Chicken, Vegetable and Barley Soup and a review of The Bais Yaakov Cookbook

I’m super excited to be reviewing another cookbook today. I’ve got a bunch of books on my shelf, waiting to be written about, but this one is extra exciting because I heard so much about this book lately! I’m sure that all of my Kosher readers have heard about the Bais Yaakov Cookbook. There’s been a lot of hype in the kosher world about it. I couldn’t help wondering: was that earned? I finally got a chance to find out!

At first glance:

This cookbook looks really impressive. It’s a large, hardcover book with pictures that are breathtakingly beautiful. There’s a wide variety of recipes, all arranged clearly and intuitively.

My first thought as I flipped through this book the first time was “I totally see why its so popular!”

Some Features I Liked:

One of the things that stands out most about this book, as I mentioned, is the beautiful photography. The pictures seriously make you want to dig right in!

Another thing I like is that the cookbook has a good mix of basic, staple type recipes and some new and innovative recipes that make me wonder why I’ve never thought of that.

Another thing I really like about this book is the little helpful tips and tricks that fill some of the empty space on pages. From tips about plating and information about ingredients to descriptions of cooking methods and guides to reheating the recipes, there’s a lot to learn, even for an experienced cook.

Oh, and I love the salad section. I kind of want to make every single recipe in it.

Lastly, I like that this cookbook contains recipes contributed by lots of different people, so they’re tried and true.

Some Recipes I Can’t Wait to Try:

Pesto Chicken Salad- I love chicken salads, and I think it’s been firmly established how much I love all things basil…can’t wait to try it!

Grilled Beef Rolls with scallion dipping sauce: this is a gorgeous and delicious looking appetizer. Definitely happening the next time I make a party!

Beer Battered Chicken Fingers: I dunno what to say about this other than…YUM. I love beer battered anything.

Crispy Potato Roast: I love how this is a potato side dish, yet totally unlike any potato dish I’ve ever made!

Who This Cookbook is For:

This is a phenomenal cookbook for any kosher cook who want excellent recipes that are accompanied by mouthwatering pictures. It also contains information about kosher dietary laws and Jewish education, so it’s a great purchase for anyone who wants to learn more about that.

Also, all proceeds from this book go to charity, so that’s always a great reason to purchase it!

Who This Cookbook Isn’t For:

This book has a lot of information about kosher cooking, Jewish education and things like that, so a non kosher/Jewish reader might not find it as useful.

What I Didn’t Like About This Cookbook:

While I loved the pictures in this book, there were a bunch of recipes that had no pictures, though that’s me being spoiled.

As I mentioned before, there are recipes contributed by lots of people, which has a nice plus side to it, but it does mean that some of the recipes are pretty basic, or recipes I have seen similar versions of in other books.


Overall, I loved this cookbook. It’s bright, beautiful, fresh and quite creative. I really do recommend it for anyone who keeps a kosher kitchen!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this cookbook for review by Feldheim Publishers. Opinions are all my own. There are affiliate links within this post, which means I benefit if you click on them to purchase the book.

Here’s a sample recipe from the book. It’s delicious, easy and filling. Seriously- it’s comfort food done right!

Chicken Vegetable and Barley Soup:

Adapted from The Bais Yaakov Cookbook


1/4 cup canola oil

2 large onions, diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

6 stalks of celery

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed

3/4 cup barley

1 Tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

10-12 cups water, enough to cover


Heat the oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the diced onions and sauté for five minutes, until translucent.

Add the diced carrot and celery. Sauté for an additional five minutes.

Add the cubed chicken, barley, salt pepper and water.

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and leave to simmer for 3-4 hours. Serve hot.



  1. says

    I’m with you – I like a cookbook where I can see pics of the food. Although this one in general does sound amazing. But I have problems imagining what I’m going to be making otherwise. The soup looks scrummy!

  2. says

    I just bought this cookbook before Chaggim and cooked literally all of Sukkot from it! It’s incredible, so far every recipe has been a hit and there’s barely any time or prep involved! Great review! :)

  3. Sarah N. says

    I love you blog, and am looking forward to trying this recipe, but is the chicken supposed to be cooked before I put in in the soup? Thanks!

  4. Tova says

    Is the barley supposed to be raw when added. I believe so I’m just making sure. Have you ever tried adding any other veggies. I’m sure some diced zucchini added at the end or switching one carrot for a parsnip would be yummy. Is this your recipe or is it from the Bais Yaakov cookbook that was a little confusing about the post…

    Either way thanx a bunch!

    • Tova says

      Did you maybe put too much water? The trick it to put almost no water that way all you have is the outstanding taste of vegetables. Mine tasted like heaven in a bowl I don’t know how it could have not been good??

  5. Terry says

    It all sounds great…except one thing. Is it just me or does this recipe not mention water and how much?

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