Food for the soul: Hanukkah recipes

December 6, 2021 Providence Body & Mind Team

At Providence, the Diversity & Inclusion Council in Southern California (SoCal D&I) is supporting diversity and inclusion efforts by empowering people to raise their voices and get involved when it comes to social issues and health disparities. 

Our commitment is to drive change, create unity, and foster a world of love by reconciling these issues, once and for all.

To help you bring an appreciation of cultural traditions to your table, Providence chefs Joy Cantrell and Luis Castro have created some Hanukkah recipes to celebrate the Festival of Lights.  

Potato Latkes

Serve with applesauce, a dollop of sour cream, and chopped green onions! 


2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes

1 tablespoon grated onions

3 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup vegetable oil for frying


1. Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible.

2. In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour, and salt together.

3. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to ½-inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. Serve hot!

Nutrition Facts – 2 per serving

102 calories; protein 4.5g; carbohydrates 11.3g; fat 4.4g; cholesterol 93mg; sodium 619.6mg.


Matzo Ball Soup with Chicken



1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 yellow onion

3 carrots

3 stalks celery

2 chicken breasts (approx. 1 lb.) – skin removed, boneless

6 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

Freshly cracked black pepper

Few sprigs fresh dill 


3 large eggs

3 Tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup matzo meal

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

Freshly cracked black pepper

3 Tbsp water 


1. Mince the garlic and dice the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots with the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent (about five minutes).

2. Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, 2 cups water, some freshly cracked pepper, and one or two sprigs of dill to the pot. Place a lid on the pot and let it come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

3. While the soup is simmering, mix the matzo ball dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil. Add the matzo meal, salt, baking powder, and a little freshly cracked pepper to the eggs and oil. Stir until well combined. Finally, add 3 Tbsp water and stir until smooth again. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to allow the matzo meal time to absorb the moisture.

4. After the chicken soup has simmered, carefully remove the chicken breast and shred it with a fork. Return the shredded chicken to the soup. Taste the broth and adjust the salt if needed.

5. Once the matzo ball mix has refrigerated and stiffened up, begin to form it into ping pong-sized balls. Drop the balls into the simmering soup as they are formed, returning the lid to the pot after each one. Once all the matzo balls are in the soup, let them simmer for 20 minutes without removing the lid. Make sure the soup is gently simmering the entire time.

6. Add a couple of sprigs of fresh dill just before serving.

Note:  If you use chicken with bones and skin, you must remove all bones, and strain the fat from the soup.

Nutrition: Serving 2Cups | Calories: 317.98kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.36g | Protein: 18.14g | Fat: 17.66g | Sodium: 1724.1mg | Fiber: 1.96g

Join us in creating some of your own special memories by creating one of these recipes. Share your finished dishes with us! #Providence #FoodiesForTheSoul

Meet the chefs

Joy Cantrell is an executive chef and food production manager at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center Burbank. Prior to joining Providence 15 years ago, Joy was the director of operations for the catering division at Warner Music Group and has also owned her own catering company. Joy is also on the culinary board of directors at Los Angeles Mission College and is a Providence Mission Spirit awardee. Fun Fact: Joy was born at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center Burbank.

Luis Castro is a cook at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center Burbank, who will be celebrating his 12th year work anniversary in July. Luis oversees the Meals to Go program in addition to managing catering at Providence. Luis attributes his passion for cooking to his father who’s an executive chef at a reputable hospital.


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Related resources

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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.

About the Author

The Providence Body & Mind Team is dedicated to providing medically-sound, data-backed insights and advice on how to reach and maintain your optimal health through a mixture of exercise, mindfulness, preventative care and healthy living in general.

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