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Winter Warmers

Red lentils (Wiki Commons)

... but hurry, because the sun will be shining again before long!

My friends back in England often ask me "What's it like living somewhere that's always hot?" …. And …. "Do you ever have to wear a coat?" …. And my favorite … "What's it like living on holiday all the time?" (the last one always makes me laugh).

These questions are asked by my friends who visit for two weeks in August and can't imagine that the temperature does drop quite considerably and that our homes are built to keep the heat OUT.

I confess – I love getting out my winter recipes. Soups, casseroles and stews – it's what I grew up on in the north of England – and that was in July! I have, however, sometimes been caught off guard after putting a cholent in the crock pot on a cool Friday afternoon and waking up to glorious sunshine on Shabbat morning. No one ate the cholent that lunchtime and who eats cholent once Shabbat is over?

Here are my three favorites to keep you warm in this mild Israeli winter. Make them soon – winter doesn't last long!

Lentil Soup with Kabanos

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 ½ hours

Serves: 6-8


1 ½ cups red lentils

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

3 stalks celery, finely sliced

3 carrots, peeled and finely diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 ½ liters chicken or pareve stock

2 Tablespoons tomato puree

3 long Kabanos, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Soak the lentils in a large bowl of water for 15 minutes.
  2. In a large soup pot, sauté the onions, garlic, celery and carrots until they are slightly softened, about 6 -7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cumin and oregano and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the chicken stock, drained lentils and tomato puree.
  5. Bring to a rapid boil, then turn the fire down and simmer for an hour.
  6. Just before serving add some sliced kabanos to the pot.
  7. Taste before adding salt and pepper.

I love the following recipe because I usually have everything on hand - no need to go out and buy fancy ingredients.

Chicken and Chickpea Hot Pot

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 6


2 Tablespoons olive oil

5-6 small potatoes scrubbed and cut in half

1 onion, sliced

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

8 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs (pargiot), cut into bite sized pieces

400g can chickpeas, drained

400g can diced tomatoes

450 ml chicken or pareve stock

2 teaspoons salt

10 grinds black pepper


  1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Add the potatoes and onion and fry them until lightly browned.
  2. Add the chicken pieces, cinnamon and ginger to the pan and sauté until golden brown.
  3. Add the drained chickpeas and salt and pepper. Pour in the chicken or pareve stock and the chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  4. Lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with a crusty baguette.

Eve's Pudding 

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

This is a British winter classic made with tart Bramley apples (which I miss). Granny Smiths seen to work fairly well.


6 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

200g butter or margarine, at room temperature

½ cup raisins

4 large eggs

100g soft, brown sugar

200g self-raising flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  2. Grease a large ovenproof dish with the butter / margarine wrapper.
  3. Lay the sliced apples in the pan and scatter the raisins over them
  4. In a mixing bowl beat the butter/margarine and sugar together with a wooden spoon until pale and smooth.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the sugar slowly. Finally, fold in the flour.
  6. Spread the mixture over the apples and bake for 45 minutes until golden.


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