There is nothing like savoring a steamy bowl of soup while cozied up in the sukkah on a brisk fall night. As Sukkot falls on the calendar well into autumn this year, nippy evenings can be expected, and soup is the perfect meal to enjoy in our temporary dwellings to warm chilly bones.
Beyond weather, there is a fundamental parallel between the process of cooking a big pot of soup and in constructing a sukkah. Each are built from the very basics, and it is from their humble constructs that we find a deep nourishment from within. Relishing in the warmth of a soup and in the shelter of a sukkah are both full-body experiences and the effects feel like a love-filled bear hug.
So as we hang acorn squash from the rooftops and chop sweet potatoes on the cutting board, here are soup insights and recipes that are inspired by Sukkot. It is my hope that soup in the sukkah—and beyond—is a delicious food experience for you and your families that will enhance the holiday season.
Sukkot-inspired soup transcends ingredients. These bowls of celebration are:
Inspired by the harvest: Acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, spinach, Swiss chard and kale, to name a few, are the jewels of the season. Allow the harvest to inspire your soup.
Built from the basics: The pantry items that stubbornly sit on the shelves waiting to be cooked into something are what a good soup is made of. So look to the dried spices, grains, rice, pasta, carrots, potatoes, onions and garlic to jump-start soup making.
A tradition in the making: Find two soups that you want to regularly weave into the month and run them on a loop. Variations are welcome to keep things interesting. Allowing a few foundational soups to become part of your food rhythm ease up the meal planning and cooking process and will hopefully create a little kitchen Zen.
Time saving: Chopping veggies is what occupies the hands during soup making. After that, the rest is hands-off stovetop simmer time (a slow cooker can help here, too). Incorporating quick-cooking ingredients like split lentils, precooked proteins and veggies like spinach and chard can trim the hands-on prep time.
Family friendly: If family soup time is a cause for protest, offering components of the soup to kids is a plan B. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always the reliable bowl of noodles. When my five-year-old refuses a bowl of soup, she will comply when offered a noodle bowl. Even if she is not eating the soup, she still participates in the motions—slurping and all.