Potpourri Soup

True to its title, this recipe is a “medley” of flavors and ingredients that I wanted to use up before Passover, when certain foods are taboo and others are required, such as matzah. In fact, Jewish women all over the world are cleaning out their refrirgerators and pantries as I write this, in order to prepare for Passover.

I had a little of this and a little of that and came up with a” lotta soup.” I fact, the soup was so thick, it was more like a stew or porridge, so maybe I should call it “stewp”! While the soup was simmering, I thought of a rhyme to go with it, so today you have not only a recipe, but also a poem.

‘Twas the Week Before Passover

‘Twas the week before Passover and all through the kitchen
There were odds & ends everywhere, so instead of bitchin’

I threw them all in a pot on the stove “to soup”:
It was an interesting medley, enough for a group!

There were split peas & carrots, wild rice & red lentils;
Celery & potatoes to feed several Yentls.

My potpourri soup was actually quite edible,
And I cleaned out my shelves—even more incredible!

So if you make this soup, add whatever you wish.
Then simmer awhile for a soup that’s delish!



Potpourri Soup

Utensils: Cutting Board & Knife, soup pot
Prep. Time: About 20 minutes 
Cooking Time: About one hour

Ingredients (These are what I had on hand; feel free to use what’s in your ‘frig & pantry. I also used all organic veggies.)

7-8 cups soup stock or water
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2-3 stalks of celery, trimmed, scrubbed and chopped
1 c. (red) lentils, rinsed
1/2 c. split peas, rinsed
1/3 c. (wild) rice
1-2 potatoes, scrubbed,peeled and diced
1-2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced into circles
1/2 c. buckwheat groats
1/2 c. frozen green peas
salt & pepper to taste

Optional ingredients:

1 piece kombu kelp
1-2 tsp. mustard
low sodium tamari soy sauce instead of salt


1. Put water or stock in pot and place on high heat to bring to a boil.

2. Prepare all the veggies, grains, & legumes as noted above, adding them to the water/stock as you cut and chop.

3. When all these are in the pot, lower the heat and simmer until the veggies are tender. The carrots and potatoes are a good test. If you can spear them with a fork, then the rest of the soup is ready.

4. Add salt & pepper, mustard, and/or soy sauce to your taste. If you use stock, you will need less of these items.

5. If the soup becomes too thick, feel free to add more water or stock, especially if you refrigerate it overnight.

Yield: Not sure exactly how much this makes, but at least 3-4 quarts. I ate about three bowls before I thought to measure the quantity!

P.S. I had some leftover, cooked small pasta shells from last nite’s supper that I added to the soup.



BONUS! Right before the weather turned unseasonably warm, I made a soup using mushrooms that I bought the week before and did not use. Usually I make barley soup with mushrooms, but I had only 1/2 cup of barley and Passover was coming up & I wanted my cabinets cleaned, so I decided to swap the formula (more mushrooms, less barley) and liked the results. However, mushrooms make for a dark soup, so garnish it with carrots or something bright.


Mostly Mushroom Soup with Barley & Carrots


Utensils: Cutting board & knife, soup pot, 2-qt. pot, blender/food processor
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 5 for pureeing mushrooms after cooking
Cooking Time: About one hour

Ingredients (Organic whenever possible)
8 oz.  sliced mushrooms
4 1/2 cups water or stock 
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
one carrot, scrubbed & sliced 
1/2 c. pearled barley, rinsed
salt & pepper or (reduced sodium) tamari soy sauce to taste


1.  In 1 1/2 cups water, add barley and sliced carrots and cook in soup pot until barley has expanded and carrots are tender.
2. While carrots and barley cook,  place 8 oz. sliced mushrooms and garlic in 2 qt. saucepan, in 3 c. water or stock and bring to a boil; simmer.
3. When the mushrooms are soft enough to pierce with a fork, remove from stove and allow to cool slightly. If the carrots and barley are done, shut off the heat, as well, or continue to cook if needed.
4. Place cooked mushrooms and garlic in blender and buzz until almost smooth. (I like my soup with texture, but you can puree completely if you wish.)
5. Add pureed mushrooms & garlic to cooked barley and carrots in soup pot. Add seasonings. Simmer 5 minutes and serve.
Variation: Add one cup frozen English peas when the soup is simmering for 5 minutes. The green peas help to brighten the soup.

Yield: About 1 to 1/1/2 quarts


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