Chef’s Table – Hearty Vegetarian Dishes to Serve in the Sukkah

This year, Sukkot takes place in the latter part of October, so unless you live in Australia, chances are the weather will be somewhat chilly. There’s nothing better than serving family and friends a big bowl of nourishing soup or some hearty chili to warm everyone up on those cool fall nights. These hearty, healthy, meat-free recipes are sure to please everyone at your Sukkot table, meat-eaters and vegetarians/vegans alike.

Lily’s Red Lentil Soup

(Vegetarian/Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Adapted from Nourish: Whole Foods Featuring Seeds, Nuts & Beans by Nettie Cronish and Cara Rosenbloom, RD (Whitecap)
Yields 4 servings

When Cara Rosenbloom decided to become a vegetarian at age thirteen, her late mom, Lily, supported her decision and began experimenting with beans and lentils so Cara would have something good to eat. This was the soup that Lily would make most often, and always to rave reviews.

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth (see following recipe)
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
2. Add garlic and shallot. Cook until fragrant and tender, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Add carrots, celery and sweet potato and combine well. Cook about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in red lentils and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let cook about 25 minutes, or until lentils have thickened.
5. Add dill, salt and pepper, adjusting to taste. Serve immediately. Freezes well.

No-Salt-Added Vegetable Broth

Adapted from Nourish: Whole Foods Featuring Seeds, Nuts & Beans by Nettie Cronish and Cara Rosenbloom, RD (Whitecap)
Yields 10 cups

Soup broth can be used to add taste to sauces, stews, salad dressings, stir-fries and leafy greens. A basic broth uses onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, celery, carrots, mushrooms and tomatoes. Dominating flavors, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and peppers, are to be avoided. They overwhelm the subtle flavors of the other ingredients and can be bitter.

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
2 leeks, sliced thinly (white and pale green parts only)
4 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
6 medium tomatoes, quartered
3 cups sliced button mushrooms
2/3 cup green lentils
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
4 bay leaves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
10 cups water

1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add garlic, onion and leeks. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.
2. Stir in carrots and celery; cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, lentils, parsley, basil, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover with water. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to low; simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring often.
5. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing against vegetable mixture with the back of a large wooden spoon to extract all the liquid. Cool before storing. Store in jars in the refrigerator or freezer.

Norene’s Note:
Leftover broth will keep in the fridge for 5 days.

Underground Stew Photo: Mike McColl

Underground Stew
Photo: Mike McColl

Nettie’s Underground Stew

(Vegetarian/Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Adapted from Nourish: Whole Foods Featuring Seeds, Nuts & Beans by Nettie Cronish and Cara Rosenbloom, RD (Whitecap)
Yields 6 servings

Peanuts, carrots, celery root, sweet potatoes and parsnip all grow underground and retain a rich array of vitamins and minerals from the soil.

4 carrots, diced
1 celery root, diced
2 parsnips, diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp sea salt, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth
14 oz no-salt-added pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix carrots, celery root, parsnips and sweet potatoes with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, cinnamon, paprika and nutmeg. Transfer to baking sheet in a single layer and roast until they are fork tender, about 25 minutes.
3. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and allow to brown, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
4. Add wine and cook until it has reduced by half, 3-5 minutes.
5. Add broth and beans and bring to a boil. Add the roasted vegetables. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
6. Add rosemary and parsley to the stew; remove from heat. Add to serving bowl and garnish with peanuts.

Norene’s Kasha Chili

(Vegetarian/Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Adapted from Norene’s Healthy Kitchen: Eat Your Way to Good Health (Whitecap)
Yields 8 cups

Whole grain kasha provides a meaty texture to this meatless chili, which only takes 30 minutes to prepare and cook. Steaming hot, fiber-packed kasha chili is sure to warm you up on a chilly day!

1 can (28 oz) diced or stewed tomatoes
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 can (19 oz) black beans or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic (about 1-2 tsp minced)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp each paprika, cumin and oregano
3/4 cup wholegrain or medium-grain kasha (buckwheat groats)

1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients except the kasha and mix well; bring to a boil.     Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the kasha. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes longer or until the kasha is tender, stirring occasionally. If the chili is too thick, thin with a little water. Serve immediately. Keeps 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator and freezes well.

Norene’s Note:
Variation: Substitute 1/2 cup of uncooked green or brown lentils for the canned beans. Increase the cooking time to 20 minutes before adding the kasha.

Apple Pear Strudel Photo: Doug Gilletz

Apple Pear Strudel
Photo: Doug Gilletz

Apple Pear Strudel

Adapted from Norene’s Healthy Kitchen: Eat Your Way to Good Health (Whitecap)
Yields 12 servings

4 large baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 firm ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice (preferably fresh)
1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
8 sheets phyllo dough
2 to 3 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs or ground almonds
1 Tbsp granulated sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the apples, pears, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour; toss to combine.
3. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a dry work surface, with the longer side facing you. Keep the remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Brush the top side of phyllo lightly with oil, and then sprinkle lightly with crumbs.
4. Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first one; brush with oil and sprinkle with crumbs. Repeat until you have 3 layers, then top with a fourth layer of phyllo. Don’t brush the top layer with oil or add the crumbs.
5. Spoon half of the filling in a line along the bottom edge of the phyllo layers, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border at the bottom and on the sides.
6. Fold both of the shorter sides inwards and, starting with the bottom, carefully roll up the phyllo. Place the roll, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet.
7. Make a second fruit filling (following the directions above) to make an additional strudel. Brush the tops of the strudels lightly with oil and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut partially through the top of the dough, but not through the filling, marking 6 slices per strudel.
8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Fruit should be tender when strudel is pierced with a knife. At serving time, use a serrated knife to slice completely through.

Norene’s Note:
Heat and Eat: The strudel will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days. It can be frozen for up two months, but the dough won’t be as crisp. To reheat the strudel, bake it uncovered at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes.

This article was featured in the Fall 2016 issue of Jewish Action.