Saturday, June 1, 2013

Soup Series, 2: Sheryl Gwyther's Author Rescue Soup

This soup is for those occasions where you’ve been writing like crazy all day and suddenly, it’s dark and you haven’t cooked dinner, nor have you even planned ahead for it.
Use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge and pantry. If you don’t have real chicken stock, use a shop one (not as good, but this is rescue soup time, not haute cuisine), and ALWAYS have a packet of pearl barley in your pantry.
I’ve been called a ‘creative cook’ – I hardly ever measure things, and I use the taste and smell test – maybe creative is a kind way to say ‘disorganised’ and ‘make it up as she goes’ cook. I prefer to call myself a sensory cook and this soup sure fills the senses, and the stomach.
Author’s Rescue Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped / 1 crushed garlic clove
Peeled and chopped (small) pieces of pumpkin, sweet potato (white), zucchinis, celery, fresh peas, a some fresh okra (these were all in my fridge today), carrots
Oregano, cumin and pepper to taste
1 litre chicken stock
¾ cup pearl barley (micro-waved in water first until almost soft)
½ cup chick peas (from a tin)
Fresh lemon juice
Bunch of fresh coriander

  1. Gently cook the onion until transparent (and it smells good) then the garlic (don’t burn)
  2. Add all the vegetable ingredients and a sprinkle of oregano and pepper
  3. Add chicken stock to the pot and stir up the heat – make sure the vegetables are covered (add a bit of water if necessary)
  4. Add pearl barley and chick peas – stir through
  5. Cover and simmer until vegetables are cooked and the barley has soaked up more of the flavour. (Timing depends on how thick you cut the pieces).
  6. Squeeze over lemon juice and stir through. Pour into bowls.
  7. Sprinkle chopped coriander.
  8. Serve with toasted rye bread (or whatever bread you like)
  9. Warning: do not eat in front of computer!


  1. Loved the Author Rescue title of this soup. We have a version in our household called "Green Soup'. Didn't know about microwaving the pearl barley. Thanks Sheryl.

  2. Love the recipe Sheryl - and the food pic - think you could do an entire author rescue cook book:)

  3. haha, I think I could, Dee, having such a need for Author Rescue Soups! Hazel, are you putting your version of Green Soup on Sophie's blog?? Sounds good - peas?

  4. Sounds like mine. I mean, in that you use whatever vegies you have. And in my case, if I need stock to flavour the soup it's going to be a stock cube! I don't HAVE all day to write and I'm not going to send the time I do have making stock from scratch. Some things I do make from scratch because it's just as easy as doing it from a packet - pancakes, cake, custard, etc. Soup I make mostly from scratch, but I will take chick peas and some beans from a tin. I once went to a panel at the Melbourne Writer's Festival, with three top chefs. One insisted the food isn't worth anything if you don't buy the ingredients from a quaint little shop where they know your name and grow their own vegies. Another said,"There's nothing wrong with having a few cans in your pantry and buying from the supermarket". The third said, "You can go home and make up a pasta dish with a sauce you make from scratch in about twenty minutes. and you have the pleasure of knowing you did it yourself." Definite food for thought there. ;-)