How to Use Manischewitz Mixes to Make Your Own Signature Soups
Healthy Ingredients and Superior Flavor Packed in a Cellophane Tube
I've been making quick, hearty, and satisfying soups for years using the Manischewitz kosher soup mixes that are packaged in cello tubes. These Manischewitz mixes come in a variety of combinations, all containing dried legumes and vegetables plus Manishewitz’s own seasoning blends.
You can enjoy these cello soup mixes at their basic best by adding only water and then following the simple cooking instructions, or you can doctor them up in amazing ways, as I learned to do from my mother, to make sensational hearty soups on a shoestring budget.
As there are no meat or dairy products in these soup mixes, they are completely suitable for vegetarian and vegan cooking. But if you are an omnivore, as I am, then you can also add inexpensive cuts of meat or substitute homemade meat or vegetable stock for the water.
Let's take a look at how to turn these kosher soup mixes into uniquely satisfying, tasty, signature soups that reflect your creativity and your commitment to healthy and delicious eating.
Manischewitz Cello Soup Mix Varieties
Cello soup mixes come in about a half-dozen varieties, each in a 6-ounce package with its own unique ingredients and seasonings. In addition to the primary ingredients and seasonings, some combination of dried and pulverized tomato, celery, onion, bell pepper, carrot, and spinach is also included.
- Vegetable with Mushrooms The primary legume ingredients are green split peas, barley, yellow split peas, and lima beans. Included in the 6-ounce cello package is a seasonings packet, which you add during the last 10 minutes of cooking, that contains alphabet noodles which are fun for both kids and grownups.
- Minestrone The main ingredients are yellow and green split peas and enriched macaroni. The seasonings include paprika, garlic, turmeric, white pepper, and celery seed. Of all the cello soup mix varieties, this one takes the least amount of time to cook, approximately 45 minutes.
- Lima Bean With Barley Lima beans and barley are the primary ingredients. Seasonings include salt, garlic, paprika, turmeric, white pepper, cinnamon, mace, allspice, and cayenne pepper.
- Split Pea The yellow and green split peas in this soup mix are not just split; they are finely chopped so that the texture of the soup after a relatively short cooking time, about an hour and a quarter, is thick and smooth, almost as if you’d run it through a blender. Seasonings include salt, MSG (monosodium glutamate), sugar, celery seed, and white pepper.
- Lentil Lentils, green split peas, and enriched macaroni are the bulk ingredients of this variety. Seasonings include sugar, salt, paprika, garlic, and white pepper.
- Four Bean The four bean varieties in the cello tube are yellow split peas, white beans, pink beans, and yellow-eye beans. Seasonings include black pepper, parsley, and celery seed.
About MSG, Salt, and Gluten
If you have dietary concerns regarding MSG, salt, or wheat gluten, read the package ingredients before purchasing. Each Manischewitz soup mix variety is slightly different in terms of these ingredients, although all are lactose-free.
Ways to Use Manischewitz Soup Mixes
Now that you know the main ingredients in each of these varieties, you can start to experiment with making them your own. Here are some of the additions and alterations my mother and I make to create our own signature cello soups. Try them out as a starting point for creating your own signature soups.
- Vegetable or Meat Stock Although the soup mixes are excellent when made with water, they are even better when cooked in vegetable, chicken, or beef stock. We tend to use sodium-free or low-sodium stock, because there is so much flavor in the soup mix seasonings and the other ingredients we add that salt isn’t needed at all. Although we enjoy making our own stocks from scratch, we’re not at all averse to using prepared stocks for the sake of shortening our time in the kitchen.
- Fresh Onion, Celery, Carrot, and Garlic We finely dice these ingredients and add them to all of our soups, without exception. The onion, celery, and garlic go into the pot once the bulk ingredients of the cello mix have come to a boil and have been simmering for about 10 minutes. The carrots go in later, toward the end, so that they are still a bit firm once the soup is done. We use about two-thirds of a cup each of onion, celery, and carrot, and about a tablespoon of garlic. This amount of garlic may seem like a lot, but when it combines with the fresh vegetables and the bulk ingredients, it is more of a flavor enhancer than a dominant taste.
- Fresh Ginger A tablespoon or more of finely diced fresh ginger is a very pleasing addition to the split pea soup mix, particularly when you cook it with vegetable stock. Add the fresh ginger about half-way through the cooking.
- Cabbage Cabbage is a nutritious and flavorful thickener for the vegetable with mushrooms and minestrone soup mixes. When half the cooking time has passed, add about a cup of finely shredded cabbage to the simmering soup.
- Tomatoes I like to add a small can of either low-sodium stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes (with their liquid) to the vegetable with mushrooms, minestrone, and lentil soups. Tomatoes add beautiful color, body, and flavor. Be sure to add the tomatoes only after the legumes are done and tender.
- Balsamic Vinegar A tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar added to the lentil soup mix lends an earthy, fragrant, and somewhat piquant essence. I learned about this from Bill Yovino’s lentil soup recipe, which I made a few weeks ago (the vegetarian version). A few days ago I added balsamic vinegar to my signature version of the Manischewitz lentil soup mix, and it was outstanding. Way to go, Bill!
- Smoked Ham Hocks A smoked ham hock or two, boiled until the meat is tender, is a flavorful and hearty addition to the four-bean and split pea soup mixes. Boil the hocks in enough water to cover for about two hours. When the meat is tender, remove the hocks from the water and let cool. Skim the fat from the water and add more water, if needed, to come to the volume of liquid required by the soup mix directions. Bring to a boil, add the bulk soup mix ingredients, and begin cooking the soup. After the ham hocks have cooled, separate the meat from the bone, fat, and skin, shred it with your fingers (it should just fall apart), and add it to the cooking soup.
- Beef Marrow Beef marrow is an excellent addition to the vegetable with mushrooms, minestrone, and lima bean with barley soup mixes, giving the final soup a hint of beef flavor and the richness of marrow. Boil a beef marrow bone as you would smoked ham hocks, until the marrow begins to soften and separate from the core of the bone. The cooking time will be less than for ham hocks. Follow the smoked ham hocks instructions above for cooling the bone until you can handle it to remove the marrow, skimming the water, and starting the soup.
Any of these soups makes a thick, nutritious, inexpensive lunch or dinner main course. Add a fresh garden salad or a slice of crusty bread, and don’t forget a glass of white or red wine. We also like any of the soups as a topping for rice or pasta. Place a cup of cooked rice or pasta in a bowl, pour a ladle-full of soup over the top, and dust with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Sally's Signature Vegetable Beef Marrow Soup Recipe
You may want to start your adventure into Manischewitz soup mixes with this tried-and-true and much-loved family recipe. I’m leaving out the instructions, because you know what to do!
- 1 package Manischewitz vegetable with mushrooms soup mix (follow the instructions on the cello package for quantity of water, cooking time, and seasonings packet addition)
- 1 beef marrow bone
- 2/3 cup each of finely diced onion, celery, and carrot
- 1 tablespoon finely diced garlic
- 1 cup finely shredded cabbage
- One 13-ounce can low-sodium stewed tomatoes, chopped, with liquid (add tomatoes only after legumes are done and tender)
What Is Kosher?
Kosher refers to the Jewish body of dietary law, Kashrut. Contrary to popular opinion, foods that are kosher are not necessarily blessed by a rabbi. In fact, the term “kosher” applies not only to foods but also to the ways in which foods are stored, prepared, and consumed. You may find it interesting to know that kosher does not necessarily mean additive-free, either. I was quite amazed to find a long list of food supplements that are kosher-certified. As is true for any body of law, Kashrut is complex and rich, having evolved through centuries of Jewish tradition. I find this explanation of what it means to “keep kosher” enlightening.
A Modern Klesmer Rendition of the Joy of "Man-O-Manischewitz"
Who Is Manischewitz?
The trusted Manischewitz brand has been with us since 1888 when Rabbi Manischewitz started baking matzo in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company flourished through the years by introducing other kosher foods including wine. When I was growing up, the phrase “Man-O-Manischewitz - What a Wine!” was a household phrase describing not only the virtues of a product, but, when truncated to just “Man-O-Manischewitz,” the virtues of a person, thing, or event. The phrase was a seal of approval delivered with a smile and a playful voice.
Where Can I Buy Manischewitz Cello Soup Mixes?
Most major supermarket chains in the US carry these soup mixes in their “international” or “ethnic” aisles, but they don’t usually have all of the varieties on their shelves. When I see these soup mixes on sale, I always buy a half-dozen or so, no matter the variety, because they have a very long shelf-life.
Amazon sellers offer a good selection of Manischewitz soup mix varieties, but mostly in bulk. Bulk purchases can be smart, depending on your circumstances. A family of four or six will easily go through 24 cello tubes during the cold weather season, even if the 24 packages are of the same variety. There are so many ways to change up this soup mix that, I guarantee, no two batches of the same soup mix variety ever need to taste the same.
© 2011 Sally's Trove. All rights reserved.
Recipes appearing in Sally’s Trove articles are original, having been created and tested in our family kitchens, unless otherwise noted.