Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lubavitch Miso Soup

My first cookbook, which was given to me by my mom, Shelly Schwartz, was the original Spice and Spirt Cookbook published by Lubavitch (a Chassidic Orthodox sect of Judaism).  It was a blue hardcover cookbook with a yellow paper jacket, published circa 1977.  Mine is long without the jacket, and the hardcover has fallen off, but I still use it.

In the 1990's they came out with a newer addition with a purple hardcover and no jacket and even more recipes--800+. This edition was given to me and my husband as a thank you present from Rabbi Alex Carlebach and his wife Tzipora from Chabad (Lubavitch) Johannesburg when they went away for a few days. My husband took over as substitute Rabbi at his congregation and I ran Tzipora's nursery school.   

This cookbook is even more comprehensive and the recipes are very user friendly and not difficult.You really don't need to be Jewish to use this cookbook, just be aware that you won't find any recipes mixing milk and meat, using shellfish or containing pig meat.  Besides the recipes, there are great expanations about Judaism, it's laws and its customs. Take heed, however that it is a bit strict and I recommend not to use it as a book of Jewish law but rather to consult with your local Rabbi (if you are Jewish and observant and that's the kind of thing you do).

I must have 50-60 cookbooks but these days I often go straight to the internet when I'm thinking of trying a new recipe.  When I decided to make something with miso, I thought to check the Spice and Spirit first, and lo and behold I found the most amazing and delicious soup recipe.  That is my opinion and the opinion held by my two vegetarian daughters and my 10 year old.  The rest of the family liked it but didn't seem as thrilled. And of course my pickiest daughter did not try it at all. But as this is my blog and I loved it, I have chosen to share it with you.

Regarding miso's health benefits, see this link.

Here is my adaptation of the recipe:

Miso Soup


3 T shiro (or any light) miso
1/2 cup water
3 T oil
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup celery , thinly sliced
1/2 cup onion thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup minced parsley
6 cups water
3 T tamari or regular soy sauce
1/2 pound (500 g) tofu cut into chunks


In a small bowl mix miso in 1/2 cup water and set aside.
In a pot, heat oil on low flame.
Add prepared vegetables and saute for 10 minutes.
Add 6 cups of water.
Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are tender, appoximately 30 minutes.
Add miso mixture and tamari/soy sauce and stir thorougly.  
Do not boil miso, it will lose many of it's benefits.

Add tofu chunks right before serving.


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