Beef and MUshroom Barley Soup

Highly recommend making this the day before for optimal flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. stew meat, cubed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 carrot, diced 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed 
  • 1 14-ounce can of tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 pound medium-sized button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley


  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Sear the meat on all sides until well browned
  4. Set the meat aside and wipe the pan out with a paper towel.
  5. Lower the heat to medium, add the oil to the pan. Add the carrot, onion, and celery to the pan and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes
  6. Return the meat to the pan and add broth.
  7. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is just tender. Add the thyme, barley, and tomato, continue to simmer the soup, covered, for 45 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté about 10 minutes.
  9. Add them to the soup, and simmer for 15 minutes more.
  10. Add parsley; season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.



  • 6 heaping cups cauliflower florets, from 1-1/2 pound cauliflower cut into 1-inch florets
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • Cilantro, chopped for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Smash the garlic cloves with the side of the knife.
  • Place the cauliflower florets and smashed garlic in a large bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Shake the bowl a few times to coat the cauliflower evenly with the oil.
  • In a small bowl combine the turmeric, cumin, salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Sprinkle evenly over cauliflower, tossing well to coat evenly.
  • Place the cauliflower on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven until browned and tender, about 25-30 minutes, turning the florets occasionally so they are evenly cooked
  • Garnish with cilantro

Cream of asparagus SoUp

Tasty and light for a cool night. I don’t keep whole milk or cream on hand, so 2% milk for me it is. This can easily accommodate a pareve or vegetarian menu by swapping out the chicken broth for pareve chicken broth.


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 lb.  asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1″ pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried chopped onions ( 1/4 cup fresh yellow onions)
  • 2 c.  chicken broth
  • 1/2 c.  2% milk ( original recipe calls for heavy cream)
  • Freshly chopped green onions



  1. In a heavy pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden, 5 minutes. If using freshly chopped onions, add in with the asparagus, otherwise dried product is mixed in with broth.
  2. Add broth and simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender but still green, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion or regular blender, puree soup.
  4. Stir in cream, then warm over low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Garnish with green onions

Harira (Spiced Moroccan Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas, Cilantro, and Lemon)

The only credit I can take for this recipe is that I made it following directions. As you know from a lot of my posts, I modify recipes for taste and dietary restrictions. I did change a few fresh ingredients to canned or bottled only because I don’t keep the fresh items on a regular basis. The greatness of this recipe is that it can be made heartier by adding chicken or remain vegetarian

The famous Joan Nathan is responsible for this beautiful soup and can be found in her cookbook King Solomon’s Table. I highly recommend buying a hard copy of her cookbook. There are so many gems within the chapter along with the beauty of the story behind the food. King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World: A Cookbook: Nathan, Joan, Waters, Alice: 9780385351140: Books


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut in rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon harissa or dried red chile flakes, plus more for serving
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups/75 grams), divided
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups/75 grams), divided
  • 1 (15-ounce/425-gram) can tomatoes, crushed, or diced tomatoes
  • 7 cups (1 2/3 liters) chicken broth (vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1 (15-ounce/425-gram) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup (370 grams) green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion, celery, and carrots until the onion turns translucent and begin to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the turmeric, cumin, harissa or chile flakes, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup each of the parsley and cilantro, tomatoes, and the stock or water and bring to a boil. If using the soaked chickpeas, drain them and add to the pot. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, then add the lentils, another teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper and continue simmering until the chickpeas and lentils are cooked, about 20 minutes more. If using canned chickpeas omit the first 25 minutes of simmering and add with the lentils.
  2. Whisk the flour, egg, and lemon juice into 2 cups (470 ml) of water. Stir into the soup. Simmer the soup about 5 minutes more and serve, sprinkled with the remaining cilantro and parsley. And don’t forget to have some extra harissa in a plate on the side.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

This is best when the Israeli Couscous is prepared a few hours in advance, so it is already chilled for mixing. Also, I recommend letting the dressing sit in the salad for a few hours to fully incorporate the flavoring. My favorite time to eat this is actually a day later when the flavor has set.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1 large lemon, juice of
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper

For the Israeli Couscous

  • 2 cups Pearl Couscous (Israeli Couscous)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped red onions
  • ½ English cucumber, finely chopped
  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained, roughly chopped if needed
  • 15-20 fresh mint leaves
  • 3 oz feta cheese
  1. Prepare Israeli Couscous per instructions on package. Set aside in a large mixing bowl and chill in fridge for 1-2 hours
  2. To make the vinaigrette, place the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together to combine. Set aside briefly.
  3. In mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients minus the feta and mint.
  4. Remove couscous from fridge and combine vegetable mixture with couscous.
  5. Add Lemon Vinaigrette it to the couscous salad. Mix again to combine.
  6. Add Feta, mint leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Mix final time

Moroccan Chicken

There are two variations of Moroccan chicken that I like to make. This one is more infused with spice versus other traditional Moroccan chicken dishes that have a tomato based.

This is a standing meal that I make on Shabbat along with several Salatim. You can find other recipes on my blog to compliment this meal: Israeli Couscous Salad, Beets, Middle Eastern Roasted Vegetable Rice, Tzatziki, Shug.

The original recipe calls for skin removed on the chicken, but I have always made it with the skin on. Personal preference, but I like the runoff of the fat juices.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (margarine for pareve)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (substitute corn starch for GF)
  • 4-5 bone-in chicken thighs
  • SAUCE:
  • 3 shallots, chopped (substitute can be 1/2 sweet yellow onion sliced)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 pitted dates, chopped (optional)


  • In a small bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside 1 teaspoon spice mixture; add flour to remaining mixture
  • Coat both sides of the chicken thighs with spice mixture prior to putting in the pan
  • In a large nonstick skillet, add olive oil and butter and melt at a medium heat.
  • Brown chicken in oil on both sides. Remove to plate and keep warm.
  • Add shallots to the pan; cook and stir over medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; return chicken to the pan.
  • Cover and simmer until chicken juices run clear, 20-25 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm. Combine 1 teaspoon flour with reserved 1 teaspoon spice mixture and remaining 2 tablespoons broth until smooth; gradually stir into the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over chicken
  • Garnish with cilantro