Super duper

A steaming pot of soup is exactly what you need when the temperatures are dropping.

Vegetable Soup 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Vegetable Soup 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Chef Sahar Raphael of the acclaimed Cramim restaurant in Segula offers his favorite homemade winter soups
ONION SOUP  Makes 10 servings
✔ 8 kg. yellow onions, sliced ✔ 150 ml. oil ✔ 100 gr. brown sugar ✔ 100 gr. maple syrup ✔ 500 ml. beef broth ✔ 500 ml. red wine ✔ 75 gr. salt ✔ 25 gr. black pepper, ground ✔ 100 gr. onion soup mix ✔ 100 gr. flour ✔ 8 bay leaves ✔ 10 allspice peppers
Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and steam until golden. Mix and make sure the onions do not burn. Add sugar and caramelize. Lower heat.
Using a blender, mix until smooth maple syrup, beef broth, red wine, flour, soup mix, salt, pepper and 1 Tbsp. of the steamed onion. Pour the mixture into the onions, mix well. Add 12 liters water gradually. Add all spice and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Remove froth from the top and lower heat. Continue cooking for 30 minutes. Taste and serve when a little cooled.
SEMOLINA SOUP  Makes 10 servings
✔ 6 Tbsp. olive oil ✔ 4 cloves garlic, minced ✔ 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped ✔ 1⁄4 Tbsp. turmeric ✔ 1 Tbsp. salt ✔ 1⁄4 Tbsp. black pepper, freshly ground ✔ 17 cups water ✔ 1 bunch fresh coriander (kusbara) ✔ 2 cups semolina Heat oil in a large pot. Add garlic and
fry until golden, but be careful not to burn it. Add tomatoes, turmeric, salt and pepper. Fry for 2 minutes, add water and bring to a boil. Add coriander and then add semolina flour gradually while mixing vigorously until it assimilates in the water. Bring to a boil again, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes. If necessary, add water to reach desired consistency.
Tip: To peel tomatoes easily, cut a deep cross in the tomato base and blanch in boiling water for half a minute. Remove and place in ice water until skin separates.
✔ 2 Tbsp. butter ✔ 4 to 5 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ 4 leeks, white part only, sliced ✔ 6 potatoes (Desiree, with red skin), cubed
✔ 1⁄2 kg. chickpeas, soaked 24 hours in water ✔ Leaves of 3 tarragon sprigs ✔ 4 or 5 peeled and cubed tomatoes ✔ 6 or 7 basil leaves ✔ 1 Tbsp. minced garlic ✔ Salt and pepper
Heat oil and butter in large pot. Add leeks and steam for 2 minutes. Add potato, chickpeas, tarragon and garlic and continue steaming for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour water to cover vegetables with extra 2 cm. and cook for 40 minutes. Add tomatoes and basil and cook 20 more minutes or until chickpeas are ready. Season with salt and pepper. Remove 1 cup of chickpeas and leeks. Blend soup until smooth, pour into a serving dish and garnish with reserved chickpeas and leeks. Serve with torn pita (see directions below).
Torn pita with spices: Place 4 to 5 Tbsp. olive oil in a bowl. Add 1 Tbsp. za’atar mixture, 1⁄2 tsp. salt and 1⁄2 tsp. minced garlic. Tear pita into small pieces, place in the bowl and mix with hands until covered. Place in a heated oven and turn every 2 minutes. Bake until golden.
FENNEL SOUP  Makes 6 servings
✔ 6 Tbsp. olive oil ✔ 2 onions ✔ 3 celery sticks including leaves, chopped coarsely ✔ 2 parsley roots, peeled and cut into large cubes ✔ 1 leek, white part only, sliced ✔ 2 kg. fennel, chopped coarsely ✔ 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only ✔ 2 minced garlic cloves ✔ 11⁄2 tsp. salt ✔ 1⁄4 tsp. pepper ✔ Water
✔ Olive oil for garnish
Heat oil in a pot, add onion, leek, celery and parsley root. Fry for 6-7 minutes over medium heat. Add fennel, thyme and garlic and continue frying. Add enough water to cover vegetables. Turn heat up and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and cover. Lower heat and cook for half an hour. Transfer soup into a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and season to taste. Serve garnished with a few drops of good quality olive oil.
■ Cramim, voted best in Israel by Channel 10, is located in Moshav Segula, 8 km. south of Kiryat Malachi (Kastina) junction on Route 40. Open daily, 9 - 12 p.m. (08) 850-5859 November 17, 2011 11 weekend