All You Really Need is Soup

“Only the pure of heart can make good soup”
Beethoven

Winter is a good excuse to make hearty soups, something that is true in my house. Mr BT is a world class soup maker. His repertoire includes: chicken soup, lentil soup, onion soup, vegetable soup and cauliflower soup. He always makes a big pot for us to enjoy throughout the week or he freezes some of it to enjoy whenever we want. As the lovely quote from Beethoven states, Mr BT puts his heart and soul in his soups. I am a lucky woman.

Like most of Mr BT’s creations, the recipe for this soup can vary according to what vegetables are seasonally available. You can also substitute lentils or barley for the chickpeas. You may find turkey soup a little unusual: Mr BT decided to start using turkey as a partial or complete substitute for the more common chicken because it has a stronger flavour and has much more meat that similar cuts of chicken.

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Mr BT's Turkey and Vegetable Soup
Servings: 10 liters (2 gallons)
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dried medium chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large yellow onions thinly sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic chopped
  • 8 large carrots quartered lengthwise and sliced 6mm (1/4 inch) thick
  • 1/2 head celery dark green leaves removed, sliced
  • 20 juniper berries
  • 3 large sprigs fresh oregano
  • 6 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 4 turkey wings separated or 2 turkey necks, cut into 8cm (3-inch) sections
  • 500 g 1lb beef soup bones
  • 1/2 head white cabbage cut lengthwise into six pieces and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium courgettes zucchinis, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 red and 2 yellow peppers cut into small chunks
  • 3 large tomatoes cut into small pieces, keeping the pulp
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of chicken soup powder mixed with a little hot water
Instructions
  1. The night before making the soup, place chickpeas in a medium sized bowl, add baking soda and cover with enough warm water to leave 4cm (1-1/2 inches) above the chickpeas.
  2. Gently heat enough olive oil (not extra virgin) to saute the onions. Add onions and stir as they saute. After 10 minutes, add the carrots, the celery, juniper berries, thyme, oregano and bay leaves. Cover the pot and saute gently for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure they do not stick to the bottom.
  3. Add soup bones and turkey, and continue to saute gently for another 20 minutes, covered. Add the cabbage, and continue to saute, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
  4. Add water (hot, if you have a kettle) to within 2.5cm (1 inch) of the top of the pot, bring to a boil, and then lower the flame to a rolling simmer. Add the chickpeas. Leave to simmer for at least 2 hours.
  5. Add the courgette, peppers, tomatoes and the soup powder mixture. Continue to simmer for at least 30 minutes. Serve piping hot.
  6. This soup is better on the second and third day.

Jewish Penicillin for Pesach

Nathan Matza Ball Soup

I love chicken soup and I may be a bit bold to say this, but I think my chicken soup is very good. I have been tweaking this recipe for about twenty years and I think I have just right. This is not a clear broth soup; it is a rich broth. My husband says, “This broth is rich enough to be a hedge fund.” Forgive me, he has a one track mind because of his startup company.

I won my husband’s heart with my soup and matza balls. I am going to be making a big pot for the seder next week. I always make the soup a day ahead so that the flavours will have time to develop.

I have to tell you that you should be very honoured that I am parting with my soup and family matza ball recipe :-). I hope you will make them with as much love as I do.

Chag Sameach everyone! Next Year in Jerusalem!

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Mama K's World Famous Matza Balls
This recipe has been handed down from generation to generation in my family. It is Westphalian and Alsatian. If you are afraid of using chicken fat, try half chicken fat and half olive oil.
Servings: 45 matza balls
Ingredients
  • 14 matzos
  • 2 medium white onions chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup melted chicken fat and/or goose fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt you made want to add more
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7 eggs lightly beaten with a fork
  • 1/8 cup matza meal
  • Additional matza meal for rolling
Instructions
  1. Step 2 Wet Matza
  2. Wet Matza
  3. Break the matzas into chunks and put into a colander placed in sink. Run water over the colander until the matza is moist, but not water logged. Let the water drain and let stand for one to two minutes. (Can be put into plastic bag and kept overnight in the refrigerator.)
  4. Onions Browning
  5. Brown the onions in melted fat in large heavy frying pan over medium heat until "real brown".
  6. Step 4 Add Matza
  7. Add the matzas and stir gently frequently. Most of the moisture has to evaporate. If mixture sticks to bottom, put lid on the pan for a few minutes to soften. Add the salt, pepper, parsley and nutmeg.
  8. Cooked Mixture
  9. Cool until no more steam comes off the mixture because it must be cool enough so the eggs won't cook.
  10. Mixture with Eggs
  11. Add the eggs and gently stir in the matza meal.
  12. Test the first matza ball by placing it in boiling water. Test that it maintains it shape and taste to check if more salt, pepper and nutmeg should be added.
  13. Finished product
  14. Place a thick layer of matza meal on foil-lined cookie sheet. Use spoons or scoop to make balls, rolling very carefully into the size of a large walnut, using as little pressure as possible. Place on cookie sheet and roll in meal. If you prefer, wet your hands and roll in palm, but this requires scraping off hands and re-wetting frequently. Discard the excess matza meal. Leave on the cookie sheet in the refrigerator, covered with wax paper, or freeze on the sheet before packing in bags for freezer. They can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
  15. Bring chicken soup to a boil and add Matzo Balls (after they have been brought to room temperature) a few at a time. When they rise to the top, put the lid on the soup for 5 minutes. Serve and say AAHHHH loudly with each bite.

I always make the matza balls ahead of time and freeze them. Since my matza balls are a little different from most, I thought I would give you a step-by-step instruction in case you would like to try to make them.

Print
Mama K's World Famous Matza Balls
This recipe has been handed down from generation to generation in my family. It is Westphalian and Alsatian. If you are afraid of using chicken fat, try half chicken fat and half olive oil.
Servings: 45 matza balls
Ingredients
  • 14 matzos
  • 2 medium white onions chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup melted chicken fat and/or goose fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt you made want to add more
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7 eggs lightly beaten with a fork
  • 1/8 cup matza meal
  • Additional matza meal for rolling
Instructions
  1. Step 2 Wet Matza
  2. Wet Matza
  3. Break the matzas into chunks and put into a colander placed in sink. Run water over the colander until the matza is moist, but not water logged. Let the water drain and let stand for one to two minutes. (Can be put into plastic bag and kept overnight in the refrigerator.)
  4. Onions Browning
  5. Brown the onions in melted fat in large heavy frying pan over medium heat until "real brown".
  6. Step 4 Add Matza
  7. Add the matzas and stir gently frequently. Most of the moisture has to evaporate. If mixture sticks to bottom, put lid on the pan for a few minutes to soften. Add the salt, pepper, parsley and nutmeg.
  8. Cooked Mixture
  9. Cool until no more steam comes off the mixture because it must be cool enough so the eggs won't cook.
  10. Mixture with Eggs
  11. Add the eggs and gently stir in the matza meal.
  12. Test the first matza ball by placing it in boiling water. Test that it maintains it shape and taste to check if more salt, pepper and nutmeg should be added.
  13. Finished product
  14. Place a thick layer of matza meal on foil-lined cookie sheet. Use spoons or scoop to make balls, rolling very carefully into the size of a large walnut, using as little pressure as possible. Place on cookie sheet and roll in meal. If you prefer, wet your hands and roll in palm, but this requires scraping off hands and re-wetting frequently. Discard the excess matza meal. Leave on the cookie sheet in the refrigerator, covered with wax paper, or freeze on the sheet before packing in bags for freezer. They can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
  15. Bring chicken soup to a boil and add Matzo Balls (after they have been brought to room temperature) a few at a time. When they rise to the top, put the lid on the soup for 5 minutes. Serve and say AAHHHH loudly with each bite.
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