Pascale’s Kitchen: Ashdod winter soup festival

Delicious soups to keep you warm this winter.

(photo credit: DANA MEIRSON)
One of my favorite pastimes in the winter is making and eating delicious, steamy soups. I remember as a child coming home after a long day at school on cold, rainy days to find a bowl of hot soup waiting for me on the dining table. Every day my mother would prepare a different soup with lots of fun surprises inside.
Every type of weather and mood calls for a distinct type of soup, and the ingredients can also be altered, depending on what your family members like to eat. You will end up with incredible soups if you make sure to use high-quality, fresh ingredients.
A special festival will be taking place in Ashdod from January 23 through 31 called Soup Stories, in which 20 local restaurants will be offering extraordinary soups especially for the festival, at the rock-bottom price of NIS 10 per bowl.
Chefs will be preparing soups that hail from a wide range of ethnic groups and styles, such as soups served in bread, Russian borscht, Indian lentil dal, Japanese miso, Moroccan hssoua, Tripoli bean and, for those of you with a sweet tooth, a decadent chocolate soup.
I’ve picked four participating restaurants and included recipes of their most popular soups. The first one is Bukharan mutton soup, the second a Thai chicken soup, the third Jerusalem artichoke soup and the last hssoua Moroccan soup with semolina.
Makes six to eight servings.
750 gr. Jerusalem artichoke, peeled (weigh after peeling)
450 ml. sweet cream
450 ml. water
Salt and pepper, to taste
Serving suggestion:
½ cup sliced almonds, roasted
Truffle oil / spread
¼ tsp. truffle spread mixed with 1 tsp. olive oil
Place the artichokes in a large pot and pour water and cream on top. Mix and cook over medium flame until artichokes have completely softened. Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper and bring back to a boil. Lower flame and cook for another two to three minutes, then turn off flame.
Pour into bowls and adorn with almonds and a spoonful of truffle spread mixed with olive oil.
Note: A small container of truffle spread should cost about NIS 50. Mix 1 tsp. of truffle spread with ½ cup of olive oil. This should be enough for 20 bowls of soup.
BUKHARAN MUTTON SOUP (Raihona Restaurant)
Makes six to eight servings.
½ kg. mutton with bones, cut into small pieces
2 onions, cut into large pieces
3 carrots, cut into diagonal strips that are ½ cm. to 1 cm. thick
1 red pepper, cut into cubes
5 medium potatoes, cut into quarters or large pieces
5 liters boiling water
1 level Tbsp. cumin
1 heaping Tbsp. chicken soup powder
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. coriander
Serving suggestion:
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Place the mutton pieces in a large pot and cover with boiling water and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, remove froth from the surface. Repeat a number of times. Add all the vegetables and cover.
Cook over medium heat for an hour. Add the spices and stir well. Continue cooking another 30 minutes. Serve in individual bowls with a little fresh parsley sprinkled on top.
THAI CHICKEN SOUP (Ronjan Restaurant)
Makes six to eight servings.
1 medium butternut squash, cut into 2-cm. cubes
1 eggplant, cut into 1-cm. or 2-cm. cubes
3-4 liters water
½ liter coconut milk
3 dried lime leaves
½ kg. chicken breast, cut into small chunks
1 Tbsp. green curry
1 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place the butternut squash and eggplant in a large pot and cover with water. Cover and cook over a medium flame for 20 minutes.
Add the lime leaves and coconut milk and mix well. Bring back to a boil.
Add the chicken pieces, curry and sugar, and mix. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn off flame and serve hot.
Hssoua Moroccan Soup (Bleeker Bakery). (Courtesy)
Hssoua Moroccan Soup (Bleeker Bakery). (Courtesy)
Makes six to eight servings.
¼ cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 liters water
1 cup semolina
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ Tbsp. cumin
½ Tbsp. fenugreek seeds, soaked (optional)
Serving suggestion:
Chopped cilantro
Heat the oil in a medium pot and add the garlic. Sauté for a few seconds, making sure the garlic pieces don’t burn. Add the water and bring to a boil.
Lower the flame and add the semolina a little bit at a time while continuously stirring. Bring to a boil and add the spices, including the fenugreek seeds.
Mix well and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn off and serve in individual bowls adorned with chopped cilantro.
For more recipes visit:
Translated by Hannah Hochner.