Beyond Chicken Soup: Fancy Erev Shabbat Soup Without the Shlep

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Soup is delicious stuff. It’s comforting, aromatic and it takes you back to your childhood days at Bubbie’s house. Whether or not you’re hosting, soup is very versatile for a simple Erev Shabbat dinner, or fancy for guests. Nothing says Erev Shabbat soup like chicken soup. Its healing powers are legend by now, and no matter the season, with kreplach or kneidlach, it is dearly loved by all. More than delicious, it’s easy. 15 minuets of prep and it can sit on the platta waiting to be devoured.

There’s just one problem: it gets booooooooring!

But if you’re like me, and you cook big, you have lots of left over chicken soup. Here’s the big secret, chicken soup is another name for chicken stock. Save your left over soup to create exotic soups that are just as easy, while letting you create new tastes and new experiences.

Here are a few exotic soups you can make with basic chicken stock.

ABC Soup (Awesome Basic Chicken Soup)

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken, about 3.5-4 pounds (1.5 – 2 kilo)
  • knob of fresh ginger, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 onion, unpeeled and halved
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut into 4 inch pieces, or 4-5 stalks of young celery
  • 3 medium carrots, quartered
  • 1 cup of baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 springs of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
  • 1 small bay leaf

Preparation:

  1. Place the whole chicken into the pot, dd in the finger of ginger,onion, celery, carrots, parsley stems, thyme springs, peppercorns, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon of salt. Fill the pot with cold water, making sure to cover all of the ingredients by about 2 inches. (5cm)
  2. Bring to a boil, on highest heat. Once it boils lower temperature and simmer for about one and a half hours, skimming off any white foam that floats to the surface.
  3. When poking the theigh of the chicken, runs with clear liquid, remove the chicken from the stock, and transfer to a plate to cool. 
  4. Shred the meat off the chicken using your fingers (don’t save the skin and bones, all they have is already in the soup).
  5. Keep the soup warm on the plata as long as necessary (even till the next day!), and put the shredded chicken on about 30-60min before eating (depending on how hot your plata runs)
  6. BONUS:  if you have a lemon (or better a lime) squeze it over the shredded chicken with some hot paprika!!

Moroccan Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 4 cups of chicken stock (like last weeks left over soup!!)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked couscous
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind

Preparation:

  1. Heat a heavy pot over medium heat.
  2. Coat the pan with the olive-oil
  3. Saute onions, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the chicken cubes; cook for 4 minutes, browning on all sides.
  5. Add cumin, cinnamon, and pepper to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Add butternut squash and tomato paste; cook 1 minute.
  7. Stir in Chicken Stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in couscous, salt, and zucchini; cook 5 minutes or until squash is tender.
  9. Before serving stir in chopped basil and orange rind.

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (3-inch) stalk lemongrass, halved lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 3 cups chicken soup
  • 1 1/4 cups light coconut milk
  • 4 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup green onion strips
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Preparation:

  1. Heat a heavy pot over medium heat.
  2. Heat the oil in the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add mushrooms, red bell pepper, ginger, garlic and lemon grass, saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add chile paste; cook 1 minute
  5. Chicken Stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar; bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.
  7. Discard lemongrass. Top with onions, cilantro, and juice.

German Cabbage and Apple Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cups Chicken Broth
  • 8 ounces chopped Yukon gold potato
  • 3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 cups sliced Granny Smith apple
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Heat a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add caraway and fennel; saute 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. User a coffee grinder, and completely pulverize the caraway and fennel from step 2. Put it aside.
  4. Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat.
  5. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic; saute for 6 minutes.
  6. Add ground spices; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  7. Add Chicken Stock and potato; bring to a boil.
  8. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
  9. Increase heat to medium-high. Add cabbage and remaining ingredients; cook 3 minutes.

Which soup will you prepare for Erev Shabbat? Will you be bold enough to try something new?

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