Best Chicken Soup Recipe Winner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Robert Miller
"BEST CHICKEN SOUP IN AMERICA" COOK NAMED
Rosely Himmelstein of New York City wins decisive "Soup-er Tuesday" victory in Shabbat Across America’s Chicken Soup Challenge
NEW YORK; FEB. 25, 2004 – After months of simmering excitement, Shabbat Across America’s Chicken Soup Challenge came to a full boil as life-long New Yorker Rosely Himmelstein’s soup was declared "the best chicken soup in America." (Recipe follows at end of news release.)
Tension and the tantalizing smell of homemade chicken soup filled the air during the cook-off finals of this national contest, which was sponsored by the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP), and held on Tuesday, Feb. 24th, at Abigael’s restaurant in New York, one of the city’s premiere kosher restaurants. Five finalists, selected from an overflowing pot of approximately 500 entries, prepared their original recipes, and a panel of nine distinguished judges had the mouthwatering task of tasting the five soups.
After much deliberation, Rosely’s soup--a traditional, comforting broth made with root vegetables, including parsnip, sweet potato, and rutabaga—was selected as the winner. A life-long resident of Manhattan, Rosely has spent many years working in the field of educational publishing. The mother of two and the grandmother of two grandsons, she says that her recipe is the result of a long evolution that began with watching her mother make chicken soup and "includes a little family, a 'little friends', and my own innovations, and is always served with affection and pride."
In addition to bragging rights, Rosely has won the grand prize trip for two to Israel, a gift certificate to Abigael’s, and other fun prizes.
The contest, which was open to amateur cooks age 18 and over of all faiths and backgrounds, was held in conjunction with NJOP’s 8th annual Shabbat Across America event, which will be held on Friday evening, March 12, 2004. More than 700 synagogues across the U.S. and Canada from all denominations are expected to participate in this program, opening their doors to tens of thousands of unaffiliated and marginally affiliated Jews to introduce the joys of the Jewish Sabbath. The recipe contest was a natural complement to Shabbat Across America since "Jewish" food is an element that links Jews of all backgrounds—almost every family has a favorite chicken soup recipe.
"Food is an integral part of Jewish life," says Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald, director and founder of NJOP. "We’re even commanded to eat festive meals on the Sabbath and holidays. Unfortunately, many people associate Jewish observance with a lack of eating—fasting on Yom Kippur, the restricted diet of Passover, and the foods forbidden by kosher law. Through the Chicken Soup Challenge, it was our goal to remind people that Jewish life can be fun—and delicious."
According to the contest’s executive judge, Chef Jeffrey Nathan of Abigael’s who is also the host of the PBS series New Jewish Cuisine, "It was extremely hard to choose a winner, since each soup was delicious and had a unique flavor profile. Some of the entrants used a lot of unusual ingredients, but in the end, Rosely’s simple soup, made with TLC, was the winner."
The other judges were:
- U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner from New York.
- Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President.
- Arthur Schwartz host of "Arthur Schwartz with Food Talk," a daily program heard on WOR radio.
- Michael Steinhardt, the legendary hedge fund manager and noted philanthropist.
- Helen Nash, the well-known author of kosher cookbooks.
- David G. Marwell, Ph.D., the director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage
- Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Israel.
- Sarra Schwartz, NJOP board member.
About the National Jewish Outreach Program
Founded in 1987 by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald to address the critical issues of assimilation and a lack of Jewish knowledge, NJOP is now one of the largest and most successful Jewish outreach organizations in the world. To date, more than 730,000 people have benefited from NJOP’s innovative, free programs which have been held in 3,620 locations—including synagogues, community centers, military bases, and college campuses—in all 50 states, nine Canadian provinces, and 30 countries around the world. (www.njop.org).
"The Best Chicken Soup in America"
Rosely Himmelstein’s winning recipe from Shabbat Across America’s Chicken Soup Challenge
(Serves about 6)
- 2 quarts of chicken broth (the recipe follows)
- 1 chicken (about 3-4 pounds), quartered (I prefer a regular chicken to a fowl); rinsed
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cup up
- 1 large onion, peeled and cup up
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only; washed well
- 1 parsnip, peeled and cut up
- 1 parsley root, with greens attached
- 1 sweet potato, peeled
- a handful of dill (about 3-4 stems)
- 1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut up
- a few sprigs of cilantro (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put chicken broth in pot; bring to boil.
Add chicken. Return to boil; lower heat.
Gently simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for one-half hour more; stir occasionally.
Skim fat from top.
Pour into bowls; into each add a slice of carrot and a sprig of cilantro.
If storing, let soup cool before refrigerating. When cold, remove the fat that rises to the surface. Use soup within 2-3 days, or store in freezer.
CHICKEN BROTH(makes about 2 quarts)
Combine all ingredients with 10 cups of water. Bring to boil. Simmer over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cool, then strain.
If not using immediately, refrigerate (for up to 3 days) or freeze.
###Tuscan Chicken Soup About 7g. of fat 4 servings 1 bulb of fennel small diced 1/2 cup each onion, carrot ,celery, medium diced 1T olive oil 8oz. skinless, boneless chicken thigh meat medium diced 1t fresh rosemary chopped fine 1 14oz can diced tomato low salt if possible 1 14oz can low salt chicken stock or broth 1 19oz can cannellini beans rinsed and drained Heat a large pot over a medium heat. Add oil, fennel, carrot, onion, celery and chicken stir occasionally for 15 mins Add remaining ingredients simmer for 25 to 35 mins. Add hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste Wanna kick this up for a football game? Here is what ya add: 1 19 oz can of kidney beans 1 19 oz can black beans 1 19oz can black beans pureed Always wash beans first! Now you have Tuscan Chicken Chili!!!!!!!!!!