Noted foodie gets cooking for scholarships

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published February 21, 2012

Annabel Cohen says everyone has a story about soup.

“It was a food very accessible to a lot of people, no matter how poor you were,” she explained. “If you are near water, you always have soup. It’s a universal food.”

Cohen has co-authored two books on food: “Eating for Acid Reflux – a Handbook and Cookbook for Those with Heartburn,” and “America’s Thanksgiving Parade Cookbook.” She appeared on the Travel Channel’s “Food Wars” and was the deciding judge in a contest between Detroit landmarks Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island. She founded a catering company and donates her time to demonstrate cooking to a number of charitable causes.

And she always asks for soup stories.

She recalled a story one woman told her about soup the woman’s mother had prepared for Passover shortly before the mother died suddenly of a stroke.

“The family came together after she died and ate that soup, the last thing her mother made,” Cohen said. “It was so touching.”

Cohen will demonstrate her way around a soup kettle and other dishes at Congregation Shir Tikvah March 1 to raise money for the Sisterhood Scholarships the congregation sponsors.

Congregation member Ruth Zendel explained that the scholarships are awarded to both children and adults for camps and classes. The Congregation Shir Tikvah Sisterhood celebrates diversity and is dedicated to upholding Jewish ideals of repairing the world through social action, advancing the efforts of Women of Reform Judaism, and supporting friendships, personal growth and synagogue programs.

“Almost every Jewish holiday starts with soup,” Cohen noted.

She will demonstrate and share her recipes for lentil soup, mushroom barley soup, and a third soup she declined to divulge.

She starts many soup recipes with a mirepoix of sautéed onion, carrot and celery. “It’s a universal way of starting soup,” she said. “The soup will always have flavor.”

Attendees will taste the soup and other entrees Cohen demonstrates.

The cost to attend is $18. The deadline to make a reservation is Feb. 26. Make checks payable CST Sisterhood, 3900 Northfield Parkway, Troy, MI 48084. Congregation Shir Tikvah is located at 3900 Northfield Parkway, Troy. Call (248) 649-4418 for information.