Soups

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Vegetable Soup

  1. Vegetable soup with vegetables is haadama and the bracha one recites on the vegetables also exempts the broth.[1]
  2. If someone just wants to eat the broth and not the vegetables, many Ashkenazic poskim hold the bracha of the liquid is the same as the actual vegetable which in most cases is HaAdama. (For background on topic see footnote.) [2] However, Sephardim and some Ashkenazim hold that vegetable soup is Shehakol unless one also eats the vegetables. [3]

Carrot Soup

  1. The bracha on carrot soup is haadama on the carrots and that exempts the carrots.[4] But if there's only a few vegetables in the soup and one really wants the soup and the vegetables are just there to enhance it the bracha on everything is shehakol.[5]
  2. If one is only eating the broth of the carrot soup the bracha is shehakol.[6]

Bean Soup

  1. Bean soup is haadama. If someone just eats the broth and not the beans, according to Ashkenazim the bracha is haadama[7], according to Sephardim the bracha is shehakol.[8]

Potato or Pepper Soup

  1. Cream of potato soup or pureed pepper soup with solid bits of potato or peppers is haadama. If it is pureed and there's no solid pieces the bracha is shehakol.[9]

Mushroom Soup

  1. Mushroom soup is shehakol.[10]

Chicken Soup and Meat Soup

  1. Chicken soup which has chicken and vegetables in it one should just recite a haadama on the vegetables and that exempts everything.[11]
  2. If someone is only eating vegetables and broth and not chicken the bracha haadama on the vegetables exempts the broth.[12]
  3. If someone is only eating the broth of chicken soup and not the chicken or vegetables the bracha is Shehakol.[13]

Noodle Soup

  1. If there's a little noodles in the soup the bracha on the noodles mezonot doesn't exempt the rest of the soup and one should recite two brachot.[14] Some write that it is better to exempt the soup with another food that's shehakol.[15]
  2. If there's a lot of noodles in the soup the bracha on the noodles mezonot exempts the rest of the soup.[16]

Barley soup

  1. If one’s primary intent is for the barley (and soup (as is common) one should make Mezonot and Al Hamichya (if one ate a Kezayit of barley). [17]
  2. However, if there’s a small amount of barley and the soup is almost clear, then on the soup one should make Shehakol and on the barley one should make Mezonot. Some say to make the Shehakol and then the Mezonot and others disagree. [18]
  3. If one only drinks the broth of the soup the Bracha is Shehakol. [19]
  4. If the majority is barley even if one’s primary intent is for the soup. [20]

Borscht

  1. Some say that Borscht is HaAdama even if the liquid has no pieces of beets, however, some say that one only makes HaAdama if there’s small pieces of beets in the liquid, and yet, others argues that Borscht is Shehakol unless there’s big pieces of beets in the liquid. [21]

Noodles, dumplings, or soup nuts

  1. If there’s a small amount of noodles, kneidlach (dumplings), or soup nuts one makes two Brachot, Shehakol on the soup and Mezonot on the noodles. [22]
  2. If there’s a significant amount of noodles, kneidlach (dumplings), or soup nuts, and one is interested just as much in the soup as one is interested in the soup nuts, noodles, or dumplings one should only make Mezonot and it exempts the soup. [23]
  3. If one is eating the noodles, kneidlach (dumplings), or soup nuts just because they’re there one only says Shehakol. [24]

Matzah Balls

  1. If there are Matzah balls in the soup a Mezonot is made on the Matzah balls and Shehakol on the soup because the Matzah balls are eaten as separate from the soup. [25]

Questions and Answers

  1. What bracha do I make on vegetable soup? #Vegetable soup
  2. What bracha do I make on barley soup? #Barley soup
  3. What bracha do I make on borscht? #Borscht

Sources

  1. Mishna Brurah 205:9 writes that it is obvious that if one is eating the vegetables together with the soup the bracha on the vegetables exempts the soup because of Ikar and Tofel.
    • In Gemara Brachot (39a) Rav Papa says that water of cooked vegetables is HaAdama just like the Bracha of the cooked vegetables itself.
    • The Rishonim deal with the question of why liquids which vegetables were cooked in are HaAdama while fruit juice is Shehakol (Brachot 38b, Shulchan Aruch 202:8). (1) The Rabbenu Yonah (Brachot 27b s.v. VeMaya) answers that squeezing fruit makes the fruit worse while cooking improves the vegetable. (2) The Rosh (Brachot 6:18) differentiates that fruit juices don’t taste like the fruit itself but the liquid of a cooked vegetable tastes like the vegetable itself and so it’s HaAdama. Tur 205:2 agrees. (3) The Rashba (Brachot 38a) writes that vegetables were mostly used for cooking (and so the bracha is HaAdama), however, the majority of fruit isn't planted in order to be squeezed and so the bracha is Shehakol. (4) Rabbenu Yechiel (as explained by Perisha 205:2) and Mordechai explain that vegetables are different than fruits. Since vegetables are meant to be eaten its soup is also a food and is haadama like it, but fruit juice is a drink unlike the actual fruit and so it is shehakol. The Shulchan Aruch 205:2 doesn't clarify which answers he accepts but simply writes that the bracha on vegetables soups is haadama.
    • The Rishonim also put different limitations on when this halacha applies. (1) The Sh"t HaRosh 4:15 says that the water is only the same Bracha as the vegetable when one’s primary intent is to cook and eat the vegetables. But if you're cooking the vegetables in the water for the purposes of the water like for someone who is sick and can't eat solids, the bracha on the water is shehakol. (2) The Rambam (Brachot 8:4) holds that it must be that vegetables are usually cooked and one is cooking the vegetables in order to drink the liquid. Kesef Mishna Brachot 8:4 who explains that the Rambam only means to negate the case where the vegetables are cooked to remove a smell in the liquid. Magen Avraham 205:6 agrees.
    • Bottom line: Vezot Habracha (Birur Halacha ch. 21 p. 269) writes that based on the above opinions there are several conditions to fulfill in order that the bracha be HaAdama: (A) It must be common to cook that vegetable (Rashba), (B) One's intent is to cook the vegetables to eat them and not just the water (Sh"t HaRosh), (C) The water must have absorbed the flavor of the vegetable (Rosh). (D) Majority of that type of vegetable is cooked and not eaten raw (Rashba). If one of these four conditions are lacking the bracha is shehakol. He cites Rav Pinchas Sheinberg that condition D is necessary. However, Halachos of Brachos (Rabbi Pinchas Bodner, chapter 23, pg 434, note 16) only requires conditions A, B, and C. The Laws of Brachos (chap 11, pg 329) only requires conditions A and B.
    • VeZot HaBracha (chap 12, pg 119) rules that the vegetable soup which doesn't have vegetables in it are Shehakol because it doens't have a strong flavor like the soups which Chazal spoke about.
    • Raah Brachot 39a argues on the Rif that vegetables soups are haadama that they are all shehakol just like fruit juices. He explains that the gemara meant that the bracha on the vegetable exempts the water but the water itself would have just been shehakol. Kaf HaChaim 205:11 rules that one should recite a shehakol because of the opinion of the Raah. Or Letzion 14:31 agrees. Similarly, Chazon Ovadyah (Brachot pg 164) holds that it's preferable to be concerned for the opinion of the Raah and make Shehakol on vegetables soup, however, if one made HaAdama on the actual vegetable it covers the liquid as well. [The Laws of Brachos (chap 11, pg 329-330) writes that if one eats the liquid without the vegetables or a minor amount of vegetables the liquid is primary, however, if one also eats the vegetables in the soup the Bracha is HaAdama on the vegetables and that also covers the liquid as well.]
  2. Mishna Brurah 205:9, Vezot Habracha (Birur Halacha ch. 21 p. 271) quoting Rav Elyashiv
  3. Vezot Habracha (Birur Halacha ch. 21 p. 271)
  4. Vezot Habracha (Birur Halacha ch. 21 p. 271) writes that the bracha on carrot soup broth is shehakol since the broth doesn't have a strong taste of carrots which is a condition (C) to make haadama on soup from vegetables.
  5. Halachos of Brachos p. 434
  6. Kaf HaChaim 205:11. See general vegetable soups.
  7. Halachos of Brachos p. 434 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach explained that if the vegetable was blended completely and there's no solid pieces the bracha is shehakol. However, if there's pieces it is haadama.
  8. Halachos of Brachos p. 436 citing Igrot Moshe 1:69
  9. The Rosh Brachot 6:18 writes that if a person has vegetable soup broth the bracha is haadama but if meat is added the bracha is shehakol since the taste of the meat is primary compared to the vegetables. The Shulchan Aruch 205:2 rules like the Rosh. Therefore, the broth of chicken soup with vegetables is shehakol. However, if one is eating it with the vegetables, making a haadama on the vegetables exempts the broth as well (Mishna Brurah 205:9). With respect to the meat, Rivivot Ephraim 1:151:9 writes that since the vegetables are in the majority they are primary compared to the meat and the bracha on vegetables exempts everything else.
  10. Mishna Brurah 205:9
  11. Rosh Brachot 6:18, Shulchan Aruch 205:2
  12. Magen Avraham 205:6, Mishna Brurah 205:11
  13. Mishna Brurah 205:11 citing the Chaye Adam
  14. Magen Avraham 205:6, Mishna Brurah 205:11
  15. The Chaye Adam 54:16 writes that the discussion of the Magen Avraham whether or not to make Mezonot or Shehakol on the liquid in barley soup that is only where one only drank the water and not the barley but if one ate the barley certainly one makes Mezonot on the barley and that covers the water. The Mishna Brurah 205:11 and Kaf HaChaim 205:11 agree. Therefore, Halachos of Brachos (Rabbi Bodner, chap 23, pg 436) writes that on barley vegetable soup one should make Mezonot even if there are more vegetables than barley. Similarly, Laws of Brachos (chap 7, pg 220) writes that if one’s primary intent is for the barley one should make Mezonot.
  16. * The Magen Avraham 205:6 concludes that if one only added a little barley and the water is almost clear then certainly the water isn’t mezonot and so one should make Shehakol on the water and Mezonot on the barley. The Netiv Chaim and Yad Efrayim (on the Magen Avraham 205:6) edit the text of the Magen Avraham and write that one should make Mezonot on the barley and then Shehakol on the water because Mezonot always precedes Shehakol. However, the Chaye Adam 54:16 copies the language of the Magen Avraham and in Nishmat Avraham (at the end of Siman 54) he explains that perhaps it’s based on a doubt that perhaps the Mezonot on the barley would cover the water and so one should switch the usual order. Nonetheless, the Chaye Adam concludes that it’s preferable to make Mezonot on the barley and then Shehakol on something else (in order to maintain the correct order and avoid all doubt). The Mishna Brurah 205:11 quotes the Chaye Adam that one should make Mezonot on the barley and then Shehakol on the soup, but it’s preferable to make Shehakol on something else. [Mishna Brurah in 208:23 writes the same halacha.] Laws of Brachos (Rabbi Forst, pg 220, and 385, note 4) agrees with the Mishna Brurah.
    * However, Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:69 agrees with the Netiv Chaim and Yad Efraim that one should make Mezonot first and then Shehakol on the soup but it’s preferable to make Shehakol on something else like the Chaye Adam. Halachos of Brachos (Rabbi Bodner, chap 23, pg 436, note k) writes like the Chaye Adam that one should make Mezonot on the barley and then Shehakol on another item.
  17. According to many opinions (see below) one should make Mezonot on a barley and then Shehakol on a food which is Shehakol.
    * In Gemara Brachot 39a, Rav Papa says that water of cooked vegetables is HaAdama just like the Bracha of the cooked vegetables itself. The Bet Yosef 205:2 quotes the Sh”t HaRosh 4:15 who says that the water is only the same Bracha as the vegetable when one’s primary intent is to cook the vegetables. The Darkei Moshe 205:2 explains that the Rambam (Brachot 8:4) holds that it must be that the water is normally drunk, and in this case is made to be drunk. The Magen Avraham 205:6 says that according to the Rambam since mezonot grain (for example pearl barley) isn’t usually cooked in water in order to drink the water the Bracha on the water would be Shehakol, however, according to the Rosh since one’s primary intent is to cook the barley, the Bracha on the water would be Mezonot. The Chaye Adam 54:16 writes that because of this dispute one should make Mezonot on the barley and Shehakol on another food and eat enough of the barley and enough of the other food in order that one could make Al Hamichya and Borei Nefashot. The Mishna Brurah 205:11 concurs. However, the Kaf HaChaim 205:11 writes that because of the dispute one should simply make Shehakol.
  18. Laws of Brachos (chap 7, pg 220) infers from Mishna Brurah 208:23 that that even if one’s primary intent is for the water if there’s a majority of barley then one should only make Mezonot and not Shehakol.
    • Halachos of Brachos (chap 23, pg 438) quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman saying that Borscht fulfills all the major opinions of what makes a soup HaAdama and should be HaAdama even if it is clear and has no pieces of beets.
    • Halachos of Brachos (chap 23, pg 438, note 29.1) rules definitively that if there’s small pieces the Bracha is HaAdama and if it’s clear liquid then there’s a doubt regarding the halacha. The reason that Rabbi Bodner has a doubt about the case where there’s no beets in the liquid is because that most people cook beets to eat the actual beets and not the liquid.
    • Vezot HaBracha (Luach HaBrachot, pg 366) and Laws of Brachos (Rabbi Forst, chap 11, pg 331) write that the Bracha is Shehakol unless there are big pieces of beets in the liquid.
  19. Laws of Brachos (pg 363) writes if there’s a small amount of noodles, kneidlach, or soup nuts one makes two Brachot, Shehakol on the soup and Mezonot on the noodles. Similarly, Halachos of Brochos (pg 72, chapter 4, Rabbi Pinchas Bodner) writes that soup nuts enhance the soup and so it requires two Brachot (Mezonot and Shehakol). Vezot HaBracha (pg 117, chapter 12) agrees and says that the same is true of noodles, or dumplings in soup. Vezot HaBracha specifies that this is usually the case when there is a small amount of noodles in the soup.
    • Vezot HaBracha (pg 117) writes that in order to avoid exempting the soup with the mezonot one should say the Shehakol before the Mezonot, while the Halachos of Brachos (pg 72) disagrees saying to make the mezonot first.
  20. Vezot HaBracha (pg 118, chapter 12) writes that if there’s a significant amount of soup nuts, noodles, or dumplings, and one is interested just as much in the soup as one is interested in the soup nuts, noodles, or dumplings one should only make Mezonot and it exempts the soup. See the Mishna Brurah 205:11 in support of this point. Igrot Moshe 4:43 writes that if there's matzah balls in a soup, one should recite mezonot on the matzah ball and exempt the soup. Similarly, Laws of Brachos (pg 363) writes that if there’s a majority of noodles in the soup the Bracha is Mezonot.
  21. Vezot HaBracha (pg 117, chapter 12) writes that if one is eating the soup nuts, noodles, or dumplings just because they’re there, one should only make Shehakol on the soup and that exempts the noodles, kneidlach (dumplings), or soup nuts.
  22. VeTen Bracha (pg 73, chapter 4). See also Vezot HaBracha (pg 118#6, chapter 11)