Beating the Passover Doldrums
by Kelley Kidd
It is around this time during Passover, as the seder leftovers begin to dwindle, that I begin to rapidly lose interest in the standard Passover options of basic broth and matzah where bread would be. However, it simply feels inconsistent with the Passover spirit to live on just salads and eggs for a week. So I’ve been on the lookout for ways to take the Passover basics and spice them up a little bit. Here are some of my favorites:
Jalapeno Carrot Soup
This creamy soup is not only nutritious, but it is also a delicious alternative to the delicious but sometimes bland broth of the average Matzah Ball Soup. As an added bonus, the soup is usually vegetarian–so feel free to add a dollop of sour cream!
3 lbs carrots (cut into one-inch pieces)
1 bunch of cilantro
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, sliced
4 tbsp. of ground coriander
5 cups vegetable soup stock (homemade or store bought)
1 tbsp. salt and pepper (or to taste)
Instructions: Don’t worry! With only one pot, this soup is exceptionally easy to make!
1. Chop the onions, rinse the cilantro.
2. In a stock or soup pot heated over medium heat, sauté the onion in 4 tbsp of olive oil.
3. Once the onion is soft, toss in sliced carrots and rinsed cilantro.
4. Mix together. Cook 10 minutes on medium heat until everything is softened.
5. Add sliced jalapeno, coriander, salt and pepper.
6. Add 2 cups of soup stock. Let cook 10-15 minutes, or until carrots are soft.
7. Let cool, while you prepare the matzah balls. (See below.)
8. Once cooled, puree one third of the soup at a time in a blender, while slowly adding 1 more cup of stock to each third as you blend. This will result in an additional 3 cups of broth in soup.
This recipe can be doubled easily, or made spicier by adding more jalpeno. But be careful! It gets spicier as time passes!
Vegetable Matzah Balls: If you’re looking for a healthier, scrumptious matzah ball, which also makes a perfect complement to the soup above, try these vegetable matzah balls. Simply tack these few steps onto your normal matzah ball recipe to kick up the flavor.
1-2 celery stalks
Handful of mushrooms
1 box matzah ball mix
1. Dice and sauté the onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and parsley.
2. Drain the mixture and add it your matzah ball mix.
3. Cook them in pot of vegetable broth.
4. Serve with ordinary matzah ball soup or as an addition to the Jalepeno Carrot Soup with sour cream and cilantro on top.
Spicy Chocolate Almond Matzah Crunch: If you’re anything like me, what you miss the most on Passover are the desserts. So here’s a way to add a kick to your matzah experience and satisfy your sweet tooth.
5-6 matzah sheets
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups margarine or butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup crushed almonds or pecans
5 oz. semisweet chocolate
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Coat lightly with non stick spray, margarine, or Crisco.
2. Place matzah on sheet in a single layer.
3. Stir sugar, margarine, honey and 1/2 cup of water in a heavy saucepan over low heat, until the sugar dissolves. Raise temperature to medium/high and let boil without stirring for 13-15 minutes, until caramel changes to a deep amber color. (Tip: Swirl pot from time to time and brush sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent sticking and burning, as needed.)
4. Pour caramel evenly over the matzah.
5. Sprinkle nuts and let cool.
6. Melt chocolate in a pot and drizzle it over caramel nut matzah.
7. Sprinkle evenly with cayenne and salt.
8. Let stand 30 minutes until chocolate sets
9. Break into pieces, and enjoy!
(Tip: Try freezing it for an extra crunchy crunch.)
(Recipes from Jeanne Kidd)