Purim's over, Passover prep begins! For me that means, making menus, lists, and starting to prepare items that freeze well. Soups, saucy meats and chickens, and baked goods fall into that category. I’m starting with soups because I find making multiple soups in one day is easier because I chop lots of extra onions and use all of my extra stocks and fresh herbs. (It goes without saying that you'll need a kosher-for-Passover kitchen to prepare all this.)

Freezing is simple. Make sure soups are fully cooled then gently pour into freezer safe zip-lock bags. Label the bag clearly with item, amount, and date. Lay flat onto a baking sheet, so that the bag freezes flat (and then you can save space and freeze multiple soups on top of each other). Once the soup is frozen, you can remove the baking sheet. Defrost in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before serving. Then rewarm slowly in a pot.

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

Serves 5

We eat vegetable soup almost every day on Passover. We always need another healthy and filling dish and this is enjoyed by everyone.

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tomatoes (about 1 pound), halved
  • 3 yellow or red peppers, halved
  • 3 zucchini, halved
  • 1 small eggplant, halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, halved
  • 2 onions cut into 1/8’s
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup non-dairy creamer or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, shredded

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Line and grease two large baking sheets with aluminum foil. Place the tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and eggplant on the baking sheets in a single layer. Tuck in the garlic and onion throughout both trays of vegetables. Drizzle each tray with 3 tablespoons olive-oil, ½ teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Bake for 35 minutes, until soft and browned. When cool, remove the skin from the peppers.

Place the vegetables in a food processor and coarsely chop them, do not puree them. They should be the consistency of salsa.

In a large soup pot, heat the chicken stock over medium-high heat. When hot, add the vegetables and turn down the heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in the non-dairy creamer and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the basil and serve warm.

Passover Mulligatawny

Photo by My heart beets.com

Serves 8

Full flavored both sweet and savory, this soup is a nice addition to a Passover repertoire that is tired of vegetable, zucchini and other traditional Passover soups.

  • ¼ cup margarine or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or paprika
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup non-dairy creamer or almond milk

In a large stockpot, melt margarine over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes. Whisk in potato starch, cumin and paprika. Add apple, carrot and sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes until a bit softened. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add chicken and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in pepper and nondairy creamer.

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

Photo by marthastewart.com, DO NOT use pumpkin seed garnish as pictured, they are NOT kosher for Passover. Use toasted nut of your choice

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed well
  • 1 green apple, such as Granny Smith, cored, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes or butternut squash
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, or a chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish: Toasted pecans or sliced almonds (DO NOT use Pumpkin seeds)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and leek and cook garlic until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add apple, celery, and ginger, and cook for 3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and stock, and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add sriracha sauce and white wine and boil for 5 minutes.

With an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm, garnished with toasted nuts.

Classic Potato Leek Soup

Serves 8 – 10

Makes this one pareve or dairy. If you make it dairy use butter in place of the margarine and use dairy sour cream. It can be made a few days ahead of time. Keep it chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted margarine or butter
  • 3 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brandy or cognac (requires kosher for Passover hechsher)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or non-dairy creamer
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Melt the margarine/butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks, onions and salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the brandy and white wine and boil until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are very tender, about 35 minutes.

With an immersion blender puree the soup (you can use a blender too) until very smooth. Return the soup to the pan. Add the sour cream and pepper and bring to just a simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Serve warm and garnish with chives.

Red Pepper Soup with Orange Zest

Photo by Skinnytaste.com

Serves 4

This is delicious warm or cold so it’s a great option for Yom Tov. The orange zest gives the soup a great flavor boost and makes it interesting.

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 ½ pounds red bell peppers (about 3 large), quartered, seeded
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, quartered, seeded
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, trimmed, quartered
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups (or more) chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange all bell peppers and tomatoes on a prepared sheet, cut side up. Scatter onion and garlic over. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until peppers are soft and beginning to brown around edges, turning occasionally, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven. Enclose yellow pepper in a paper bag for 10 minutes, then peel and finely chop. Reserve for garnish.

Add broth, 2 tablespoons basil, and orange zest. With an immersion blender, puree soup. Rewarm and serve. Garnish with remaining basil and roasted yellow pepper. Thin soup with additional broth, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.