Buka’s Nigerian Chicken Pepper Soup
1 yellow onion, diced
Few sprigs of fresh mint
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cups of chicken stock
Fresh habanero peppers (to taste) chopped fine
1 tbsp pepper soup spice
Salt to taste
Place chicken, onion, thyme, habanero peppers, salt and spices in a large pot.
Cook on a low flame for 25 minutes.
Add the stock and boil for an additional 20 minutes.
Remove from heat
Stir in mint and serve.
pepper soup spice sold at Buka Market
Based on Smitten Kitchen’s lentil soup with sausage, chard, and garlic
1/4 c olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
A pinch of chili pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
4 turkey or chicken Italian sausages (not pre-cooked), with the casings removed
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
6 c chicken or vegetable broth
1 c dried lentils
2 heaping handfuls of Kale, chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, chili flakes, salt and pepper, and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the sausage and break up into small pieces with a spoon. Heat until cooked through.
Open the can of tomatoes and chop them into roughly 1/2-inch chunks. An easy way to do this is by cutting them with a pair of kitchen scissors while they’re still in the can. Add the tomatoes (with their juices) and the broth to the pot.
When the soup boils, rinse and add the lentils. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are cooked. Add the kale and simmer for 5 more minutes.
In August, I left Brooklyn and moved to the North Dakota-Minnesota border where my boyfriend, Nick, is a fifth-generation farmer. I arrived just in time for harvest, so with Nick’s 14-hour tractor shifts, our Shabbat meals have been improvised, eaten out of Thermoses, and rustic. (“Rustic” is just my glorified way of saying that bits of soil from the field may or may not have made their way onto our utensils by the time we ate.)
What the locals don’t specify when you’re warned about the brutal winters here is that soup weather arrives much earlier than it does in Brooklyn. Which is something to celebrate; you take what you can when the tales of -40 degree temperatures start circulating. And so my favorite Shabbat meal thus far was a few weeks ago during navy bean harvest. It consisted of a simple but filling soup, shared with Nick during a very bumpy chisel-plowing ride.
The soup is a lentil soup, and it’s one that I made nearly every week during soup weather when I lived in Brooklyn. I’d add kale from the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket and sausage from Fleischer’s; this time I added kale from the farmstead garden and sausage from a local turkey farm. Both renditions were amazing.
Perched up on our little tractor seats, two spoons and one Thermos, our first bites instantly brought us back to Brooklyn in the fall. It was the kind of nostalgia that you really only get from a warm comforting dish, and it came on like a strong drink on an empty stomach. As the sun went down, we gobbled up that soup, and I peered out the tractor window where the crops stretched into the horizon. It wasn’t a traditional Shabbat, and admittedly it wasn’t totally restful either, but it was indeed memorable, beautiful, and delicious.
Click here for Molly Yeh’s recipe for lentil, sausage and kale soup to warm those cold Shabbat nights.
If you’ve looked at a thermometer lately, watched weather on the ones or stepped outside you’ve probably noticed that much of the country is in a heat wave. Never one to ditch my favorite hobby just because it’s getting a little hot in the kitchen, I’ve taken to preparing cold soups and so have many of my friends. So I asked around for everyone’s favorite cold soup recipes and was offered so many delicious recipes, I don’t know which to make first. These six are perfect for Shabbat or lunch during the week.
What’s your favorite cold soup? Tell us about it in the comments.
1) This red pepper soup is the “perfect summer soup,” says my friend Ari. “It wasn’t as complicated as many Ottolenghi recipes are, but had just the right amount of spice and herbs to make it an Ottolenghi classic.” [Yotam Ottolenghi’s Chilled Red Pepper Soup]
2) Monte Mathews who runs the food site Chewing the Fat offers his take on a classic vichyssoise. While the recipe calls for chicken stock, vegetable stock will work just fine. [Not My Mother’s Vichyssoise]
3) Fresh off of her honeymoon, my colleague Abigail Jones tried her hand in the kitchen to make this watermelon gazpacho. “It’s fast, easy and fresh. It’s also fool proof: drop a tomato, some watermelon and a few other veggies into a blender, then, you know, blend. And it’s delicious: a cold burst of fresh summer flavors, plus that great taste of feta mixed in. The best part? Chunks of watermelon you add to the soup before serving.” [Tyler Florence’s Watermelon Gazpacho]
4) Ingredients columnist Leah Koenig is one of my go to recipe gurus. She swears by this green gazpacho that’s made with greens (of course), walnuts and Greek yogurt. [Green Gazpacho from Leite’s Culinaria].
5) For a taste of the old world, try Leah’s own farmers’ market schav. It cooled down Jews on the Lower East Side long before the days of air conditioning. [Market Schav]
6) What would a roundup of cold soups on a Jewish site be without borscht? Every family seems to have their own take on the classic dish, but if you want to try something different, give this chunky borscht topped with avocado a try. [Chunky Borscht]
Bubbes around the world share pictures of themselves cooking in their kitchens. So cute, we almost want to pinch someone’s cheeks. [The Kitchn]
Give the old matzo ball soup a rest and try carrot soup with tahini and crisped chickpeas. [Smitten Kitchen]
Things are getting real! Here are 20 unspoken truths about the food world. [First We Feast]
Can’t wait for the Downton Abbey Season 3 premier on Sunday? Neither can we. Here’s a menu to celebrate the occasion. [Food52]
Virtuous meals to start the new year with (and to help keep those resolutions). [Serious Eats]
In modern times, Passover has become a holiday where a lot of the foods prepared, rely on processed items, like matzo meal, making one feel shackled down by the weight of those carb bombs. However in keeping with Chag Ha Aviv, it’s more appropriate for seasonal produce to shine. Of the many dishes I am preparing for Passover, one is a Cauliflower and Leek Soup, which serves as an edible illustration to inculcate the story of Passover. This seasonal vegetable soup symbolizes the many meanings of Passover, with an emphasis on the newness of spring, where we have the potential as a nation to always renew ourselves.
In the Northeast, as winter creeps upon us and the weather seems to only get colder and brisker, one food seems to continually pop into my appetite: soup. As a self-proclaimed soup aficionado, I frequently find myself preparing new soup recipes, testing them out at Shabbat meals. Since my lentil soup proved a pre-fast hit on Yom Kippur, I’ve been searching for the perfect winter soup to serve to my Shabbat meal guests. Perhaps most strikingly, chicken soup will be absent from my winter soup repertoire. I inherited my mother’s excellent knack for making chicken soup, always adding the most important ingredient of love, but this skill is all for naught since I began eating vegetarian this past summer. Sure, I can make vegetarian chicken soup, but I’d rather take advantage of the wonderful, seasonal offerings to make a winter soup.
One of the many wonderful things I learned last year had nothing to do with my studies in school, and more to do with cooking. I learned that soup, much like any other dish, didn’t need a recipe to turn out delicious. I had to trust my instincts, and my taste buds, to prepare creative meals. I loved the idea of cooking without recipes, as I have always been one to throw away instruction manuals and directions, and through a joint effort, my roommate and I began an almost weekly tradition of soup and homemade artisan bread. Our soups nursed us through our winter midterms, and a great pot of soup would last us a week, meaning less time we had to spend preparing meals as we got increasingly busy. Below are a few guidelines that will help you to prepare the perfect seasonal soup, leaving plenty of flexibility to make the soup uniquely yours.
Friday night dinners at our home were inviolable.
We rarely ate dinner out the rest of the week, but there were exceptions: good pasta con ceci at the Italian restaurant in the mall where my father drank sambuca with coffee beans floated in it, adventures in the city to find Peking duck.
Friday night dinner at home was an unbreakable rule, though. It was an amazing one in inciting no protest, even as my brother and I grew, and adolescent imperatives began to press against parental constraints.
If you are Russian, then you know implicitly that, much like the proverbial tree in the forest, a meal didn’t actually happen unless soup was involved. Or, in my grandmother’s words, if we didn’t eat our soup, our kishki (intestines) would dry up. Consequently, I have spent a lot of my life eating soup.
Like any immigrant kitchen, my family’s new country has crept in and changed the way we eat over our 30-odd years in Canada. One of those moments came when I was 14, when we had already been here for 12 years. I returned from summer camp and announced that I was done with red meat. I don’t remember why, but I suspect it had more to do with “being cool” than with bovine well-being.
For Russians, vegetarianism was an unheard of indulgence. You ate what was available. But, I was stubborn, and my mother wasn’t keen to cook double dinners. We began eating more chicken and fish, and less red meat. But some things were sacrosanct. Soup was one of them and that soup often had meat in it.
From crispy fried gribenes to the mouth-puckering sorrel soup, schav, too many of the foods loved by our Jewish ancestors have fallen to the wayside. Help the Forward’s Ingredients columnist, Leah Koenig, elect the top 10 traditional Jewish foods/dishes (Ashkenazi, Sephardic or other) to rescue from culinary oblivion and bring back to the contemporary table. Nominate your favorite lost treasures by posting comments here, or send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then watch for the final list in the March 11 issue of the Forward.