Your Wednesday Surprise Soup Spectacular #1

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There are some foods that we as Jews simply identify as “Jewish Food.” It’s a cultural marker and allows a common thread to exist among Jewish communities around the world.  Among the food styles that many Jews can identify with is soup.

Now, I won’t lay claim that soup is a “Jewish Food,” but as Jews, many of us have what I describe as a familia attachment to the dish, based on tradition and family recipes. And doesn’t seem to be served on nearly every Jewish holiday that includes food as part of the celebration?

I grew up loving my grandmother’s Matzah Ball soup, but who didn’t. I remember as a teen asking her “why do we have soup all the time,” and she simply said, “It’s easy, now get out of the kitchen, I’m working here.”

Plus, it’s the ultimate comfort food and, Lord knows, our people have had more than their fair share of troubles!

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We Have Lots Of Soup Recipes

Being new to St. Louis Jewish Light, I was amazed at the sheer volume of soup recipes we have in our database.  A precursory search found over 200 soup recipes, some dating back 30ish years. Unlike some ingredients, over time recipes do not go bad, so we’re going to bring them all back to life every other Wednesday with the “Wednesday Surprise Soup Spectacular.”

If you have a soup recipe you would like to share, please email it, along with a photo and any information about why it’s your favorite. Email to [email protected]

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This is a soup I could eat almost every day of my life, but it’s even better in the fall or winter. This soup can be served in small cups—espresso cups or shot glasses are perfect—and can be sipped either before, or after, everyone is seated at the table.

Ingredients:

4 pounds butternut squash, halved and seeded

1 granny smith apple, peeled, halved, and cored

Olive oil for brushing squash and apple and for frying sage leaves

7 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

10 fresh sage leaves, cut in half, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.

Brush the cut side of each butternut squash half with olive oil and place it, cut side down, onto prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes.

Brush both apple halves with olive oil and add it to pan of squash. Continue to bake squash and apple for 10 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Remove pan from oven and set on a rack to cool for 10-15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle.

Turn squash over and, using a large spoon, scoop the squash out of skin and place half of it, along with the half the apple, into a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of broth and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large pot.

Repeat the procedure, processing remaining squash, apple, and 1 cup of broth, adding that to the pot, as well. Stir remaining 5 cups of broth, mustard, and honey into the pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thoroughly blended and warm. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

In a small frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add sage and fry until crisp, about 1 minute. Remove sage from pan and set on paper towels to drain.

Ladle soup into small cups. Top each cup of soup with 2 crisp sage leaf halves and drizzle with sage oil.

Makes 4 large servings or 12 small servings.