Ida Richman’s Poor Man Soup

February 6, 2013

Author: Alan Richman 




• Two six-ounce packages Manischewitz or Streit’s Split Pea Soup Mix (Beware of other brands, the ones where the peas are not finely cut and don’t get soft enough.)

• Four or five beef shin bones, 1-2 inches thick, with marrow

• Two medium yellow onions, grated

• Two medium carrots, grated


1. Bring nine cups of water to a boil. (The Manischewitz recipe calls for 5 cups for a six-ounce package. The Streit’s recipe calls for 4 cups for an identical six-ounce package. If you were adding only the ingredients of the packages, Streit’s would be more right than Manischewitz. But you’ve got more going into the pot, so up it a little.)

2. Add the peas. Stir.

(Each package comes with a little cellophane packet of seasonings. They are to Jewish soup what MSG is to Chinese food. The Streit’s directions call for the contents to be added after 45 minutes of cooking, 15 minutes before the soup is done. Manischewitz says to add the contents during the last 10 minutes of cooking. I can’t believe my mother was that patient. My guess she added them at the start. Here’s what I do. After about a half-hour, I add the seasonings, but not all of them. It’s too much. If you think the soup needs more salt or pepper, add to taste. Anyway, an hour isn’t nearly long enough to cook this soup. It requires two hours, minimum.)

3.Add the soup bones, the grated onion, the grated carrots. Stir well. Cover. Lower temperature to simmer.

4.After about an hour, if you’re hungry, remove the bones. Dig out the marrow. Serve on white toast, with coarse salt. After the bones have cooled, give them to your dog.

5. Eat the soup when the peas are dissolved and the broth is creamy, about two hours, sometimes more. Stir well before serving.

This post was submitted by Alan Richman. (His mother, Ida, is second from left in the photo.)