There is nothing like the seasonal produce in Israel. Unlike many countries, so much of the produce is local rather than imported and is only available part of the year. Strawberries in winter, mangoes in summer, artichokes in spring, Israelis truly live with the seasons. This notion often extends to cooked food as well. Sufganiot (donuts) are only available around the time of Chanukah at bakeries, Hamentaschen only around Purim, and it is difficult to find Matza on the grocery shelves in October.
In restaurants, eating seasonally is highlighted in the menu, and soups disappear from the offerings from May to October in place of fresh summer-ripe salads and dishes.
While Meir Panim’s Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchens have soup on the menu year-round to nourish our patrons, we like to mimic the seasonal experience that would be found in a typical Israeli restaurant this time of year by offering multiple soup options. This is a highlight for many diners and just another way our restaurants create a dignified atmosphere.
In our Jerusalem branch, we feature the daily chicken and vegetable soup, and a lentil or bean soup option – some patrons even enjoy one after another!
Our branch manager, Daniel, makes the soups from scratch daily with a big smile and warm heart, ready to take care of community members in need, who he welcomes by name each day. While we love to welcome our patrons in and lead them to a seat to be served, following their meal they will often come to the counter to share a few words with our staff and volunteers, or ask for a refill which we share with a smile!