Nothing better than a warm bowl of soup

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“Food choices matter because they are the most consistent ethical decision we make throughout our day.”  Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Nothing says comfort like a warm bowl of soup on a cold day. As winter approaches, we look to make food choices that matter. Like the other “good book” says chicken soup is good for our soul.

According to Maimonides, boiled chicken soup also played a role in curing leprosy and asthma, and – as a Jewish grandmother might put it – “putting some meat on your bones.”

In “Jewish Food: The World at Table,” Matthew Goodman reports on a 1978 study conducted at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach that confirmed at least part of Maimonides’ prescription: “chicken soup proved more effective than simple hot or cold water in clearing congested nasal passages.”

Soups clearly are not only tasty but quite healing. At The Phyllis Siperstein Tamarisk Assisted Living Residence, Executive Chef Deb Blazer and her team create soups that the residents find comfort in.  Just like in your home, our mealtime is a wonderful opportunity for residents to gather around the table and talk about family, what went on during the day and to anticipate what is being served.

With a variety of soup choices our bowls and hearts are full. Here are a few of our soups for you to try in your kitchen.

Chicken Soup

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (see note)

2 onions, diced

2 carrots, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 bunch of parsley

2 tablespoons chicken soup base

2 tablespoons margarine

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the margarine in a stock pot. Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté until softened.  Add the chicken and 2 tablespoons of chicken soup base.  Add enough water to cover. Simmer for an hour or more.

Remove parsley and discard.  Remove chicken, dice and return to pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Add your favorite pasta or matzo balls and enjoy!

NOTE: By using boneless skinless breasts you can serve the soup right away without having to remove any of the fat.

New England Fish Chowder

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

1 medium Spanish onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

2 cups white wine

2 cups Idaho potatoes, diced

2 cups white fish (cod or sole), diced

1/2 cup margarine, melted

1/2 cup flour

1 cup half-and-half

4 cups fish stock

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside.

Saute onions and celery in margarine until translucent.

Add minced garlic and thyme; cook 1 minute until garlic is softened.

Deglaze with white wine, cook until all wine is evaporated.

Add flour. Cook 2 minutes more, stirring often.

Whisk in fish stock and heavy cream. Cook until it begins to thicken, stirring often.

Gently fold in fish and potatoes.

Simmer 2-3 minutes until fish is cooked.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh thyme. 

Split Pea Soup

Serves 10

Ingredients

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 (16 ounce) bag dried split peas

2 tablespoons vegetable soup base

2 tablespoons margarine

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the margarine in a stock pot. Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté until softened.

Add the bag of split peas and 2 tablespoons of vegetable soup base. Add enough water just to cover the peas.

Cook until tender and thick, approximately  45 minutes to 1 hour.

SUSAN ADLER (susana@tamariskri.org) is the marketing and outreach director at The Phyllis Siperstein Tamarisk Assisted Living Residence. Call her at 401-732-0037 if you would like to join the residents for a hot bowl of soup.