Being a religious Jew means that I have to refrain from many things at many times. I am not talking about not eating cool food out there that is not kosher. The kosher market has opened up incredible options, such as facon (kosher bacon), mock shrimp, and pareve cheese to put on your hamburgers.
But we sure do fast a lot. A LOT. Besides Yom Kippur and Tisha b’Av, there is Taanis Esther, Asara B’Teves, and Sheva Asar B’Tamuz. Five times a year of fasting, though, is nothing compared to how hungry I feel Erev Pesach. When you gear yourself up to fast, you expect the hunger, but the days that you can eat, but can’t eat certain foods, are very challenging for me!
The day of the seder, (when one can’t eat matza) I am constantly trying to find ways to fill myself up. Potato starch cookies don’t do it for me. Fruits and vegetables, while I love them, only fill me up with a starch nearby. I mean a really good pile of pasta starch, or the like.
Again, as I wrote a few months ago, the solution came from my good friend, Mrs. Nechama Katz of Elite Caterers. She told me that she serves her family potato soup the day of Pesach. Yum. Yum. Yum.
So I set out to make this delicious soup and lo and behold, I was full! I decided to look into any health benefits potato soup might have. So guess what? The bad rap that potatoes get is mostly from the way we prepare them; fried, cheesy and over-oiled. In fact, potatoes are a great source of vitamin C. It does lose a lot of the vitamin through cooking though. At 275 calories for a large potato, you also get vitamin B6, potassium, iron and copper, not to mention the fiber content it has. All these facts are assuming you keep the skin on.
So don’t groan when you look at the 20 pounds of potatoes you have to prepare for Pesach. Feel good knowing that you are nourishing your body (and staving off pre-Yom Tov hunger pangs.)