A pot of soup or stew simmering on the stove can make the whole house feel cozy on a cold winter day, which explains why January is National Soup Month.

In 1765, a French entrepreneur named Boulanger opened the first modern restaurant. On Boulanger’s menu soup - or more specifically, meat-based bouillons - intended to restore a person’s health, which Boulanger successfully marketed as an antidote to exhaustion.

The sign above his door advertised bouillons restaurants, which literally translates to “restorative broths.”  The origin of the word “restaurant” is a healing soup.  

As early as the 12th century, Maimonides was recommending chicken broth to cure common respiratory ailments. Scientists have now proven what every grandmother, including Sophie’s Bubbe and Nai Nai in Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup, always knew: chicken soup, also known as “Jewish penicillin” eases cold and flu symptoms, fights infection, and relieves inflammation of the upper respiratory system.

The best food feeds your soul as well as your body. For the kids in The Cholent Brigade, nothing makes a hurt neighbor feel better than a hot bowl of homemade stew.

Looking for inspiration to make your own soup or stew? Check out the stories and recipes in Tasty Bible Stories and Passover Around the World.

Happy soup-ing!