Imma Dina’s hearty Israeli vegan soup
The winter is official in Ottawa. It has been that way for a while now, though. But it has brought about a number of cozy evenings on the couch with a cup of tea, as well as a constant hankering for warm soup. Nothing hits the spot better than a chunky vegetable soup in a light broth.
When I visit my friend’s mother Dina (also my friend) in NYC, she always makes me her version of a traditional Israeli soup which just happens to be vegan. Of course, she reminds me that the original recipe calls for chicken stock, which she substitutes for veggie stock, but otherwise… vegan. This soup is topped with a healthy amount of compulsory Osem mini croutons (found in Ottawa at Loblaws; imported from Israel) and eaten super hot. I find this soup is best made on a Friday night, so that the Saturday morning you can use the leftover zucchini for a breakfast treat (you’ll understand what I mean below). I have come to love this soup, especially in cold weather and especially when I have a cold or sore throat. It is the healthiest medicine out there. The soup is simple, but delicious, and it makes me think of Dina every time (which warms the heart just as much as the soup does!). I hope this warms you, too.
Imma Dina’s Hearty Israeli Vegan Soup
The ingredients amounts are suggestions only. Add as much or as little of each vegetable as you like, but don’t leave out the beet! Also, you are allowed to add others or make substitutions. I’m sure Dina wouldn’t mind.
- 2 onions (chopped in quarters or eighths)
- 1 beet (chopped in quarters)
- 2 zucchini (cut each into 3 big pieces. Note that the zucchini will not be eaten with the soup!)
- 3 large carrots (chopped in large chunks)*
- 4-5 celery stalks*
- 2 turnips (purple/white kind)*
- 1-2 parsnip*
- 1 yam (peeled and chopped*)
- Lots of Osem brand mini-croutons
*N.B. All veggies are to be chopped in large chunks. This is a very chunky soup and is best eaten this way!
- Put veggies in large pot and fill with water (as much as you can hold in a pot). Bring to boil.
- Add veggie bouillon (about 4-5 Tbsp) or use spices. (I like to put in at least 3 cubes.) Salt & pepper to taste.
- Simmer for 1h or so. Fish out the zucchini to make a separate dish with it the following morning.
- Serve with Israeli Osem croutons. Keep them in freezer when not using.
(You can freeze or refrigerate any leftover soup. If you have a big enough pot, this is the soup that keeps on giving.)
Day-after zucchini breakfast dish
This dish is extremely versatile and you can add whatever you like to it. It is savoury and so I would recommend additions such as cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, tarragon leaves, basil, …
- zucchini chunks from soup the night before (drained)
- 1 onion (chopped or sliced)
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- spices (your choice)
- Drain zucchini.
- Fry onions and zucchini till all liquid has evaporated and it is turning brown. (Zucchini should fall apart and form a delicious mush.)
- Season with spices and salt and pepper.
- Serve with pancakes or home fries or other breakfast goodies. If having for lunch or dinner, you can serve atop rice.