Friday, March 09, 2007

Roasted Red Pepper, Mushroom and Barley Soup, or, La zuppa fa sette cose

An Old Southern Italian Proverb
"Soup does seven things:

It calms hunger, slakes thirst, fills the belly, cleans the teeth, makes you sleep, helps you digest, and puts color in your cheeks!"

"Sette cose fa la zuppa, cava fame e sete attuta, empie il ventre, netta il dente, fa dormire, fa smaltire, e la guancia fa arrossire."

Two weeks ago, dear daughter and I were missing my mother a lot, and she showed me her most prized possession, a memento from my mother. It was my mothers little silver pill box, and inside, folded up many times to fit, was a scrap of paper on which my mother spidery handwriting flowed with the soup does seven things proverb. Mama loved that proverb, and especially loved that it was Italian. In fact, she wanted me to write it artistically around the perimeter of my dining room in the old house, somewhat like a border near the ceiling. I never did that, but maybe in my new house.....
We tend to eat a lot of soup during lenten periods, and all year, really, because we adore soup! I love thick creamy chowders and thin broths and everything in between. I'm a soupaholic, I think!
So, what do you make when you really, really want soup and you really, really need to go food shopping and you know you have to use up some mushrooms or they'll go bad? You could make what I made:
Roasted Red Pepper, Mushroom and Barley Soup
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
1 good sized onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 C vegetable broth (I used Vogue Vegebase, my favorite)
1/2 C barley cooked in 1 C water with 1/4 tsp salt
12 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
1 - 2 tsp Herbes de Provence
Good squirt of Sriracha sauce, or hot sauce of your choice
1 tsp Adobe seasoning (use instead of salt)
extra virgin olive oil
In a nonstick pan with tight fitting lid, cook the barley, or you could probably use quick cooking barley, too. In a 3 - 4 qt soup pot, saute the onions and mushrooms in some olive oil over med heat until translucent and beginning to turn golden. Add the garlic and saute another couple of minutes, then pour in the broth and all other ingredients. Let simmer for about 20 minutes so the flavors meld. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings. It needed some more salt, so I sprinkled more Adobo seasoning to bring the saltiness up.
This was delicious! Next time, I think I'll put in a can of chickpeas and make it a kind of Moroccan with some cinnamon and cumin. Dear daughter doesn't care how I make it next time as long as there *IS* a next time. I was hoping to put a portion away for lunch on Monday, but DD is on her third bowl, so I think I'm going to be eating peanut butter and jelly on Monday!

1 comment:

Luke Seraphim said...

Denise? Is this the same Denise that leads choir and attends St. Mary Magdalene in Rincon?!? I've been checking this blog for over a year and it just never "clicked" with me that this might be you. But then, reading about your mother, and choir, and FINALLY putting two and two together...I'm guessing that it is. Wow! Small world!

Excellent blog. My wife and I are food & wine nuts and fantasize about being professional critics. Before I go name is Luke, my wife is Janna, and we are spiritual children of Fr. James that were there for a visit in February. It is always a joy to visit St. Mary Magdalene and worship with you all. It's good to read your blog here as well. Now that I know who you are it makes all the more fun.

I'm a blogger and musician as well. You can find me at if you're ever interested or bored. :-) Hope all is well in GA. We hope to make it for the consecration, but it will be a miracle at this point. Many prayers for a joyous Pascha for you and St. Mary's!