Beef and MUshroom Barley Soup

Highly recommend making this the day before for optimal flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. stew meat, cubed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 carrot, diced 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed 
  • 1 14-ounce can of tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 pound medium-sized button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley


  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Sear the meat on all sides until well browned
  4. Set the meat aside and wipe the pan out with a paper towel.
  5. Lower the heat to medium, add the oil to the pan. Add the carrot, onion, and celery to the pan and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes
  6. Return the meat to the pan and add broth.
  7. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is just tender. Add the thyme, barley, and tomato, continue to simmer the soup, covered, for 45 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté about 10 minutes.
  9. Add them to the soup, and simmer for 15 minutes more.
  10. Add parsley; season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.

Cream of asparagus SoUp

Tasty and light for a cool night. I don’t keep whole milk or cream on hand, so 2% milk for me it is. This can easily accommodate a pareve or vegetarian menu by swapping out the chicken broth for pareve chicken broth.


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 lb.  asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1″ pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried chopped onions ( 1/4 cup fresh yellow onions)
  • 2 c.  chicken broth
  • 1/2 c.  2% milk ( original recipe calls for heavy cream)
  • Freshly chopped green onions



  1. In a heavy pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden, 5 minutes. If using freshly chopped onions, add in with the asparagus, otherwise dried product is mixed in with broth.
  2. Add broth and simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender but still green, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion or regular blender, puree soup.
  4. Stir in cream, then warm over low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Garnish with green onions

Harira (Spiced Moroccan Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas, Cilantro, and Lemon)

The only credit I can take for this recipe is that I made it following directions. As you know from a lot of my posts, I modify recipes for taste and dietary restrictions. I did change a few fresh ingredients to canned or bottled only because I don’t keep the fresh items on a regular basis. The greatness of this recipe is that it can be made heartier by adding chicken or remain vegetarian

The famous Joan Nathan is responsible for this beautiful soup and can be found in her cookbook King Solomon’s Table. I highly recommend buying a hard copy of her cookbook. There are so many gems within the chapter along with the beauty of the story behind the food. King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World: A Cookbook: Nathan, Joan, Waters, Alice: 9780385351140: Books


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut in rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon harissa or dried red chile flakes, plus more for serving
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups/75 grams), divided
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups/75 grams), divided
  • 1 (15-ounce/425-gram) can tomatoes, crushed, or diced tomatoes
  • 7 cups (1 2/3 liters) chicken broth (vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1 (15-ounce/425-gram) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup (370 grams) green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion, celery, and carrots until the onion turns translucent and begin to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the turmeric, cumin, harissa or chile flakes, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup each of the parsley and cilantro, tomatoes, and the stock or water and bring to a boil. If using the soaked chickpeas, drain them and add to the pot. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, then add the lentils, another teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper and continue simmering until the chickpeas and lentils are cooked, about 20 minutes more. If using canned chickpeas omit the first 25 minutes of simmering and add with the lentils.
  2. Whisk the flour, egg, and lemon juice into 2 cups (470 ml) of water. Stir into the soup. Simmer the soup about 5 minutes more and serve, sprinkled with the remaining cilantro and parsley. And don’t forget to have some extra harissa in a plate on the side.