Monday, November 1, 2010


Soup is in the collective unconscious. Seems like every blogger out there has made soup in the last two weeks. And who's to blame them? A chill in the air, sweater weather, and autumn vegetables filling up market stands just begging to be tossed in a pot and simmered with stock. It's soup season.
And I've seen those vegetable stands. I've been working some farmer's markets lately with Wild Flour Bakery. It's kind of the best job ever. I get to sell breads and pastries, talk about food, meet wonderful people, and at the end of the day come home with more bread and vegetables than I know what do with. Well, that's not true. I know exactly what to do with them. Throw those veggies in a pot, and eat that bread with the soup. Problem solved.
Ok, Hold on. Can we talk about this bread for a minute? Wild Flour is not a vegan bakery, so none of their pastries are vegan, but most of their breads are. And their bread is amazing. I started working for them just to keep up with my bread habit. True Story. They've got a couple of beer breads that they make with Yards beers, a local Philadelphia Brewery. There's an ESA Multi-Grain, a Porter Pumpernickel, a Jefferson Whole Wheat, and a Tavern Spruce Rye (my personal favorite).
There's also an olive bread that will knock your socks off. It's full of kalamata olives and herbs de provence and fills your mouth with briny bready goodness. The American Grain is pretty damn tasty too, but the honey keeps it from being vegan. I recommend stopping by a farmer's market soon and grabbing a loaf or two or three for your snacking/sandwiching pleasure. Eat one today and toss one in the freezer for later. You can find them at the Bala Cynwyd and Fairmount markets on Thursdays, Bryn Mawr and Rittenhouse on Saturdays and Headhouse Square on Sundays.
But let's get back to the soup. I don't have many go-to recipes when it comes to dinner. Truth is, I don't make dinner very often beyond pasta or box mixes, and leave the snack DJing to Ken (though I'm trying to change that). But this recipe for Mushroom Barley Stew is a go-to recipe. It's hearty. It's filling. It's vegan. And I pull it out every time the temperature drops. It's easy as can be, and feeds 2 people for at least 2 days. It's a great way to get that warm and cozy feeling on those nights when you need to pull out a blanket.

Mushroom Barley Stew
adapted from How it all Vegan

2 carrots, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
15-20 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
1 cup dry pearl barley
1 tbsp Braggs or soy sauce
1 tsp cumin
3-4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
tabasco to taste

In a large soup or stock pot, saute the carrots, onion, peppers and garlic in the olive oil until onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms, and saute until mushrooms are tender. Add the remaining ingredients, and simmer until barley is fully cooked, about 20-30 minutes.


  1. Totally making this for dinner tonight!

  2. Totally put me in the mood for soup :)