I Missed Independence Day - פספסתי חג יום העצמאות
I hate when I miss something. Today is יום העצמאות (Independence Day). Because of Covid-19 the whole county is on lockdown. No large gatherings. No gatherings at all in fact. Parks are closed. Beaches are closed. No hikes, no travelling, no nothing.
To add insult to injury no one is allowed to gather outside and have a מנגל (BBQ). This is nearly impossible to bear because grilling outdoors and basking in the sun, spending the day with friends visiting and eating, is the archetype of recreation in Israel. Everyone does it. Muslims, Jews, Christians and even Vegans.
But we had a plan to bypass (legally) the restrictions. Our good friends who live directly across the road from us, Gill and Sol have been meeting us every Friday evening before Shabbat for a drink. They sit on their side of the road and we sit on ours. We bring out our plonk and visit for an hour. It is a very satisfying ritual in this time of so many no-nos. So we decided last Friday that today we would do a מנגל ala Shabbat drinks. I was very much anticipating the smell of the coals and the chatter.
But, like so many times - too many to count - I had to miss it.
I take a lot of meds - all prescribed. Maybe everyone does at my age but my prescriptions often wreak havoc with my sleep and with my energy levels. I am truly grateful that modern medicine has afforded me a relatively worry free life because the medicine and the doctors have my back. But occasionally, I hate them. Occasionally I want to go to bed without thinking about the dosges for today and occasionally when they interfere with a perfectly good celebration, I am more than a little ticked off.
Yesterday, I woke up not feeling well. I thought that by today it would wear off but it didn't. The only thing to do in these circumstance is to let it play out and get a lot of rest. I had prepared the food so Ken was able to join the party. In fact, I can still hear them. I am glad they are having a good time. But I'm in the house with קנאת חג (holiday envy).
So, even though I really don't feel up to it physically I know I need a to eat. And since מנגל food (chicken skewers, beef skewers, grilled pita.....) is not ideal for me right now I am making a soup. I hope it is nourishing - well, that is the idea.
Already feeling better.
As with all the recipes it will be also be published later under a Creative Commons License. The attribution is important to me. If you enjoy the soup, let me know and don't forget the shout-out.
BT's Beet, Celery and Potato Soup (cook alert! looks like borscht but it ain't)
1 very large leek
4 stalks celery with leaves (preferably taken from the top of the root)
1 very large beet
3 small purple potatoes (any potatoes will do but these are beautiful)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil or ghee or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon harissa
1 tablespoons (16 grams) grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoon (45 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon (15 grams) dried thyme 1 large bay leaf
8 cups (1.8 ltr) filtered water
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream (10%) - optional
1 small bunch dill
1 small bunch coriander
Wash leeks and celery and dice into small pieces
Peel beet and potatoes chop into small uniform pieces
Place heavy gauge pot on medium heat
Add oil and harissa and cook for 30 seconds
Add leek, celery and cook until white part of leek is translucent but not brown
Turn heat to low
Add ginger, salt, pepper, sugar and thyme and cook for 2 minutes
Turn heat up to medium
Add filtered water
Add beets and potatoes
Add bay leaf
Cover with a lid, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes
When vegetables are fork tender, remove pot from heat
Remove bay leaf
Purée soup with wand blender being careful not to overprocess
Juice lemon and add to soup
Taste for salt/pepper and add according to taste
Add cream if using
Rough chop cilantro, dill and scallion
Serve soup hot with fresh greens and labane or yogurt