Home Food The Shabbat Table – Soups in the Sukkah

The Shabbat Table – Soups in the Sukkah

Lentil soup (Flickr photo)

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! Sukkot begins at sunset on Sunday, September 23rd and ends at nightfall on Sunday, September 30, 2018. It is customary to eat our meals in the Sukkah, so it’s a good idea to serve foods that are easy to take outside. Although you can never predict what the weather will be, chances are that the evenings will be cool, so you can never go wrong with a steaming hot bowl of soup in the Sukkah!

Below are some of my favourite soups that you can cook either on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Rather than carrying steaming bowls of soup from the kitchen, it’s much safer to serve the soup directly from the slow cooker in your Sukkah.


  • Assemble the soup ingredients in advance and place them into the slow cooker insert.
  • Next, transfer the slow cooker and its contents to the Sukkah and place it on a side table.
  • Plug it in and let the soup simmer away all day—it will be ready when you are!
  • No slow cooker? Cook the soup on the stovetop, then transfer it to a soup tureen and bring it to the table.
  • Tip: To ensure the soup stays hot as long as possible, first rinse out the tureen with boiling water, then add the hot soup.


Almost everyone loves chicken soup—it’s the ultimate comfort food. Chicken Meatball Soup is almost a meal-in-a-bowl. If there are vegetarians at your table, serve them my Vegetarian Brothhttp://www.cjnews.com/food/the-shabbat-table-chicken-soup-for-the-bowl

Are you still looking for some soup suggestions? Check out these scrumptious recipes for Chicken Soup (Jewish Penicillin), Easy Chicken Dumpling Soup, Chinese Chicken & Corn Soup, and Quick Green Pea Soup (Vegetarian): http://www.cjnews.com/food/shabbat-table-soup-er-shabbat

My Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup is a ‘soup-er’ way to celebrate the upcoming fall harvest, and it’s vegetarian, too: https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/norene-gilletzs-carrot-and-sweet-potato-soup/

Lots of zucchini? Cook up a batch of my Zucchini and Two Potato Soup, which is pareve: http://www.cjnews.com/food/the-shabbat-table-not-so-teeny-weeny-zucchini



Quick prep, slow-cook! This is a nourishing, warming soup to serve in the Sukkah. Chop the vegetables in the food processor, then put everything into the slow cooker and let this carefree soup cook all day while you are away at work or out doing errands. If you don’t have a slow cooker, cook it on the stovetop (see Norene’s Notes, below).


2 medium onions, cut in chunks

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut in chunks

3 stalks celery, cut in chunks

3 large carrots, cut in chunks

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in chunks

1/4 cup minced fresh dillweed or 1 Tbsp dried dill

3/4 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained

1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained

12 cups vegetable broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the vegetables in batches, using quick on/off pulses, until finely chopped.
  2. Transfer the finely chopped vegetables to a slow cooker, along with the dillweed, barley, red lentils, broth, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on the low setting for 8 to 10 hours, until vegetables are tender. (The extra 2 hours of cooking time won’t affect the finished dish if dinner is delayed.)

Makes 10 to 12 servings (about 18 cups). Keeps 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator; reheats well. Freezes well for up to 4 months.

Note: This soup will thicken when refrigerated overnight, so thin it with a little water when reheating.

Norene’s Notes:

  • Size Counts: I have a 6-quart slow cooker, but if yours is smaller, use less vegetables, seasonings and water. As a guideline, fill the pot halfway with vegetables. Add 1/2 cup barley and 3/4 cup lentils then add enough vegetable broth or water to fill the pot to within 1 inch from the top.
  • Quick Tip: The soup will cook faster if you add boiling water instead of tap water. Cook on high setting for 4 to 6 hours.
  • Where’s the Beef? For a meatier flavor, add a few soup bones or chunks of lean beef stewing meat. Cooking time will be about the same.
  • No Slow Cooker? You can also cook this soup on top of the stove. Combine all the ingredients in a large soup pot that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bring to a boil, then cover partially and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.




Adapted from Norene’s Healthy Kitchen

 Thanks to Valerie Kanter of Chicago, editor of the Kosher cookbook, Crowning Elegance for sharing this scrumptious low-carb autumn vegetable soup. It’s wonderful all year round and perfect to serve in the Sukkah. She often serves it from her slow cooker for Shabbat. I’ve given you both stovetop and slow cooker methods—the choice is yours!


2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped

2–3 stalks celery, chopped

6 medium carrots, chopped

3 medium sweet potatoes, cut in chunks

1 medium butternut or acorn squash, peeled and cut in chunks (about 5 cups)

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 medium zucchinis, cut in chunks

10 cups water

4–6 bay leaves

2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic, crushed, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, and carrots for 5 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally. Add sweet potatoes, squash, mushrooms, and zucchini; mix well.
  2. Add water, bay leaves, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If soup becomes too thick, add a little more water. Remove bay leaves and discard.
  3. Using a potato masher, coarsely mash vegetables in the pot—soup will be somewhat chunky. Stir in dill, parsley, and garlic; adjust seasonings to taste.

Yield: about 15 cups. Reheats and/or freezes well.

Norene’s Notes:

  • Slow Cooker Method: At the end of Step 1, combine sautéed vegetables with water and seasonings in the insert of your slow cooker. Cook, covered, for 6–8 hours on low or 3–4 hours on high. No peeking!
  • Short Cuts: To make it easier to cut a squash, slash tough outer skin in several places with a sharp knife. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4–5 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut in half or into pieces. Scoop out seeds and stringy fibers with an ice-cream scoop or large spoon.
  • Bay Watch! Always remove and discard bay leaves after cooking. A bay leaf won’t rehydrate even after boiling so, if left in the soup, someone could choke on it. Count how many you put in and how many you take out. Or, better yet, tie them up in a square of cheesecloth for easy removal after cooking.

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Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, cookbook editor and now a podcaster. Norene lives in Toronto and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at gourmania.com..