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Indian Mulligatawny Soup

Tina Wasserman

This soup hails from the Tamil region of southern India (the first Indian region inhabited by Jews). The name means “fire water,” but this soup is not that spicy. It is loaded with flavor and packed with protein from the chicken as well as the chickpeas. It is very easy to make and fun to eat, especially if you serve it over rice, with peanuts, coconut, and raisins sprinkled on top.

One 3-pound chicken, cut up
6 cups chicken stock or water
1 onion stuck with 6 cloves
1 stalk of celery
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of parsley
Salt to taste
15 whole peppercorns
1 cup packaged coconut
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
6 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/8–1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup soy creamer or water
Salt and pepper to taste
Coconut, raisins, peanuts
Basmati rice (see Tina's Tidbits below)
  1. Cook the chicken in a 4-quart pot with the next 8 ingredients for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender. Strain the broth, and remove the skin and bones from the meat.
  2. Put 2 cups of the strained broth into a blender and add the cup of packaged coconut. Blend until the coconut is pulverized. You have now created fresh coconut milk. Strain this coconut milk over a bowl through cheesecloth or a doublemesh strainer to remove all the solid particles of coconut. Throw away any coconut solids.
  3. If the blender is gritty, rinse out the container. Add the coconut milk and chickpeas to the blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Combine all of the dried spices with the flour in a small bowl. Set aside. Melt the margarine in a 3-quart saucepan. Whisk in the flour mixture and the garlic, and stir for 1 minute.
  5. Whisk in the coconut milk mixture and the remaining broth until smooth and thickened.
  6. Add the creamer (or water) and the chicken pieces, and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Serve.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • To make this soup into a meal, place a scoop of cooked basmati rice (very fragrant rice) in the bottom of the soup bowl. Pour the soup over the rice, and pass dishes of the optional condiments for guests to sprinkle on top of their soup.
  •  Coconut milk is not milk at all but the white liquid derived from grinding coconut with water and then squeezing the pulp to extract as much flavor as possible.

Chicken Soup with Chicken Meatballs and Zucchini Spaghetti

Paula Shoyer

Like most people, I love matzah balls. Although everyone knows me as a from-scratch baker, I am admitting here that I always make matzah balls from the mix. After eating my mother’s matzah balls for years, which alternated from year to year between light and fluffy and something else (I think because of variations in egg sizes), once I tried the balls from the mix, I never went back. Constant dieting has forced me to avoid them, so I developed chicken meatballs as an alternative. They even look like matzah balls. But the traditionalists out there need not worry, as I have also provided ideas below for updating traditional matzah balls.

This soup may be made 3 days in advance or frozen; meatballs may be made 1 day in advance.

2 whole medium chickens, cut into pieces
2 large onions, quartered
6 carrots, peeled and cut in half
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut lengthwise in half
6 stalks celery with leaves, cut crosswise in half
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 parsnips, peeled and cut in thirds
1 fennel bulb, quartered
1 turnip, peeled and quartered
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 gallon (3.8L) water
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch dill
Salt and black pepper
2 boneless chicken breasts (about 5–6 ounces each)
1/4 cup (60ml) chicken stock
2 tablespoons ground almonds or matzah meal
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large egg
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 medium zucchini, not peeled

To make the soup

Place the chicken pieces in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, leek, celery, garlic, parsnips, fennel, turnip, bay leaves, and salt. Add the water and bring to a boil. Use a large spoon to skim the scum off the top of the soup. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let the soup simmer, checking after 5 minutes and skimming off any additional scum. Add the parsley and dill, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Let cool. Strain through a large sieve, reserving the carrots to return to the soup when serving. Taste the soup and add more salt or pepper if necessary.

To make the meatballs

While the soup is cooking, prepare the meatball mixture. In the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade attachment, mix together the chicken, stock, ground almonds, garlic, and egg until a paste forms. Add the scallions, salt, and pepper and pulse a few times to mix. Transfer the meatball mixture to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for up to 1 day, until ready to shape and cook the meatballs.

Use a spoon to scoop up the meatball batter and wet hands to shape it into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) balls. Bring the strained soup to a simmer, add the meatballs, cover, and cook for 8 minutes.

To make the garnish

Meanwhile, prepare the zucchini “spaghetti” for the garnish. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick (6-mm) slices. Keeping the stack together, use a vegetable peeler to shave the zucchini into long strips. Slice the reserved cooked carrots into rounds and return them to the soup. Top each serving of soup and meatballs with some of the zucchini spaghetti.

Matzah Ball Variations

Combine your choice of any one of the following with one packet from a 5-ounce (142g) package of matzah ball mix to make 13 matzah balls. Plan on 2 matzah balls per person:

• 1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped ginger plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro

• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 carrot peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch (6 mm) pieces

• 1½ teaspoons mixed finely chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and basil 

Reprinted with permission from New Passover Menu © 2015 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Michael Bennett Kress

Paula Shoyer, “the kosher baker,” is the author of The Holiday Kosher Baker, The Kosher Baker, The New Passover Menu and The Healthy Jewish Kitchen (November 2017). Paula graduated with a pastry degree from the Ritz Escoffier in Paris, and does cooking and baking demos across the United States and around the world for Jewish organizations, synagogues, Jewish book festivals and more. She is a freelance writer for the Washington Post, Hadassah, Joy of Kosher, and Jewish Food Experience, among other publications. Paula competed on Food Network's Sweet Genius and appears on TV before every major Jewish holiday – over 26 times. In 2015, Paula was honored by Jewish Women International as a “Woman to Watch” and in 2016 as a “kosher food pioneer” by the kosher food bloggers community. Paula lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband and four children.

Pink Lentil Soup with Lamb Kofte

Michael Solomonov

With my first opportunity to have my cooking professionally reviewed, I scrambled to find a new soup. Searching for inspiration at a local market, I spied a container of pink lentils. Pink lentils have great flavor but lose their shape after cooking—perfect for a pureed soup. They cook quickly and color the soup a beautiful golden orange. I had a whole lamb in the walk-in, so I smoked the neck and added it to the pot to give the soup some depth. Then I ground the shoulder to make lamb-stuffed cabbage dumplings.

As I mixed together the ingredients for the stuffing — ground lamb, grated onion, parsley, and cinnamon — the soup surprised me: It took on an Israeli profile. Following my instincts, I charred the ground lamb kofte in a pan and then wrapped them in cabbage leaves to finish cooking in a low oven. To me, the soup tasted just like an Israeli kebab shop, or as restaurant critic Craig LaBan was to write a few weeks later, "Jerusalem in a bowl."

¼ cup olive oil
6 large onions, halved and sliced
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups pink or red lentils
1 large carrot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup caramelized onions
6 cups chicken stock
2 smoked turkey wings (optional)
1 pound ground lamb
1 onion, grated
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup club soda
Canola oil, for cooking the kofte
8 large Napa cabbage leaves

For the caramelized onions: Warm the oil over low heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and a couple pinches of salt. Cook over low heat, stirring periodically, until the onions are completely brown and almost spreadably soft, about 3 hours. Caramelized onions freeze well and will keep for a few months. Makes about 1 ½ cups.

For the soup: Warm the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the lentils, carrot, garlic, cumin seeds, salt, and caramelized onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrot begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and turkey wings, if you like, raise the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the lentils have fallen apart and the flavors have thoroughly blended, about 1 ½ hours. Discard the turkey wings if using. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth, adding up to 1 cup water to thin the soup to the desired consistency.

For the lamb kofte: Combine the lamb, onion, parsley, salt, sugar, black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, and club soda in a large bowl. Mix gently by hand until well blended. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic onto the surface of the mixture, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Working with damp hands, form the mixture into logs about 1 inch in diameter and 3 inches long. Arrange on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To cook the kofte: Heat ¼ inch oil in a large skillet until shimmering but not smoking. Add the kofte and sauté until nicely brown on all sides but still rare in the middle, about 3 minutes total.

To wrap and bake the kofte: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cabbage leaves and cook for 2 minutes, until softened. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water to chill, remove, and pat dry. Cut away and discard the tough vein at the bottom of each leaf, burrito style, and arrange in a small baking dish.

Lightly brush the wrapped kofte with oil and bake until the lamb is just cooked through, about 20 minutes.

To serve: Reheat the soup, ladle it into wide, shallow bowls, then slide in the lamb kofte.

Excerpted with permission from ZAHAV by Michael Solomonov. Copyright © 2015 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Photography © 2015 by Mike Persico. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Chef Michael Solomonov was born in Israel and grew up in Pittsburgh. He and Steven Cook are the co-owners of CookNSolo Restaurants, home to some of Philadelphia's most distinctive culinary concepts, including Zahav, Federal Donuts, Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, Rooster Soup Co., and Goldie. They are a combined four-time James Beard Award Winners, including the 2016 "Best International Cookbook" and "Book of the Year" awards for their first cookbook, Zahav, and a 2011 "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic" win for Solomonov and who in May, was named the 2017 JBF's "Outstanding Chef".

Vegan Borscht

Mark Reinfeld

With origins in the Ukraine and popular throughout Eastern Europe, borscht has made its way across the Atlantic and all the way to the Catskill Mountains in New York, popularly referred to as the Borscht Belt. The base of the soup is the humble beet, which was immortalized in the book Jitterbug Perfume, and which will be sure to let your cutting board, and your hands, know that it was used in the dish. For the full effect, serve with a dollop of Vegan Sour Cream. 

A vegan or plant-based diet is one that is free from all animal products. Vegan foods are pareve by nature - without dairy or meat. The reasons people choose to enjoy vegan foods are many. First and foremost, they taste incredible! People also turn to vegan foods for weight-loss and disease prevention. It seems that every week there are new studies and testimonials published of people who have regained their health by dropping their cholesterol levels, losing weight, and coming off heart and diabetes medications by including more plant based foods in their diets. There are now numerous studies demonstrating that many serious illnesses, such heart disease, obesity, and diabetes can be prevented and reversed by enjoying more vegan foods.

Want to be Earth friendly? In addition to providing an out of this world culinary experience, eating vegan foods also happens to be one of the most effective steps we can take to protect the environment. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions -more than the entire World’s transportation industry combined. Others turn to vegan foods out of compassion and sensitivity to suffering of the animals, especially those raised through factory farming. Whatever your reason for having enjoying a vegan meal, there is no need to compromise on flavor - an exciting culinary universe awaits!

1 tablespoon oil
1 yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup sliced celery
3 garlic cloves
1 cup small-diced potato
1 cup diced carrot or parsnip (or 1/2 cup of each)
3 beets, chopped into 1/4-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
5 1/2 cups heated vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce (optional)
1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
About 1/2 cup Vegan Sour Cream
Black sesame seeds
Dill sprigs
3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise or homemade)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh dill, or a pinch of dried dill (optional)
  1. Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Place the oil, onion, celery, and garlic in the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the potato, carrot, beets, and vegetable stock and cook until the beets are just soft, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Add the lemon juice and vinegar, the soy sauce, if using, and the salt, pepper, and celery seeds, if using, and stir well. Carefully transfer to a strong blender and blend until creamy. Return the mixture to the pot. Add the dill and parsley and stir well.
  3. Combine the vegan sour cream ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.
  4. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of black sesame seeds, and a sprig of fresh dill.


  • For an added layer of flavor, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste along with vegetable stock.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke along with vegetable stock.

Mark Reinfeld is the winner of’s Recipe of the Year Award for 2011 and has over 20 years experience preparing creative vegan and raw food cuisine. Mark was the Executive Chef for the North American Vegetarian Society’s 2013 & 2012 Summerfest, one of the largest vegetarian conferences in the world. He is described by as being “poised on the leading edge of contemporary vegan cooking”. He is the founding chef of the Blossoming Lotus Restaurant, winner of Honolulu Advertiser’s ‘Ilima Award for “Best Restaurant on Kaua’i”. Mark is also the recipient of a Platinum Carrot Award for living foods – a national award given by the Aspen Center of Integral Health to America’s top “innovative and trailblazing healthy chefs.

Mark received his initial culinary training from his grandfather Ben Bimstein, a renowned chef and ice carver in New York City. He developed his love for World culture and cuisine during travel journeys through Europe, Asia and the Middle East . His first cookbook, Vegan World Fusion Cuisine, coauthored with Bo Rinaldi and with a foreword by Dr. Jane Goodall, has won several national awards, including “Cookbook of the Year’, and a Gourmand Award for ‘Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA ’. Mark's upcoming book, The 30 Minute Vegan Soups On! will be released in November of 2013. Mark currently offers culinary courses, trainings, and consulting services worldwide and online. 

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