On one of my trans-Atlantic conversations with my mother, Mrs. Mitnick, we schmoozed for a really long time, and before she hung up, my mother casually mentioned to me that she tried a delicious new soup recipe that day. We both started laughing as, simultaneously, I asked for the recipe and she offered to share it with me. (She knows me already!!) This soup is so comforting and satisfying, and yet really easy to make. It has become my family
- 3 large sweet potatoes, cubed -
- 5 large carrots, sliced or cut in small pieces -
- 2 strips of flanken (approx. 1 lb / 500 grams), cut into pieces -
- Soup bones, optional -
- 1 cup barley -
- 1 cup small lima (white) beans -
- 2-3 Tbsp chicken soup powder -
- Salt and pepper to taste -
- Pinch nutmeg, optional -
- Handful or two of thin noodles -
In an 8 quart/liter pot, put sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, meat, and bones. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove the gray scum that appears on top of the water, and then add the barley, beans, and seasoning. Bring to boil again, lower fire, and cook for approx. 2½ hours, or until beans are soft. You may want to add more water as soup is cooking. Add the noodles and cook for 5-10 more minutes.
NOTE: A pinch or two of nutmeg adds a special taste. It’s the difference between ordinary and professional. I add it to many dishes. Also, I like using two different kinds of barley, ½ cup each, for a more diverse texture. It’s up to you.
TIP: When soup is refrigerated, the fat solidifies and rises to the surface. You can then skim off most of it without compromising the taste of the soup. I do this all the time, especially with chicken soup and other fatty fleishig soups.
SERVING TIP: If it is your minhag to eat kreplach on Purim, you can warm them up together with the soup before serving. You might want to leave out the noodles or just add a little bit for those who don’t fancy kreplach.
NOTE: When you warm up any leftover soup the next day, you will probably have to add some water, as soup thickens when it sits. Warm on a low flame.
VARIATION: I made this soup with a few pieces of flanken and a few turkey necks. The turkey necks make the soup very creamy, and add lean protein, too. It really becomes a meal-in-one, this way.
This recipe was featured in Mishpacha Magazine's Family First, February 2008.