Local businessman's soup to be featured

February 01, 2001

RecipeLocal businessman's soup to be featured

Manny Shaool cooks from memory.

"I have to hear every recipe one time," said Shaool, of Hagerstown. He needs only a rundown of the ingredients, not amounts.

"I know how much," he said.

Shaool's cooking prowess has taken time to develop. He started experimenting in the kitchen as a child, learning how to doctor foods to bring out their best flavors.

Shaool's wife, Janet, appreciates his skills. Now that their four children are grown, he has taken over the kitchen.

"He's great with leftovers. He's my chef," Janet Shaool said.

His culinary skills are also enjoyed in the community.

Last year, he made a Persian soup featuring noodles, beans and spinach for the Potter's Bowl Dinner at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown.


Called ASHE-e RESHTEH - ASHE-e means "soup," RESHTEH means "noodle" - he adapted the recipe from his mother's version.

"This is a very popular soup in Iran. You grow up with it," said Shaool, who has owned Manny's Oriental Rugs & Gallery in Hagerstown for 22 years.

It also was a hit among the 170 people who attended the Potter's Bowl last year. He's making it again.

"The longer it simmers, the tastier it becomes," Shaool said. "Persian cooking is like French. You have to cook it for hours."

He will make the vegetarian version of the soup, using vegetable bouillon cubes instead of chicken bouillon.

There are several garnishes that work well with Shaool's soup - onions sauted in olive oil and saffron; whey or yogurt.

Shaool said he will make enough to feed the 210 paying guests for this year's Potter's Bowl and the approximately 40 volunteers helping with preparation and serving.

"Everyone in that group will have it," Shaool said.

Manny Shaool said the dinner is for "the best cause," the Community Free Clinic in Hagerstown.

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