Soup and Couscous, Please

Soup and Couscous, Please

Soup and couscous. Soup and couscous. Soup and couscous.

These are the foods my children eat nearly every single day when they return home from school.

Soup and couscous are what all of my children like to eat. And it’s easy to prepare in large quantities for the whole week. So that’s what I give them.

But over summer vacation, I’ve been diversifying. Preparing different yummy things every day. In order to celebrate, sort of, these extra weeks of vacation together.

One day it’s pancakes with chocolate syrup. Another day French toast with milkshakes. Another day star-shaped noodles. Another day vegetarian hotdogs in fluffy white hotdog rolls from the corner store.

So, unlike the rest of the year, for the whole summer my kids have actually been asking me, “Eema, what are you making today?” And when I answer something new and surprising, they answer, “Yay, I love star-shaped noodles!”

But today something surprising happened when I told my kids about the surprise of the day.

When Maayan and Moriah asked me this morning what I am making to eat today, and I told them “I don’t know…maybe star-shaped noodles?” Maayan responded, “Eema, maybe you could make soup today…like you always make?” And Moriah agreed, “Yes, soup! Like you used to always make…”

“Soup?! But I always make soup. It’s summer vacation, I’ve been making special things…” I responded.

“Please, Eema, make us soup, like you always make. That’s what we really want the most.”

And this, I think, means that summer vacation is officially coming to an end.

In just 6 days, I will need to roll out of bed, yet again, to a bleating alarm clock at 6:35 in order to rush my big kids out the door to their 7:15 schoolbus.

And like my children, I am not looking forward to that return to routine. But the truth is, like my children, I also am.

Looking forward to the early morning, heavy-lidded daily rush that brings in its wake the sweet hours of morning silence that my house and this Eema have not enjoyed since June. Looking forward to the sweet return home several hours later of Weisberg munchkins after a full day of learning and playing and experiencing life outside these walls, as they crowd around my kitchen table hungry for a late lunch of soup and couscous.

I agree with my kids. The time has come.


  1. i loved this!
    but please even if it sounds superficial….can you give us your recipe for this soup, please? you made my mouth water and i definitely want some soup and couscous too!!

  2. blumasheindl

    I want the recipe too!!!please.

  3. I totally agree with Ann above… now I’m in the mood for soup!

  4. you JewishMOMs made me smile!

    The couscous is just instant couscous. They also sell whole wheat (at least in Israel).

    The soup I make is incredibly quick and easy. So quick and easy that I am embarrassed to share this, but my kids do love it….

    4 carrots
    3 medium potatoes
    1 onion
    (If you live in Israel, you can also add a chunk of “dalaat” or Israeli pumpkin)
    2 cans tomato paste
    2 cups red lentils
    Salt, pepper, and oregano to taste.

    Chop up vegetables. Put all ingredients in large pot, and fill with water. Simmer for an hour or until all the veggies are soft.


    • Devorah Shain

      Having lived in Israel, I can tell you that dala’at is a lot like squash. It is actually a type of pumpkin. You can add winter squash instead of dala’at.

      Thanks for all your inspiring articles.

      Enjoying them here!

  5. thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    it sounds quick, healthy and delicious….the perfect combination!
    because in france where i live and where the jewish community is mostly sefardi, the couscous soup is very rich with meat …it is actually the friday night shabbos meal!
    so now i can do couscous in the week !!
    yecher koah!!

  6. i’m so glad you gave us the recipe. after reading your post, i was going to ask for it too! may you all have a great new school year! 🙂 debra

  7. Well I’m more amazed about how you cooked different things in the holidays….. I can’t do that at all when all my kids are home!!! My best cooking happens when they are all at school, and the house is quiet…..
    Now I am running out of excuses as they all go back this week and next, one by one….

  8. I found myself knee deep over the stove and sink these past 2 weeks…i try to make dinner while tgey are finished with breakfast and the smell stays in the house so an hour later the playroom is soaked in the aroma of spaghetti sauce or meatballs or chicken stew and then just as im pouring myslef a cup of coffee (number 2, nescafe light on caffiene since coffee number 1 was string and dark at 730am..a time I would rather spend asleep but my kids are earlybirds, no matter how late they fall its my wakeup and smell the coffee, coffee…) Anyways, just as I am getting my favorite.cup of relaxation coffee going and of course my rice cakes with cottage cheese anf honey…they are, guess what …”HUNGRY!”…again!…i want to lock myself in a room and eat my rice cakes ALONE, and drink this nescafe while its hot and soothing…but before I know it I am dividing my 2 rice cakes into as equal as I can get portions aand if im lucky I had a bite or too while my coffee was lukewarm and not at risk of spilling all over the place…so I am definitely looking forward to knowing at least one meal will be prepacked and eaten at a different location where the smell of dinner wont distract them from what they need to learn…and ill get to eat my ricecakes, hopefully.

    • same situation sara! the kids are greedy during the holidays; it is hard time we get the ricecakes back!!!!
      Chana Jenny, i propose that if sometimes you organize a “jewish mom meeting” the menu is already decided! we jewish moms definitely want couscous and soup, pleeease!!!

  9. mmm… I am definitely making this soup… Yes, its true, my little girl started asking me about when shes going back to gan – that means the vacation was a blessing! If all the children are happy to return to their schedules, then vacation did what it was supposed to do!

  10. i did it for lunch!! a great success with every member of the family! thank you again Chana Jenny!

  11. Thanks for the recipe. I love to make soup. From the picture it looks like you also used chickpeas. Did you? Also, was the cous cous the Israeli kind or the fine smaller kind?

    Thanks and good Elul to you! We were on sabbatical in Jerusalem last year and loved it. What area do you live?

    • I do sometimes add chickpeas. Sometimes we use the finer and sometimes the thicker kind….We live in nachlaot

  12. Caroline B.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! I will make it for Shabbat for my family. Perfect now that the weather is cooling down a little (well, from 110 – 90, but it’s still cooler! :))

  13. made your soup yesterday, my girls liked it!
    thanks for a yummmy, easy and nutritious recipe!

  14. Sounds delishous. Can’t wate too try it.

  15. Hi

    I’m making the soup now and am looking forward to trying it.

    With the tomatfo paste here in Israel do you mean two big cans? In the US the tomato paste comes in smaller cans. Thanks for clarifying!

    • I just made some, I think one can is actually enough with the israeli tomato paste cans…

  16. Hindel Levitin

    Hi Mrs. Weisberg,
    I just love your writing! More please!

  17. Hi, Hindel! I know what you mean. There’s something so fresh and honest about it. And yet she also has a certain professionalism about her. That’s our beloved Chana Jenny.

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