and super easy but it’s a super-filling meal with the boost of protein from the Beyond Meat.

If you don’t feel like lugging out your big soup pot, make it in your instant pot! Or, add all the ingredients to your slow cooker in the morning, set it on low for 7-8 hours (or high for 4-6 hours).

Not only is this a great addition to your soup rotation, but it’s perfect for the last days of Sukkot. Of course, if you’re making a meat meal, use parve cream cheese! If you do, just be aware that the soup will look like it’s separating, but just be patient, once it’s done cooking, stir it well and it’ll stay nice and creamy.

This soup also reheats nicely, and the endless toppings make it so fun for a taco soup bar!

Chag Sameach!

0 from 0 votes
Taco Soup
Course: Soup
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Rachel Katzman
Ingredients
Taco Soup
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 16 oz. Package of Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger
  • 2-3 Celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Small white onion, chopped
  • 2 Bell peppers (any color), chopped
  • 2-3 Carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 Can Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies Use any variety - either mild or spicy
  • 16 oz Vegetable Broth I like the Imagine Soup brand, the low sodium - just eyeball about half the container (which is a total of 32 oz.)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 8 oz. Block of Cream Cheese Or use parve cream cheese if making a fleishig meal
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Soup toppings
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Parve
  • Sour Cream Or parve
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Pickled Jalapeno slices Optional
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped Optional
  • Tortilla chips You can use tortilla strips, or crush regular tortilla chips, or just add them whole.
  • 1 Lime, cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. In a medium soup pot, heat up a drizzle of olive oil and add the garlic on medium heat for about 1 minute (be careful not to burn the garlic - it happens fast, so keep an eye on it)

  2. Add the onion, carrot, bell peppers and celery, season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 6-7 minutes until the veggies are soft

  3. Add in the Beyond Meat and break use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into smaller pieces. Season again with salt and pepper and cumin.

  4. Pour in the can of Rotel canned tomatoes, veggie stock and 2 cups of water (here's a trick - after adding the Rotel, fill the can up with water and add that to the pot - it's exactly 16 oz. which equals 2 cups. I love using this method because it's one less thing to wash, plus you get the extra flavor bits in the can of the Rotel!)

  5. Taste the soup at this point and add in any additional salt, pepper or cumin. I added about a 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cumin

  6. Add the block of cream cheese, either regular or parve and let the soup simmer on high with the lid on, for about 15-20 minutes

  7. Ladle into bowls and add your toppings! Enjoy!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I was cleaning out my freezer the other day and I had a giant bag of frozen broccoli. I wasn’t really in the mood for roasted veggies, just craving something different. Looking in the fridge, I realized we had shredded cheddar cheese of course, the classic Broccoli Cheddar Soup immediately came to mind.

Now sure, this soup is great a cold winter day and well, it has been a bit chilly here lately in Chicago. But since Shavuot starts in just a couple days, this is a great time for this soup to shine. Hello CHEESE!

Childhood Classic

Growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, we kept kosher in the house. but at that time, we were still eating out at non-kosher restaurants. My dad would take my younger sister Avi and me to Panera Bread on occasion and our order of choice was the Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Sometimes with the bread bowl. I mean, it’s a great idea in theory, but really, it’s just too much. I have no idea how we would devour the soup AND the bread bowl. Growing kids, I guess, HA!

How fun is it to recreate classic restaurant dishes at home? The food don’t always turn out exactly as we remember, but the moment I tasted this soup, I was instantly brought back to my childhood. Sitting at the booth at Panera with my sister and my dad, eating this soup just reminds me of home. Pure nostalgia. I guess that’s the whole idea of comfort food!

This soup does the trick. Not only is it homey and comforting, but it’s ridiculously easy, with only a handful of ingredients. Oh and it reheats well – perfect for a yom tov meal.

I hope you get as much joy eating this as I did. ūüôā Happy Shavuot!

Don’t forget to check out our other Shavuot recipes here!

0 from 0 votes
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Course: Soup
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Rachel Katzman
Ingredients
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups Low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 4 cups Broccoli florets Use frozen to make it SO much easier!
  • 3 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Butter, or ghee
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, melt the butter or ghee on medium heat and cook the garlic for about 1 minute

  2. Add the broth, broccoli, heavy cream, salt and pepper and bring to a boil

  3. Simmer the soup covered for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender

  4. Reduce the heat to low and blend the soup with an immersion/stick blender. If you want to keep chunks of broccoli, you can either use a slotted spoon to take some out, or just blend until most of it is pureed

  5. Turn off the heat and add in the cheddar cheese about 1/2 cup at a time and immediately blend using your immersion blender. If you saved some broccoli for texture, return it to the soup and stir. This is a trick I learned from reading other bloggers and reading cookbooks for this post - blending the cheddar cheese into the soup helps not only to thicken but it prevents the cheese from getting clumpy in the soup

  6. Serve hot with extra cheddar cheese sprinkled on top (and I added a crazy of fresh pepper to garnish too). Bread bowl optional. ūüôā

Pho gà-Vietnamese Spiced Chicken Soup

POP-UP NIGHT

Before we get to the pho, some exciting news. On Sunday November 17th we are doing another pop up night at Congregation Ezras Israel. Last time we did a pop up night it was sold out, so make sure and get your reservations in ASAP. The menu this time is Vietnamese (hence the pho recipe, which will also be served at the pop up). I love the super bright flavors used in Vietnamese cooking. Your taste buds will be rocked by anise, lemongrass and ginger. See below for the full details. Make sure you register for the event before registration closes this Sunday, November 10th!

 

PHO

PhoPho, pronounced fuh, is a Vietnamese street food staple soup that is influenced by Chinese immigrants and French settlers and was later made popular across the world after the Vietnam war by refugees. It is usually made with boiling beef stock poured over thinly sliced raw beef. If you go that route, make sure to slice the beef super thin (partially freezing it first helps) and make sure the stock is boiling so the beef cooks., You can make pho with chicken as in this recipe, pork, or even vegetables. If you make a version with chicken (or pork for our non-kosher friends) I recommend precooking the protein. Unlike beef, you never want to serve rare chicken or pork.

What makes pho different than your Bubby’s chicken soup? It is seasoned with aggressive spices such as ginger, clove, and star anise.¬† Pho is almost always served with rice noodles, and usually comes with a series of accompaniments such as chilies, cilantro, Thai basil, lime, bean sprouts, and scallions. I recommend just giving everyone a bowl with only broth and noodles and putting all the extras on a big platter in the middle of the table so your guests can choose what they want. I think people enjoy what I like to call “interactive eating”. Who says you can’t play with your food??

CHICKEN PHO RECIPE

Pho

5 from 1 vote
Pho
phŠĽü g√†-Vietnamese Spiced Chicken Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
 

A little Jewish penicillin with some Asian flare

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Keyword: Pho
Servings: 8 Bowls
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
Broth
  • 1/2 Gallon Chicken Stock See recipe for chicken soup below or use store bought in a pinch
  • 6 Cloves Garlic Peeled and smashed
  • 1 Large Onion Peeled and quartered
  • 2 inch Piece of Fresh Ginger Peeled
  • 2 Sticks Cinnamon
  • 3 Star Anise Pods
  • 6 Cloves Cloves
  • 1 tbsp (Vegan) Fish Sauce or Soy Sauce See my recipe for vegan fish sauce below
Add Ins
  • Rice Noodles Cooked per the directions on the package
  • Fresh Chili Peppers Sliced thinly on a bias
  • Scallions Sliced thinly on a bias
  • Cilantro Stems removed
  • Lime Cut into wedges
  • Thai Basil Stems removed
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Shredded Roast Chicken This is a great way to use up leftovers or you can you use grocery store rotisserie chicken in a pinch.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350¬įF. Place the garlic, onion, and ginger on the sheet pan. Roast until the aromatics begin to brown.

  2. Add the roasted aromatics, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, and chicken stock to a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes and strain out the solids.

  3. Add the noodles to the bowl and cover with the broth. Top with your favorite add ins and squeeze in some lime juice for some brightness.

5 from 1 vote
Pho
Chicken Soup
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
 

A classic kosher comfort dish.  It's good for what ails you, they don't call it Jewish penicillin for nothing. I don't like anything too fancy in my chicken soup so I stay away from things like zucchini and tomatoes, but if you like them feel free to add them, it won't hurt anything.  

One final note, your soup will never taste as good as your mother's for 2 reasons:

1. Memories are a strong force

2. She probably added some soup mix with MSG to give it that little something extra.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Jewish
Servings: 1 Large Pot
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 4 Medium Carrots Peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 4 Ribs Celery Rinsed, tops and bottoms cut off and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato Peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 Turnip Peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 Parsnip Peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 1 Onion Peeled and roughly chopped
  • Salt To taste
  • Pepper To taste
  • 1 Handful Dill
  • 1 Handful Parsley
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 4 Chicken Leg Quarters Remove and save the fat and skin to make schmaltz
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients in your largest pot and fill with enough water to cover everything, making sure not to fill too high in order to prevent it from boiling over.

  2. Cover the pot and put over high heat and bring to a boil.  Once the soup is at a boil remove the lid and turn the heat down to a simmer.

  3. Let the soup simmer for about four hours or until the soup reduces by about 15%.

  4. Remove chicken from the bones, adding the chicken back in to the soup and discarding the bones.  Serve within a week or freeze for up to six months. 

0 from 0 votes
Pho
Vegan "Fish" Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Fish sauce is a sauce used to add a little funk to a dish.  Fish sauce is usually made by fermenting small fish such as anchovies in salt and then pressing out the liquid from it. While kosher fish sauce is available, I chose to make my own vegan fish sauce as many people who eat strictly kosher do not mix fish with meat or fowl. To create the requisite funk I used a quartet of fermented products, some of which can be hard to find. For that reason, even though I usually shy away from recommending specific brands, I make an exception here. I ended up buying much of what I needed at Whole Foods, but most they can of course be found on Amazon.com.

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Fish Sauce
Servings: 1 Cup
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir until all the solids are dissolved. 

Recipe Notes

This recipe contains affiliate links. We at MYV earn a small commission if you purchase an item through one of those links, which allows us to continue bringing you great tasting food.

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s pop up preview recipe:¬†Vietnamese Coconut Lime Rice Pudding with Mango (X√īi xo√†i)

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with Basil Oil

Roasted Red Pepper SoupThere is nothing more comforting to me than soup. It is also a great make ahead food, all you have to do is quickly warm it up in a pot or the microwave and you are ready to eat in a few minutes. It freezes excellently so you can can make large batches and use it for multiple occasions.

Another good thing about soup is there is there is one for everyone, no matter your taste. You can really let your creativity shine when making it. They say the test of a good chef is his or her soup. Are you meat-lover like me, try hearty chili or a mushroom barley or split pea with some short ribs. Are you a lacto-ovo vegetarian that craves cheese and carbs, go with a french onion soup. Vegan, how about a nice tomato based minestrone. Feeling under the weather, there is nothing better than mom’s chicken soup (AKA Jewish penicillin).

This soup is great to break your fast after Yom Kippur or to keep you warm in the sukkah. It is super easy to make and can be done in about an hour. You do not need to simmer this for half a day. The basil oil adds some great earthiness and richness to balance out the sweetness and acidity of the peppers and tomatoes.

Tip

I also include a basic vegetable stock recipe which can be used as base for many soups and sauces. Pro tip: freeze your stocks in ice cube trays and then move to Ziploc bags.  They will take up less space and you can defrost only what you need.

What is your favorite soup? Let us know in the comments.

5 from 1 vote
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup With Basil Oil
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
 
Course: Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Soup
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 6 Large Red Peppers
  • 6 Large Tomatoes
  • 2-4 Cups Vegetable Stock Homemade ideally, but store bought will work
  • Salt and Pepper To taste
  • 100 Grams Basil Stems removed
  • 200 Grams Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Liters Ice Water
Instructions
  1. Place the peppers and tomatoes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet an put under the broiler on high turning regularly until you get a good char on all sides.

  2. Place the peppers and tomatoes in a large zip top bag and seal. Let steam in the bag until cooled.

  3. Once cooled take the tomatoes and peppers out of the bag and remove the skin and seeds.

  4. Add the peppers and tomatoes to a large pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

  5. Add the vegetable stock a little at a time blending it in between additions until desired texture is achieved.

  6. Bring the soup to a simmer to bring all the flavors together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Drizzle on basil oil (see below) and enjoy, or freeze in an air tight container for up to three months.

Basil Oil
  1. Blanch your basil in boiling water for 20 seconds, then shock in ice water. Remove the basil from the water, squeeze out as much water as can.

  2. Add the basil and oil to a tall narrow container and blend until smooth with an immersion blender. Alternatively you could use a standard blender or food processor. Strain trough a fine mesh strainer and store in the fridge in an air tight container.

0 from 0 votes
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Homemade Vegetable Stock
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
 

An easy vegetable stock recipe to add your dishes instead of water so you don't dilute your flavors. I don't provide amounts for this recipe, as I tend to just use up whatever I have in the fridge.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: California, French
Servings: 1 Pot
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • Carrots Peeled and roughly chopped
  • Onions Peeled and roughly chopped
  • Celery Roughly chopped
  • Herbs Parsley and dill work nicely
  • Salt and Pepper To taste
Other Optional Ingredients
  • Mushrooms
  • Root Vegetables Such as sweet potato, turnip, and parsnip
Instructions
  1. Place the vegetables in the pot and fill with water until the vegetables covered by 3 inches.

  2. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once at a boil lower the heat and simmer until the water is educed by about 25%.

  3. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Strain out the vegetables and use within a week, or freeze for up to three months. Use to make sauces and soups or to cook rice for improved flavor over using water.

Check out some of our other soup recipes:

Zucchini Leek Soup

Cream of Potato Zucchini Soup

Traditional Chicken Soup With (Kosher) Bacon Schmaltz Matzo Balls

Minestrone Soup with Gluten-Free Matzah Balls

Curried Pumpkin Bisque

It’s official.¬† The temperature is dropping and the leaves are slowly turning their bright orange – but how do you know fall is REALLY here?¬† Well, of course, the aroma of pumpkin spice lattes filling the air like a thick cloud! Pumpkin spice lovers, rejoice!

And as we prepare for the festival of Sukkot that starts this evening, so what a perfect way to bring in the official first few days of fall with…you guessed it – PUMPKIN!¬† I know you may be rolling your eyes thinking “ugh, another pumpkin recipe?¬† Really?”¬† But this one is just slightly different.¬† Think of sweet and creamy pumpkin with a touch of heat and warm aromatic spices.¬† This is not your typical overly-sweetened pumpkin pie or pumpkin latte.¬† No, this is pumpkin kicked up a notch!

When I was in college, I became a little obsessed with making soups.  So much so that my roommate bought me a soup-only cookbook!  I think with the craziness of being a full-time college student and working jobs and internships that forced me to make easy dishes that I could make in huge batches and freeze for later.  I loved being able to make this in advance and have friends over for Shabbat dinner, serving up giant bowls of soup like this one, or my Mexican Tortilla Soup (that one was a bit hit).  And even better, anything that you can make in just one pot is always a win in my book.  And this soup would be great if you froze it to serve later.

Quick Tip

Here’s a quick freezer tip:¬† Add the soup in a plastic zip top bag and lay it flat in the freezer (labeled with the content and date, of course) – it makes it easier to store, versus a bulky container!

Fun fact!¬† Did you know that about 10 years ago, I started writing a cookbook?¬† Of course it was titled “Risky Veggie” but I decided to turn it into a blog (well, now technically it morphed into TWO blogs of course), but this soup is one of the recipes from that project – granted it’s been tweaked just slightly over the years.¬† And thank you to my very talented sister Avi, for taking this photo! Maybe one day I’ll get start up again on that cookbook… but in the meantime, here at Meat Your Vegetables, we’d like to wish¬†everyone a chag sameach and Happy Sukkot!

0 from 0 votes
Curried Pumpkin Bisque
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Servings: 4 people
Author: Rachel Katzman
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt Add more, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, or coconut sugar Feel free to use any other sugar substitute, like "Swerve" or Stevia
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper Add more/less depending on how spicy you like it. Make sure to taste as you go along and adjust seasoning to how you like it!
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (almond, coconut cream, cashew, oat) If making this dairy, feel free to add heavy cream instead
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock Use store-bought or homemade - whatever you have on hand!
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice For some brightness
  • 1/4 cup chives, minced (optional) For garnish. Or, you can use popcorn!
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.

  2. Add the cumin seeds and toast for 1 minute, making sure not to burn.

  3. Add the onion, garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cayenne, curry powder, salt and pepper, and toast the spices for another 2 minutes.

  5. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable stock (or you can use chicken stock, if you're making this for a fleishig meal), and light brown sugar . Taste the soup and adjust seasonings if needed.

  6. Simmer the soup for 45 minutes on low-medium until all of the flavors meld together.

  7. Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.  If you don't have an immersion blender, you can ladle the soup into a few batches into your blender - make sure not to fill your blender to the top, as you want some heat to escape.  

  8. Pour the soup back in the pot (if using a blender), and add the non-dairy milk (or heavy cream, if making a milchig meal) and lemon juice. 

  9. Ladle into bowls and garnish with freshly snipped chives, or sprinkle with parve popcorn!

First Night of Rosh Hashanah 5779 Menu Retrospective and Zucchini Leek Soup Recipe

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year was last week.  The the first night I usually go all out and make a huge meal and invite a ton of guests.  There are many traditional food that are often eaten at this meal, each with a symbolic meaning to ensure a good new year.  Often these foods are eaten on their own but I prefer to incorporate them into composed dishes. Some of these foods include:

  • Apples dipped in honey for a sweet year
  • Pomegranates so our merits increase, as the seeds of the pomegranate
  • Carrots, beans, or fenugreek so that we should increase our merits
  • Beets¬†that our adversaries should be removed
  • Fish¬†that we should be fruitful and multiply
  • Fish or Lamb Head so we should get ahead in life (or literally¬†that we should be as a head and not a tail)
  • Dates¬†that our enemies be consumed
  • Leeks or cabbage¬†that our enemies be decimated
  • Gourds so that our merits be proclaimed to G-d

Rosh Hashanah Rosh Hashanah Zucchini SoupMenu

Usually on Rosh Hashanah I make a centerpiece dish like beef short rib or rack of lamb, but I went little easy on myself this year as I have been so busy this summer and just went with a french roast.  Below is my menu, with a few less dishes than usual:

Fish Course: Pomegranate Glazed Salmon with Roasted Beet Slaw (and Fish Head)

Soup Course: Zucchini Leek Soup (Recipe Below)

Meat: Sous Vide and Smoked French Roast With Apple and Fig BBQ Sauce

Chicken: Apple Wood Smoked Chicken

Sides: Roasted Butternut Squash, Date Salad with Honey Lime Dressing, (brought by Rachel)

Beef Bacon Wrapped Dates

Apple and Date Challah Dressing (Or is it stuffing or kugel, IDK)

Honey Roasted Carrots and Sweet Potatoes (AKA Tzimmes)

Sticky Green Beans

Dessert:  Caramel Apple Bundt Cake (made by my wife using a recipe from the cookbook Something Sweet by very talented  Miriam Pascal of the blog Overtime Cook).

To be honest with you, no one touched the chicken and the dates were a bit of a hard sell. People seemed to like the salmon and the roast.  The soup and green beans were also a hit.  The salad, carrots and sweet potatoes, and dressing (stuffing/kugel) seem to have a fairly standard response.  And everyone always likes dessert.

What are some of your favorite Rosh Hashanah dishes? Is there a dish that you make every year or a special recipe that has been passed down for generation in your family? Let us know in the comments below.

0 from 0 votes
Rosh Hashanah Zucchini Soup
Zucchini Leek Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

A hearty soup that couldn't be easier.  Can be made with chicken stock, or vegetable broth if you want to keep it vegan.

Course: Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine: Kosher
Keyword: Soup
Servings: 10
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 8 Large Zucchinis
  • 64 oz Chicken Stock or Vegetable Broth Homemade would be ideal but 2 cartons of stock or broth will work
  • 3 Large Leeks Tough green parts removed, white and light green parts sliced and cleaned
  • 4 Medium Potatoes Peeled and chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1/4 lb Thinly Sliced Beef Fry or Bacon Optional
Special Equipment
  • Immersion (AKA Stick) Blender
Instructions
  1. Peel and slice 6 of the zucchini and all 4 of the potatoes. Slice the the peeled zucchinis, potatoes and 2 of the leeks in to 1/4" rounds. Reserve the other zucchinis and leek for later.  Make sure to clean the leeks thoroughly as they can be sandy. 

  2. Pour the chicken stock or vegetable broth in a large stock pot and add the sliced 4 potatoes, 6 zucchinis and 2 leeks.  Put over high heat and cook until the potatoes starting to break apart.

  3. Using the immersion blender, process until smooth.

  4. Slice the additional 2 zucchinis and the leeks in to 1/4" rounds and add to the soup.  Cook until the zucchini just start to soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. (Optional) Fry the beef fry or bacon in a pan or the oven until crispy.  Chop into small pieces and use to garnish the soup

 

Cream of Potato Zucchini Soup

Why a cream based soup this week? I’m glad you asked. Saturday night begins the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, on which many people have the tradition of eating meals that contain dairy and are Potato Soupdevoid of meat.¬† Strict Jewish law prohibits eating dairy and meat at the the same meal.¬† For many people that means dishes like cheese lasagna, sweet blintzes (Jewish crepes), and cheesecake for dessert, but for me it has has always been an excuse to bust out the butter and heavy cream, taking the opportunity to trade the traditional chicken soup for something a little more rich and decadent.

One of the great things about this soup is that it does not require hours of simmering as it uses cream and milk instead of stock.  You do need to be careful to cook this soup over a low flame and stir it often, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot as you stir. This soup, like many thick soups, can easily burn on the bottom if you are not careful.

5 from 1 vote
Potato Soup
Cream of Potato Zucchini Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

A velvety rich soup, great for any special occasion. 

Course: Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Soup
Servings: 12
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 12 Medium Russet Potatoes Peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 2 Medium Leeks Sliced and cleaned. Leeks can be sandy so make sure to clean them well.
  • 6 Medium Zucchinis 4 peeled and sliced into rounds, and 2 sliced but not not peeled
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 2-4 Cups 2% Milk
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter Split into two 1 tbsp pieces
  • White Pepper To taste. Black pepper will ruin the beautiful white color of this soup.
  • Kosher Salt
Special Equipemnt
  • Immersion Blender
Instructions
  1. Fill a large heavy pot 2/3 with salted water.  Add 10 of the potatoes and put over high heat.

  2. Boil the potatoes until they easily break apart with a fork, then remove from the heat, drain off the water, and set the potatoes aside. 

  3. Put the pot back over low heat and add 1/2 the butter (1 tbsp), the leeks, and a heavy pinch of salt. Saute until the leeks start to brown. 

  4. Add the other half of the butter and the peeled zucchini rounds.  Brown the zucchini on both sides.

  5. Add the potatoes back in to the pot along with the cream.  Place over low heat and simmer until until the zucchini is soft.  Make sure to stir often to prevent the bottom from burning.

  6. Turn off the heat and using an immersion blender to puree until smooth.  Slowly incorporate the milk until your desired consistency is achieved.  You may not need all 4 cups.

  7. Add in the remaining 2 potatoes and the unpeeled zucchini slices and place back over medium heat. Simmer until you can easily insert a knife into the potatoes, again stirring often to prevent the bottom from burning.

  8. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.  Serve immediately, or freeze for the future.

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s Shavuot Recipe:¬†Dairy-free maple cinnamon custard

Traditional Chicken Soup With (Kosher) Bacon Schmaltz Matzo Balls

When it comes to Passover (AKA Pesach), most families have more traditions than Fiddler on the Roof. ¬†I was all set to make you a super traditional matzo ball with homemade chicken¬†schmaltz and gribenes. ¬†I figured this was going to be an easy challenge to beat Rachel at. ¬†How could a vegetarian gluten free dish beat (to quote Walter from The Big Lebowski)¬†“…three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax”. ¬†So I spent hours slowly rendering chicken skin to extract some liquid gold and produce crispy little chicken skin cracklings, and then…and then one of my kids spilled my schmaltz. All over the kitchen floor. Needless to say, I was not happy.

That is when I went in to problem solving mode. ¬†What do I have in the house that is similar to schmaltz? That is where I completely broke with tradition and went to one of my favorite crutches, (kosher) bacon. Ask your Bubby, there ain’t nothing traditional about bacon. That being said, it does provide¬†fat and crunch just like schmaltz and¬†gribenes.

Let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments. ¬†Also, let me know if you like my matzo ball soup or Rachel’s better. ¬†You can find hers here:¬†Minestrone Soup with Gluten-Free Matzah Balls

5 from 1 vote
Pho
Chicken Soup
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
 

A classic kosher comfort dish.  It's good for what ails you, they don't call it Jewish penicillin for nothing. I don't like anything too fancy in my chicken soup so I stay away from things like zucchini and tomatoes, but if you like them feel free to add them, it won't hurt anything.  

One final note, your soup will never taste as good as your mother's for 2 reasons:

1. Memories are a strong force

2. She probably added some soup mix with MSG to give it that little something extra.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Jewish
Servings: 1 Large Pot
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 4 Medium Carrots Peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 4 Ribs Celery Rinsed, tops and bottoms cut off and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato Peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 Turnip Peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 Parsnip Peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 1 Onion Peeled and roughly chopped
  • Salt To taste
  • Pepper To taste
  • 1 Handful Dill
  • 1 Handful Parsley
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 4 Chicken Leg Quarters Remove and save the fat and skin to make schmaltz
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients in your largest pot and fill with enough water to cover everything, making sure not to fill too high in order to prevent it from boiling over.

  2. Cover the pot and put over high heat and bring to a boil.  Once the soup is at a boil remove the lid and turn the heat down to a simmer.

  3. Let the soup simmer for about four hours or until the soup reduces by about 15%.

  4. Remove chicken from the bones, adding the chicken back in to the soup and discarding the bones.  Serve within a week or freeze for up to six months. 

5 from 2 votes
Matzo Balls
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Jewish
Servings: 12 Small Matzo Balls
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Matzo Meal
  • 2 tbsp Cold Chicken Stock
  • 2 tbsp Fat (Kosher) Bacon grease, chicken schmaltz, or vegetable oil
  • 1 Large Egg Beaten
  • 2 tbsp (Kosher) Bacon or Gribenes Chopped very fine
  • 2 quarts Chicken Stock For cooking the Matzo Balls
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except the 2 quarts of chicken stock in a large mixing bowl, stir with a large wooden spoon, ideally one passed down from your Bubby, until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Put the mixture in the fridge for about an hour to hydrate.

  2. Roll out the matzo balls just slightly smaller than a golf ball and cook in chicken stock for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately or remove from liquid and freeze.

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