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Orange Soup - מרק חטום

July 6, 2016

In this beautiful land by the sea you cannot buy tinned soup. There is no 40 different kinds of Campbell's soup. No Progresso. No Liptons. If you are desperate there is Knorr powdered soup base (no comment) and some sort of iridescent Osem "chicken flavored" powder (again no comment) and prepackaged "Noodles in a Cup" from AM-PM. On the whole Israelis consider soup something you make at home or is made from scratch in a restaurant. Sometimes stew is called soup depending on what country you hail from.

 

 

Ubiquitous in winter is מרק חטום Orange Soup. Now for years I worked at the library and ran across 42nd Street or 34th Street or 6th Avenue to stand in line with all the rest of the worker bees at Hale and Hearty. Feeling righteous that I did not opt for a bagel or a mega sandwich from the deli I would patiently wait my turn to pick my soup of the day and pay upwards of $8 for 6 oz. of mediocrity in a cardboard cup and my choice of a crust or bread or bag of crackers. 

 

Hale and Hearty had some pretty weird soup varieties but I never encountered Orange Soup until we moved to Israel. Orange Soup as one can imagine, is orange in color. That is the whole story. Any sort of orange vegetables is used to make the soup - בטטה, גזר, דלעת (yam, carrot, squash). The seasoning depends on the cook or the chef and whether the soup is served hot or cold and whether it is בשרי (meat) or חלבי (dairy).  Often, in an ordinary establishment (מקום סטם) the Osem powder is added to boost the flavor. 

 

 אני קפדנית וקיצונית בנושא מרק  (I am maniacal about soup).  I never use stock of any variety. To me the flavors of the soup must come from the fresh ingredients. To do otherwise would be in my mind, reducing (no pun intended) all soups to the same flavor. So I am often disappointed when I order the Orange Soup in a restaurant. I understand that it a time saver and a money saver but living here means easy access to cheap and fabulous produce, so there is no excuse. 

 

Whatever your preference:

Orange Soup with ginger

Orange Soup with curry

Orange Soup with Thai basil and cilantro

Orange Soup with a meat bone

Orange Soup with zatar and mint

Orange Soup with cloves and chillies

Orange Soup with basil olive oil

Orange Soup with labane

 

Go for it and thank the land for the taste of heaven. 

 

 

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