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Chicory Soup with Barley and Lemon

We begin with a simple aromatic barley broth. On top go ruby radicchio ribbons and a magic relish–of salty preserved lemon, dried ancho chile and garlic. Next, dollop tangy cream, and a final sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Stirred in, all those goodies turn the previously unassuming broth into elegant slurpable soup–Chicory Soup with Barley and Lemon.

Chicory Soup with Barley and Lemon in soup bowl with relish

This soup is adapted from a recipe in Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel.

The preserved lemon and chile relish in the Chicory Soup drew me to this particular recipe–I happened to have a jar of preserved-in-salt lemons waiting in the corner of my fridge. Heidi calls for the Moroccan lemons in her Grated Cucumber Salad, and for her Dried Fruit Salad—so if you purchase your preserved lemons you’ll find more ways to feature their distinctive flavor.

I’d like to cook my way through every recipe in this cookbook, traveling each chapter, exploring pantry essentials, following Heidi from her San Francisco home, and on to Morocco, Japan, Italy, France, and India. Maybe I will… Right now I’m content to read her chapter introductions and recipe headnotes–Heidi’s enchanting prose alone makes me hungry.

Toppings for Chicory Soup with Barley and Lemon

Most of the recipe ingredients are familiar and easy to find. You might have to mail order a few specialty ingredients, particularly a couple for the Japan Pantry, unless you live in a big city. As with this chicory soup, some of the recipes include dairy or eggs.

Loyally, I follow Heidi’s vegetarian blog, 101 Cookbooks, where she’s been giving us glimpses of this cookbook for more than a year. When the chance to review her new cookbook came, I jumped. I received my copy from Blogging for Books–the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

Near and Far cookbook cover for Chicory Soup with Barley and Lemon

I’ve already whipped up, shot photos, and devoured the Red Lentil Hummus in the “Near” (San Francisco) chapter. Are you ready for a garlicky smooth hummus recipe? Stay tuned—it’s the next one up–you’ll find it here on Letty’s Kitchen blog.

Chicory Soup with Barley and Lemon one bowl overhead

Barley Soup with Chicory and Lemon recipe details:

  • I used crisp and slightly bitter radicchio chicory in my chicory soup. According to Elizabeth Schneider’s Essential Reference, Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini, radicchio (rah-DEEK-eeyo) is the “Italian word for all members of the chicory clan.” Year-round, in well-stocked supermarkets, you should be able to find the round compact “Chianti-colored” Chiogga radicchio.

Preserved lemon, ancho chile and garlic for Chicory Soup relish

  • The preserved lemon relish calls for just one ancho chile. A bag of ancho chiles is inexpensive–keep the extra chiles in your pantry, ready to make authentic red enchilada sauce, and for flavoring simmering soups, pot beans, and homemade vegetable broth. Before drying, anchos are poblanos, the chiles often used for chiles rellenos. Dried ancho chiles are mild, with wrinkle-y skin and raisin-y fruity flavor.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook yourself a delicious soup!

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  • kathryn deckert

    Hi Letty – Happy Thanks. Haven’t written in a while – still loving getting your recipes. My vegan family will be here in Moab for the holiday – serving your roasted vegies and pumpkin muffins plus about 7 other vegie dishes. Had the vegies for a ladies night down here. Perfect for our dinner. Thanks for all the entertaining prose also. xoxof Kathryn PS doing blue apron also. Reply · 19 November, 2015

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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