Sometimes it’s the simplest French Fridays with Dorie recipes that cause me the most grief. Like this week when I was pleased to see what I considered an “easy” soup (Vegetable Barley Soup with a Taste of Little India, p 89) on the agenda for when we returned home from our quick trip to Europe – first of all, it was still most definitely soup weather last week and secondly, well, who doesn’t like an easy dish when they are fogged up with jetlag and vertigo?
Well apparently I needed something even easier than this because on my first attempt, I managed to mess this up! I wanted a creamier soup than the recipe called for (it’s basically a broth with onions, carrots, garlic, and parsnip, mildly spiced with garma masala, ginger and tumeric.) You add some pearl barley in at the end and also some red pepper flakes to taste. I puréed the vegetables before I added the pearl barley and was hoping for a thick, comforting soup. Hmmm, “to taste” with the red pepper flakes ended up being WAY too hot (and that’s totally my fault even though I am pretty sure I didn’t add that much…) – even Mr Neil commented that it was “too hot”
I did like the texture of the puréed soup with the pearl barley so I actually heated another litre of stock and mixed the “too hot” soup through it which worked to cool it down and boost the flavour. I served this with a dollop of Greek yoghurt to cut the remaining heat and crushed some baguette crisps over the top, finishing it off with a sprinkle of piment d’espelette (which is not that hot). This worked really well and ended up being my lunch over many days – it is a wonderful warmer for those of us who eat their lunch supervising outside playtime, like me!
I’ll be remembering this next time I look in the fridge and think there’s no food in the house because really, it’s a lovely tasty bowl of soup using ingredients that I most always have on hand. I’ll just be sure to measure my red pepper flakes though
You can find the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India here – along with an article featuring many of my fellow “Doristas”
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