Light, modern takes on kosher cuisine are a hallmark of cookbook author and cooking instructor Kim Kushner's culinary style. This broth-based soup, enriched with caramelized onions and fennel and wild mushrooms sauteed in wine, is a prime example. Make the soup with beef or chicken stock for an especially rich flavor, or opt for veggie stock if you're serving vegetarians or serving it to start a dairy meal.
What's especially nice is that unlike heavy soups, this one makes a good opening act to a meal. Kushner writes, "If you’re looking for a soup recipe that is modern and unique, look no further. The sweet caramelized onions and fennel contrast with the earthy mushrooms, and together they create a sophisticated soup that is the ideal starter for a dinner party."
Kashrut Tip: For those who avoid kitniyot on Passover, fennel tends to cause confusion. According to the Star-K only fennel seeds (the part of the plant used as a spice) is a concern. The fennel bulbs and stalks are perfectly fine for use on Pesach by all, so this recipe is good to go without any special adaptation for the holiday (aside from making or buying Kosher for Passover stock).
Recipe reprinted with permission from The New Kosher by Kim Kushner (© 2015 Weldon Owen, Inc.)
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- 5 tablespoons (3 fl oz/80 ml) olive oil
- 6 yellow onions, about 1 1⁄2 lb (750 g) total weight, thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 cups (64 fl oz/2 l) chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, warmed
- 1 lb (500 g) wild mushrooms, such as cremini, stemmed shiitake, and/or portobello, thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) dry white wine
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces, for garnish
1. In a very large sauté pan, heat 4 tablespoons (2 fl oz/ 60 ml) of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1–2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes longer.
2. Add the fennel to the onions and stir to combine. Continue cooking over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and caramel colored, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Transfer the onion mixture to a large pot and add the stock. Set aside.
3. In the same sauté pan (no need to clean it), heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the wine, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the mushroom mixture to the pot with the onion mixture and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat and season with salt and pepper.
5. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with basil, and serve right away. To freeze the soup, divide into several small containers for smaller portions or transfer to 1 large container and freeze for up to 6 weeks. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight, then transfer to a pot, place over medium heat, and heat until hot.