Creamy Chickpea Soup

chickpea soup
This chickpea soup can warm your soul, whether it’s summer and served cold or fall and served warm. I got the recipe from the Macrobiotic Recipes page on Facebook. The original author is Montse Bradford, and I added amounts and tweaked the recipe a bit.


  • chickpeas – 8 oz.
  • kombu (or a little bit of any kind of seaweed)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • garlic – 1 clove
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. miso

Garnish (optional): cucumber, bread croutons, parsley, spring onions.

How to Make the Chickpea Soup

Soak chickpeas overnight with plenty of cold water. Discard soaking water. Place chickpeas in a pressure cooker or a crock pot with the kombu and water completely covering the beans. Bring to a boil, discard any loose skins or foam that arises to the surface. Cook until till soft.

Saute separately some finely diced onion and minced garlic with some olive oil for 10 minutes. Add diced carrots and celery to the onion. Let it cook for 5 minutes, then add it to the chickpeas. Simmer for 15 minutes. Put the soup in the food processor (or use a stick blender) and blend for a short time, so it’s a bit chunky. Season to taste with some miso. Make sure to add the miso when it’s still warm – the miso will blend better with the soup. You can serve this chickpea soup cold or warm.

I garnished my soup with scallions.

Mushrooms: Maitake and Shiitake

portabello, maitake and shiitake mushrooms
Pictured above, from left to right, are a portobello, maitake, and shiitake mushroom. I bought these at a local Asian supermarket on Route 27 in Edison called H-Mart.

Why use these special mushrooms? Why not just stick to white button mushrooms? In addition to the excitement of having something new in one’s soup, maitake and shiitake have medicinal benefits. Here’s a post on the health benefits of maitake (slows tumors, protects healthy cells from becoming cancerous, may reduce the need for insulin and more). This post on the health benefits of shiitake mushroom is on Susun at Planet Thrive writes about medicinal mushrooms in general.

maitake mushrooms
Here are a bunch of maitake mushrooms.

shiitake mushroom
This is a shiitake mushroom. Sometimes I put a shiitake mushroom in a mug of hot water and drink it the way someone would a cup of tea.

I’m going to use them in mushroom barley soup tonight. If I have leftover mushroom barley, sometimes I stuff it into my Friday night chicken. I’ve also made mushroom lentil soup. Here is another mushroom with shiitake soup.

Do you have any favorite mushroom recipes?

Shiitake Mushroom Soup in Red Bowl

mushroom shiitake soup
Shiitake Mushroom Soup with Clear Broth in a Red-Trimmed Bowl

I was in mood for a mushroom soup with no grains, and so I came up with this recipe. To photograph it for a post, I put in a red china bowl. This prompted my daughter to eat it; she insisted on eating it in the red china bowl. You see, presentation does count!


  • 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
  • 8 oz. baby bell mushrooms
  • 1 leek
  • 1 zucchini (or substitute other greens, such as bits of kale or collards)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. mirin (rice wine – or substitute 1 tsp. dry wine)
  • 1 tsp. miso
  • chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

How to Make the Soup

Saute the chopped onion in a bit of olive oil. Slit the leek in half; wash out any particles inside the leek. Cut in half and put in with the onion. Chop the zucchini and put it in with the onion. Add chopped mushrooms. Cover with water and add at least 1 cup more water. Cook until all is tender. Add sea salt and wine. Add miso at the end. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

More soup recipes

Soup Beautiful Soup


Soups from Some of My Favorite Bloggers

Macrobiotic Soups

Fish and Poultry Soups

In this fish and chicken soup category are my children’s favorite, my chicken soup, and my own favorite, Mimi’s Fish Soup:

I believe soup is one of the healthiest foods one can eat. And it is yummy, too!

As Lewis Carroll wrote:

Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop! Beau–ootiful Soo-oop! Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop! Beau–ootiful Soo-oop! Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,
Beautiful, beauti–FUL SOUP!

— Lewis Carroll

According to this article, that poem was a parody of a poem called “Star of the Evening.” More of Lewis Carroll’s funny poetry on this page.

Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup
Mushroom Barley Soup – featured on this month’s Kosher Cooking Carnival

Ah, autumn. A wonderful time to review one’s soup recipes.

I originally learned how to make mushroom barley soup from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. Here is my current one-pot recipe, which I prepare now by heart without consulting Mollie:


  • Mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • Flavoring: I use a tsp. of miso. You can also use soy sauce and/or 1 tsp. of red wine.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water
  • Olive oil to cover bottom of pan

Many optional ingredients:

  • Root vegetables: chopped carrots, parsnip, and/or turnip
  • Garlic clove
  • Chopped celery
  • Chopped ginger root
  • Green leafy vegetables: chopped kale or collards
  • Herbs, fresh or dry: dill, oregano, thyme
  • Shiitake mushrooms: make the soup all the more healthful and flavorful by using shiitake mushrooms

Preparing the Soup

Saute the chopped onion in a bit of olive oil at the bottom of a large pot. When the onion turns translucent, add the barley. Add more than enough water to cover the barley – about one inch higher in the pot. Cook for about 1/2 hour until the barley is almost tender. Add pepper and salt to taste. Add optional ingredients of carrots, other root vegetables, garlic and celery; add the mushrooms. Pour in one cup more of water. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add optional kale, dill, other herbs and/or other fast cooking greens. Add soy sauce or miso to give the soup taste. Serve warm.

Coming soon (next week?): a list of soup recipes from around the blogosphere. Also, some suggested soup ingredients. If you have a favorite soup recipe that is on a blog, feel free to leave the link in the comments (thanks to Mrs. S., who last week did just that).

Matzo Balls

A companion post to my chicken soup recipe

chicken_soupI’m going to admit I’m cheating on this one. I never measure when I make matza balls. Too much trouble. I just mix 2-3 eggs, some matza meal, some oil, some seltzer, a touch of salt, a bit of pepper until I get a goopy but not too gluppy mixture. Then I refrigerate for a few hours, take it out when my soup is boiling hot, form the balls quickly and throw ’em in the pot.

Since you probably want measurements, I’m taking them off my box of Streit’s matzah meal:

  • 1 cup matzah meal
  • 4 large eggs (I don’t usually make this much)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup seltzer
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • pinch of ground pepper

Beat eggs. Add oil, salt, pepper. Mix well. Add matzah meal and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate for 1/2 to 1 hour. Bring soup to a boil. Moisten palms with cold water (I’ve never done this: have you?). Form mixture into balls 1″ in diameter. Drop balls into boiling water. When all the balls are in the pot, reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for about 30 minutes.

Tricks: don’t handle the balls much. Do use the seltzer.

Anyone else got any good matza ball tricks? My paternal grandmother’s matza balls supposedly floated out the window. The opposite are some I have tasted from a can that would make great golf balls.

In honor of Ilana-Davita who is hosting the Kosher Cooking Carnival at the end of January

See many more soup recipes.

Red + Yellow = Orange

turmeric beet soup
I added a beet to my turmeric soup, and it turned orange. OK, maybe it turned a brighter redder orange from the pale yellowy turmericky orange it had been before?

Turmeric Soup

turmeric soup
Baila’s got a whole bunch of recipes at the latest Kosher Cooking Carnival.

I’ve been playing in my crock pot again, and this time it’s called Turmeric Soup. It doesn’t look terribly different than my Farmer’s Market Soup.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • Turmeric, about 1 tsp.
  • Pepper, about 1/2 tsp. and salt to taste
  • 1 sweet potato or yam
  • 1 can of beans (I used cannellini, but chickpeas or northern beans will work, too)
  • 3 leaves of kale

Saute the onions in olive oil until translucent. Sprinkle generously with turmeric, pepper and salt. Put chopped sweet potato in crockpot. Put in the can of beans. Put in the sauteed onions and garlic. If you feel up to waiting just before it’s almost ready, you can add the kale right before everything is tender. But if you are lazy like me, just add it at the same time as the other ingredients.

I let it cook for about 4 hours, and it tasted delicious.


I have been making lentils in various forms this fall. The lentils in the bowl above were made overnight in my crockpot.

Lentil Soup with Curry


  • 1/2 lb. lentils
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 slice of ginger root
  • Salt, turmeric, cumin to taste

Put all the ingredients except the spices in the crockpot. Cook on low overnight. In the morning, add the salt, turmeric and cumin.

Lentil Salad with Lemon Juice


  • 1/2 lb. lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • lemon juice, preferably from fresh lemons
  • salt to taste
  • optional: parsley

The key to making lentil salad as opposed to lentil soup is use less water. Cook the lentils with the water for about two hours (this is how long it takes in my crockpot). When the lentils are tender, add the lemon juice and salt. Garnish with parsley. Can be served hot or room temperature.

Lentil Soup with Tomatoes


  • 1/2 lb. lentils
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 slice of ginger root
  • Handful of baby carrots
  • 2 sliced zucchini
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: jalapeno pepper, chopped

Cook the lentils, ginger, garlic and carrots in water until the lentils are tender (two hours in my crockpot). Add zucchini and salt (add jalapeno pepper, if using one). When zucchini are almost tender, add the canned tomatoes.
Lentil soup with tomatoes

Chicken Soup Recipe

My Friday night guests (and my regular family attendees=husband, father, sons, daughter) all seem to love my chicken soup. I own a large 8 quart pot, and I purposely try to make leftovers. Soup freezes well. Key to flavor is to use enough chicken; don’t do what I did when first learning and just use necks.


  • 3 chicken backs (with some chicken meat still on it) or 1 small chicken or 3 parts of chicken
  • celery (2-3 stalks, cut in half)
  • 1 onion, chopped in quarters
  • carrots: handful of already peeled baby carrots (easiest) or 2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • fresh dill or fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: parsnip, turnip, leftover kale, collards or cabbage
  • optional: pieces of flanken (I tried using chopped steak one week, but it wasn’t nearly as tasty as flanken)
  • optional: matzo balls (follow matzo meal box directions; this could be a whole post itself, how to make a good, light, tasty matzo ball)

Put your chicken or chicken parts in a large pot. Cover the chicken with water (or more than cover). Cook for about one half hour. Your house will already begin to have aroma of chicken soup. Add carrots, onions and any other root vegetables. Parsnip will add a sweet, yummy taste to your soup. If you are making matzo balls, now is a good time to prepare the matzo ball mixture and refrigerate. Add celery. Add salt, pepper. Cook for at least another hour. With a fork, remove the already cooked chicken. At this point I often give the soup chicken as a snack to my kids. Add matzo balls to the hot soup. Add pieces of flanken if you have. Add any bits of cabbage, collards or kale. If you like, sprinkle a bit more salt and/or pepper. Put in parsley and/or dill towards the end.

Friday night/Shabbat trick: you are allowed to unwrap food on Shabbat, but not to wrap food (called “hatmana“). I wrap my soup in two blankets on Friday afternoon right before Shabbat to keep it warm. This way I don’t have to keep the stove going in the summer. I then unwrap the soup right before serving.

Skim the fat: if you store the soup in the refrigerator for a day, you can then skim the fat off the top.

Soup is delicious, nutritious and a nice option for a whole meal (with challah and grape juice) if one is planning ahead for the many holiday meals in a row we will soon celebrate.
 Learn to make matzo balls, too. And then enjoy more soup recipes.