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Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year, begins on Wednesday night. The holiday is both a time of rejoicing and of serious introspection and it's customary to enjoy sweet foods. Jamie Geller, founder of "The Joy of Kosher" magazine, shares a sweet twist on traditional holiday dishes including apple and parsnip soup, plus chicken thighs with roasted fall fruit.

Apple and parsnip soup
Serves: 6
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready Time: 45 min

This soup has no added sugar, with just a hint of sweetness from the apples. It's similar in flavor and texture to a deliciously thick, savory, earthy, root vegetable soup. You can use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth if you want to make it pareve; and you can thin it out to a consistency of your liking by adding more broth and blending it longer. Finish it off with a drizzle of honey or olive oil and garnish with a few thin raw Granny Smith apple slices for a fresh, crisp crunch.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 11/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté two minutes. Add parsnips and sauté 3 minutes more. Add apples and stir 1 minute. Add curry powder, coriander and garlic powder, stir to coat. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

2. Either with an immersion blender or working in batches in a blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth, thinning with more broth if desired. Return soup to clean pot and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. To serve, divide between bowls and garnish with olive oil and sliced apple if desired.

Chicken thighs with roasted fall fruit
Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready time: 55 min

The wonderful thing about skillet chicken is the crisp golden brown skin you get when searing for about 8-10 minutes on each side and then finishing off in the oven. Searing also locks in those juices so you have nice, moist, flavorful — did I say moist? — chicken. 

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2-pounds)
  • 2 tart apples such as pink lady or granny smith, cored and cut into ½-inch thick slices
  • 2 ripe but firm pears, cored and cut into ½-inch thick slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup red grapes
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch or larger oven-proof skillet. Add chicken and brown for 8 to 10 minutes per side, until nicely golden brown. Remove and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 400° F. If there is more than 2 tablespoons of grease in the skillet, drain excess grease. Add apples and pears and sauté for 4 to 6 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Add garlic, salt, cinnamon and mustard powder and sauté 1 minute more. Add chicken thighs back to the pan with 1/2 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil. Transfer to preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Add grapes and ¼ cup more chicken stock if liquid has reduced too much and return to the oven for 15 minutes.

3. Garnish with balsamic vinegar and thyme and serve each chicken thigh with about 1 cup roasted fruit.