More Soup, Please!
Mr. Goldberger loves eating hot soup on Shabbos. He often takes seconds. Lately, he heard in Hilchos Shabbos shiur that one should be
careful not to re-heat liquids that cooled down. After enjoying his first bowl, Mr. Goldberger started wondering: should he dry the ladle before taking seconds?
If a ladle was used to draw hot soup from a pot it is not necessary to dry the ladle before taking more soup. However, if the soup liquid remaining on the ladle cooled down, before drawing more soup one should shake off the accumulated liquid to a point where there are just droplets left on the ladle. If the ladle was washed (with cold water), it must be totally dry before being reinserted into the soup pot.
A Braisa1 teaches us that food which was cooked before Shabbos can be placed in hot water on Shabbos. The concept that is learned from this Braisa is known as ein bishul achar bishul (lit. ―there is no cooking after cooking‖) – the melacha of bishul does not apply to already-cooked foods*. A practical example of this would be as follows: if one has cooked noodles (even if they are now cold), he can add them to a pot of hot soup (as long as the pot is off the fire—the reason for this is beyond the scope of today’s halacha).
Some poskim learn that the rule of ein bishul achar bishul applies to both solids and liquids. Other poskim learn that this applies only to solid foods—liquids, on the other hand, are subject to re-cooking if they had been cooked previously. Ashkenazim follow the ruling of the Rama that one may not heat up previously cooked liquids if they had subsequently cooled down2. Based on a combination of factors, Rav Moshe Feinstein zt‖l and other contemporary poskim say that if there is no accumulation of liquid (i.e., there is just a residue or droplets of the cooked liquid), one may be lenient like those poskim who hold that the principal of ein bishul achar bishul applies also to liquids (i.e., even if the liquid is now cooled down completely)4 **.
*Note: When the food was prepared through cooking (i.e., boiling it in liquid), then it may be ―re-cooked‖ on Shabbos by placing it in hot liquid. However, if the food was prepared using heat through other means (e.g., baking, roasting), it may not be placed in hot liquid (i.e., boiled)3.
**One should dry the ladle completely if he washed the ladle in regular cold water.
ה ףיעס םש .3 ד ףיעס חיש ןמיס ח‘‘א ע‘‘וש .2 .טל תבש .1
4. Hilchos Shabbos by Rav S. Eider (4:14)