French Fridays with Dorie
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
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
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.
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.