Tag Archives: egg drop soup

Minestra Dayenu Revisted: It wasn’t enough.

After my last post (January 6, 2014) I decided that my first draft of Minestra Dayenu had in fact not been enough, and that I needed to attempt it one more time. After finding only a few very vague descriptions in books and getting a little bit more information from individuals through text and email, I decided to tackle Minestra Dayenu once again. This time around I tried to keep closer to the true basic descriptions that I had read by leaving out the chicken dumplings. The result was a nice creamy soup that reminded me of a Greek Avgolemono, but without the lemon juice. The trick (I found) was in doing two things: tempering my egg yolks in some warm water before adding it to the hot broth, and adding my matzah strips to cook in the broth only one minute before serving. These two crucial steps helped me to prevent the eggs from cooking into a stringy mass (like egg drop soup) and to soften the matzah just enough so that they didn’t disintegrate. The result was a creamy, simple, and comforting soup that can be served either as a starter for the Passover meal, during the week of the holiday for lunch, or even as a final dish on the last night of Passover to use up extra matzah pieces. Either way, it’s a treat!


Minestra Dayenu: Chicken and Egg Soup with Cinnamon and Matzah Noodles
(Yield: Serves 8 / Makes about 16 cups)


For Broth:
15 cups plain chicken broth
Fine sea salt
(amount will vary according to how salty broth is)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup warm water

For Serving:
4 square matzah (regular, not egg, not thin),
broken into strips about 6 inches long and 1 inch wide
Extra ground cinnamon

1. Pour broth into a large soup pot and bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat.

2. Lower to a medium heat and add the salt (as needed), cinnamon, and nutmeg. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat but leave on top of burner.

3. Combine the egg yolks with ¼ cup warm (not cold) water in a small bowl. Very slowly pour the egg mixture into the broth while whisking quickly at the same time to prevent the eggs from turning stringy like egg drop soup (mixture should look fine as if you had added flour).

4. (Note: If you are not serving immediately then wait to do this step until just before otherwise matzah will become too mushy when ready to eat.) Bring soup to a second boil over high heat. Reduce to a medium heat and add the matzah strips. Mix once and slow boil just until the strips become soft like pasta (less than 1 minute). Remove from heat and serve immediately in separate bowls sprinkled with a little bit of ground cinnamon.

©Jennifer Felicia Abadi:  www.TooGoodToPassover.com / jabadi@FistfulofLentils.com

Bukharian Egg & Matzah Soup with Sour Golden Plums

Soup_Matzah13This recipe is adapted from the one that I learned from Amnun Kimyagarov and his wife Zoya during my trip to Rego Park in late August of 2013 (see previous post from September 15, 2013). You can also find this recipe (called, “Oshi Masozgoshak“) in Amnun’s cookbook: “Classic Central Asian (Bukharian) Jewish Cuisine and Customs.”

The original recipe uses unripe green apricots, but dried yellow or golden plums are substituted here in the U.S. The trick is to add a slight tart flavor to the soup. Dried apricots can be used if you cannot find the dried yellow or golden plums in a Russian, Eastern European, or Asian grocery store, but keep in mind that the flavor should be more tart than sweet. Zoya used imported dried Olucha which are dried yellow plums that resemble giant golden raisins. According to Amnun’s Bukharian/Russian/English dictionary this translated to “Cornelian Cherry” and looked like this (see below):

YellowPlums_DriedWhen I went looking in a Russian grocery in Queens (right after my visit with Amnun and Zoya) I couldn’t find the same dried yellow plums that they had used, so instead I got a box of something that looked similar called Uzbek Apricot Kondak, which on the container were translated as “Small Size Apricots with Pits” (photo below). The Apricot Kondak were much more sweet than the Olucha that Zoya had used but looked pretty in the soup (make sure to warn guests about the big pits!). Perhaps the next time I would try to use a more sour apricot like the California variety. After emailing Amnun about this he told me that the taste of the soup should have a slightly sour flavor, so if you cannot find the dried sour plums you should add a few tablespoons of lemon juice instead.

Apricot_Kondak1Oshi Masozgoshak
(Yield: Serves 8 to 10
/Makes about 15 cups)

For Soup:
3 tablespoons vegetable, safflower, or canola oil

2 cups coarsely chopped onions (about 1 large)

1¼ pounds veal stew, beef stew, or chicken thighs cut into ¼-inch pieces

12 cups homemade plain veal, beef, or chicken broth or water

Meat bone (can be 2 reserved bones from chicken thighs, or 1 from veal or beef)

2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 to 4 generous grindings of fresh black pepper
¾ pound carrots, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups cubed)
¾ pound white potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups cubed)
1½ cups dried golden or yellow plums, or Persian dried sour plums*
2 cups finely chopped sorrel leaves or loosely packed coriander leaves (stems discarded)

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

*If you cannot find these from an Asian, Persian, Central Asian/Russian, or Middle Eastern
specialty grocery store then substitute with dried California apricots and several tablespoons of
freshly squeezed lemon juice until you have reached desired tartness.

For Serving:
4 squares matzah, broken into 2-inch pieces

1. Pour oil into a large 4- to 6-quart pot or saucepan and warm over high heat for 1 minute.

Reduce to a medium-high heat and mix in onions. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until very soft
but not browned.

2. Add meat and mix well. Cook meat, stirring often, until it becomes a greyish-brown color,
about 5 minutes.

3. Pour in broth (or water), and add bone(s), salt, and pepper and bring to boil over high heat.
Reduce to a medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.

4. Add the whole dried plums or apricots, mix well, and continue to simmer an additional
15 minutes uncovered.

5. Add the carrot and potato pieces, and chopped sorrel (or coriander leaves) and mix well.
Cook 10 minutes over medium heat, just until potatoes become soft but not mushy.

6. Slowly add the beaten eggs while stirring until eggs become long strands like egg drop soup,
about 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately into individual soup bowls with
about ½ a square matzah broken up into each bowl.

©Jennifer Felicia Abadi:  www.TooGoodToPassover.com / jabadi@FistfulofLentils.com

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