Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

French Fridays with Dorie

Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

Surprisingly, it didn’t matter so much to me that just as our planet was gliding across its vernal equinox, signaling both the arrival of Spring and an imminent end to my seasonal affective disorder, our French Friday’s with Dorie crew had been assigned to make a decidedly wintery soup — one laden with root vegetables, barley and a broth lightly seasoned with garam masala and turmeric. No, even though here in Southern California our temperature had plunged to an icy 67 degrees (brrrr!) and I wanted no reminder of the dark and cold winter we were enduring, I had no problem with this soup. 

These days soup just charms me.

All things considered equal suspect it has been the soups here at FFwD that I consider to be one of the larger revelations I have witnessed since joining. I must now confess that prior to being conferred a Doristahood I had no real soup juju to speak of. Yeah, sure I might get some small sense of enjoyment from making a batch of French Onion once or twice a year but this has more to do with the ceremony and traditions I associate with it. And sometimes, if the stars were aligned just so, a Tuscan White Bean might make itself known. I have been making both of these soups for over two dozen years so as my enthusiasm for making (and eating) them waned I stopped making even these.

My personal relationship with soup had broken down. It was dull, listless, and lacking in any any real shine – ripe for a makeover. 

Then Dorie came to the rescue showing off her talents as a soup therapist and sharing the soup recipes she had collected from her set of Paris friends. After several sessions with Dr. Dorie I have now fully regained my full soup funciton and before I knew it Dorie;s intercession had me experiencing a handful of new soup varieties: Potato Leek Soup, Paris Mushroom Soup, a pea soup so easy it uses frozen peas and lettuce, and even a soup made with chestnuts and pears that nobody has any real right to like at all but surprisingly I did very much.

Honestly, I never expected to love any of them as much as I did, but I do.There hasn’t been one soup we’ve made for this group that I haven’t already remade at least a second, third or fourth time.

(Not count those damned party soups. Doh!)

Christine’s Party Soups may go on to have some notoriety for being the exception here that proves the rule but these days just presenting me with a big bowl of soup is akin to shooting fish in barrel if it is my approval you seek– there just aren’t that many I don’t like.

And that now including this one. 

Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

Saying that this Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India is easy to make is starting to sound a bit redundant at this point in time. Isn’t that just what soup is? Surely you know this already?

You can find the recipe by clicking here.

But don’t stop there. Use this soup as a start to add whatever it is that you want to enjoy. I find that if soup is to be my entre for a meal I like it to have a bit more protein so one night I added some chopped chicken. The next this wasn’t a concern but my brother had just given me some fresh chard from his garden so it got chopped up and added to the mix. On day three I added a bit more broth to soupify it a tad and give it the volume needed handle even more chicken and a garnish of chopped fresh zucchini.

3 days of meals out of a single pot? No wonder soup

charms me! 

Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

I’ve learned some profound things other than soup since joining French Fridays with Dorie. Recently I spent a few minutes being interviewed by Chicago Tribune writer Bill Daley who published some of what I told him recently in a great piece he did describing online cooking groups and the resulting friendships the spur. Do check it out here if you have some time.    Bomb+End+of+Post4

This Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India (whether you make it with chard or no chard) was an assignment for French Friday’s with Dorie, a cooking group working its way through Dorie Greenspan’s culinary tome “Around My French Table”. We generally avoid including the recipes in our posts. However, wherever there has been a significant adaptation by me or where the recipe has already been publicly posted by Ms. Greenspan or her publishers or by hundreds of other bloggers, or it is, in fact, not much of a recipe at all, I will either include it here (adapted) or provide a direct link to it. Please feel free to contact me via the link provided on my page if you need any assistance finding a French Friday with Dorie Recipe. You should buy the book though.

It will change your life — as it has mine.

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don’t know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]” means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small ‘boom’ in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a “food blog” or even myself a “food blogger”.

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  1. Yours looks lovely Trevor and it makes me want to make it again without blending the veggies. Looks much more “spring”-like!

  2. LOL – I am still not sure I’ve found my soup juju, but I have enjoyed most of the soups we’ve made for FFWD – beats Campbells condensed any day.

  3. Soup juju, huh? This was an easy soup, though.

    I have quite enough of the rest of the country and their spring/ summer like temperatures. Surely, y’all can send some of that warmth east.

    Congrats on your spotlight in “The Tribs”!

  4. Loved the article, Trevor! Thanks for representing us so well. Unfortunately, it’s still soup weather around here…and this hit the spot.

  5. Dorie turned me into a soup lover, too. Before this book, the only soups I ever made were chicken noodle (ho hum) and my Dad’s Root Soup around the holidays. Dorie’s cauliflower soup is in my top 5 most-cooked recipes from this book. The barley soup looks great!

  6. Dorie has helped us all find our soup juju! Beautiful pictures.

  7. I was never very good at making soup, but Dorie has changed all that for me. This one was easy and though I
    was not too happy with the spice flavor, I did love the texture of the soup. Yours looks quite delicious, love the
    hunk of bread too.

  8. We love soup, too. You made it look gorgeous in that photo!

  9. You got me at soup therapy. I loved this post and that soup does look lovely in the photos.

  10. Loved your quotes btw Trevor – and the soups have been pretty neat, haven’t they???

    I’m thinking the mushroom soup is going to be my next “party soup” – although if you havent tried the red pepper with some raspberries, you might consider giving that one a try when raspberries are back in season, it was the only one of the three we liked – but in shot form, I think a full bowl of it would have been overkill for me, but it was nice. Or pleasant. Compared to the other two.

    This soup was pretty kick-ass for us! 🙂 Great job!

  11. When I woke yesterday, it was 19 degrees…burrr! I agree with Cher, send some of that sunshine our way! I really enjoyed this soup too. Yours looks great especially the bowl with the Swiss Chard…great addition! Congrats on the shout out by the Chicago Tribune…great article!

  12. I liked this soup also. When I took my first 2-day French cooking session long ago – egads, it might have been in the late 19th Century – we made Garbure. The real deal – with leftover stuff just like the French housewives. It was delicious. Since then there is not a French soup that I don’t love. ( Well, yeah, those party soups were the worst, I agree.) Like you, I also think the Italians make some pretty tasty soups. Glad you liked it. Nice additions.

  13. Yes, this soup is delish, the best of the soups from AMFT I made so far! Love visiting you this saturday evening! Enjoy your weekend!

  14. Soup making truly deserves it’s own category. It is like baking, or grilling, or salad making… none of which I have a talent for… but soup I get.. glad it is starting to come to you too.

  15. I feel like I’m living on a different planet than you. 67 is cold? I haven’t seen temps like that in weeks/months. If it were 67 here, it would be a HEAT WAVE. I also didn’t realize people suffer from seasonal affective disorder in Sunny California. Glad the soup hit the spot. And, hope you survived the earthquake intact.

  16. Goodness, but you are a regular soup maven, Trevor. I really did not realize just how many truly wonderful soups you had done. What a great collection. you have some serious soup mojo going on. This one sounds great. Well done, my friend!

  17. Your soup looks so lovely. Beautiful pictures !

  18. I know what you mean about not making soup that often in the past, but now I have a couple that I make quite often and this one will be one of them (yeah, not those party soups here either). I loved everything about this one though. What a great idea to add chicken and zucchini. Really enjoyed Bill’s article- it was a nice shout out to the group and some of my favorite people!

  19. Dorie’s soups have made many appearances in our house, too. I’ve been thinking that it’s time to make the Spicy Vietnamese soup again and Kevin’s been hankering for more mushroom dishes, so the Paris Mushroom soup will be making another appearance soon, too. I love the way Dorie’s recipes are full of simple techniques that reinforce the basics of good cooking. One reason why her soups are so good.