Recently I had the pleasure of dining at chef Moshe Basson’s Eucalyptus restaurant in Jerusalem – twice. One of the things I liked best on the tasting menu was this trio of soups served in espresso cups. Just enough for a hearty taste , not so much as to dull the appetite. They are all vegetarian and pareve.
With Sukkot just about on top of us, and the weather finally turning cooler, it seems a good idea to keep soup recipes on the top of the printout pile. (Mine is an untidy, toppling pile whose papers are already stained and crumpled. I keep promising myself I’m going to organize the recipes alphabetically into a nice, neat folder…someday.)
So here are three soups for your holiday, the same soups I sipped at Eucalyptus. I wish you a chag Sukkot sameach!
Three Sukkot Soups
The knobbly, pale-tan Jerusalem artichokes are still in season, so try this light soup at least once. It’s the first from the right in the photograph. The recipe comes from Moshe Basson, via Delicious Living.
1. Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
750 grams – 1 -1/2 lb. Jerusalem artichokes , peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
4 cups vegetable broth
12 blanched almonds
2 tablespoons water
1 pinch powdered saffron
Juice of ½ lemon, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, including stems
Place a heavy pot or Dutch oven over low heat. Add olive oil and onions. Cover and sauté about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to sweat and soften onions.
Add garlic and sunchokes, and increase heat to medium. Sauté, uncovered, for several minutes. Add broth, plus salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
Using a spice grinder or food processor, coarsely grind almonds and mix with 2 tablespoons water. Add mixture to soup. Add saffron and lemon juice, whisking to blend thoroughly. Heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice. Serve piping hot, garnished with fresh parsley.
The soup in the middle of the photo is Tomato-Mint. Surprisingly spicy and refreshing.
2. Tomato-Mint Soup
6 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
2 medium onions , chopped
1 carrot, chopped
7 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil (or butter, if liked)
1/2 tablespoon cornflour
4-5 cups vegetable stock
salt and black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a soup pan and add chopped onions. Sauté a few minutes till the onions are soft.
Add garlic and mint leaves and fry another 2 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes and carrot and continue frying for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add 4 cups stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, until all the vegetables are cooked through.
Blend with a stick blender or food processor to puree the soup. Add more stock to desired thickness of soup.
3. Lentil Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, sliced thinly
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium tomato, skinned and chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
Heat the oil in a large pot. Sautée the onions, carrot and celery in it till the onions are soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook a further 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, lentils, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and salt.
Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until lentils are soft, about 45 minutes.
Remove bay leaves. Blend lightly to make a thin puree with some chunks in it. Adjust seasoning. Stir in lemon juice before serving.