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Winter Comfort Soup and *perfect* Books for the Armchair Traveler

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's so dark outside I can't take decent photos!  :/

It has been raining here for so long that methinks everything's mildewed.  :/   We are having some piping hot soup tonight for kids' favorite comfort soup and soft breadsticks.  :D

Mediterranean Lemon Soup
(adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen)

2 T. butter
1 c. finely minced onion
1 t. salt
a few grindings of fresh ground pepper

1 c. cooked brown rice or barley or white rice
1/2 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 c. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

2 beaten eggs at room temperature
1 t. dried crushed mint

Freshly minced parsley
Freshly minced chives
Yogurt, sour cream, or heavy cream (I prefer the heavy cream)
Grated hard-boiled eggs


1.   In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion in butter with salt and pepper until the onion is translucent.

2.   Add the cooked rice or barley.  Also add the stock and the lemon juice.  Heat it, covered, over a low flame until it boils gently.

3.   Stir the soup rapidly as you drizzle in the beaten egg.  Add mint and remove from heat.

4.  Mollie suggests that you serve this soup with all the toppings in small, individual dishes condiment style and pass them around the table.

Serves 4.

I love the oversized teacups....perfect for soup!
Big Mama bought them for me for Christmas.  :D

I love Peter Mayle's books about Provence!

Speaking of the Mediterranean, I was thinking of travel (we are planning a couple of trips this year) and the best books for the armchair traveler.  Here is my list of favorite books that take you away:

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
City of Falling Angels
A Year in Provence
The Piano Teacher
Russian Winter
A Passage to India
The Historian
Before Ever After
The Shadow of the Wind

Travel placemats:  Jason
Bread plates and candlesticks:  MacKenzie-Childs Taylor collection
Salt and pepper shakers:  MacKenzie-Childs Wallcourt collection
Vase:  made by me
Clay fleur-de-lis pitcher:  vintage
Large teacups and napkins:  Anthropologie
Napkin rings:  Williams-Sonoma bistro collection
Butter dish:  from Poland

I decoupaged this glass vase using subway and city maps.

Are you an armchair traveler?  What is your family's favorite comfort soup?

Linking to:

Wednesday's Adorned from Above

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. I love that vase! What a great idea.

    I'm making soup tonight. Sausage, potato and kale. I'll let you know if it was any good.

  2. The soup sounds easy and good. I love soup in the winter.

  3. I think my comment was lost! So...we love butternut squash soup and thanks for sharing your list of books! Hugs!

  4. Just finished a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Don't know that I have a favorite soup, but we eat soup all winter long. ;-)
    Your table is pretty even on the dark day. Cold here again and definitely soup weather.

  5. Okay now I am very very hungry and cold...what a yucky day today is. Are you feeling better?

    I really enjoyed Shadow of the Wind, he has another one out but I havn't gotten my hands on it yet. However I was very disapointed with the Historian.

  6. Beautiful post, Ricki! I am an armchair traveler and can't wait for the chance to really travel again. I have been to all the states save one.

    Our favorite soup is a toss up between Zuppa Tuscana (which is in the crock pot as I write) and Chicken and Wild Rice soup.

    Have a great night- xo Diana

  7. I want to try that soup, I love just about anything lemon! Thanks for sharing!

    Also I totally own Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil and have never finished it!

  8. What fun. I'm both an armchair and a real traveler. I haven't read many of the books on your list, but the two I have read I really enjoyed. I find if I read a book set in another place I crave food from there. So if I read a book set in England I'm making far more tea than usual and if the book is set in the south I'm cooking up corn bread etc. The other way I'm a traveler is through cooking around the world. My youngest has got us back on track and I'm just about to write up our dinners for Egypt, Israel, Persia, and Pakistan. They were so yummy. Great post!

  9. I love your vase. I see you have some Polish Pottery-I have some, too. Your soup sounds yummy, we actually have a soup in Germany that uses the egg in the same way. It is an old recipe. Cheers

  10. We are having chicken noodle soup with lemon tonight, and yesterday I made chicken chili and we loved it. I used to host an annual soup tasting party, and served five different soups. Lots of fun in the winter. Your table is pretty even on the dark day.

  11. Ricki Jill~ It's rainy and dreary here too through Thursday... I just made a pot of potato soup and it would be so much more enjoyable eaten out of your cheery mugs! I adore Peter Mayle books :)

  12. Your soup sounds SO good and I like the name of the cookbook. Your table looks warm and welcoming and thanks for sharing your book picks!


  13. Ricki, your vase is beautiful and the flowers are WOW! Love the oversized teacups. I just finished off a huge pot of vegetable soup, it's my favorite, but the lemon soup sounds yummy. Have a good week. :D

  14. That soup sounds delicious. Perfect for a cold winter night.

  15. That soups sounds delicious, hot or cold! We love soups in oversized mugs over here, so I can't wait to make that. Ironically, here in Seattle it's been bright sunshine (and freezing temperatures). I hope the rain clears off soon for you! Also, thanks for those recommendations- we won't be able to take vacations for a year or two, so I do need armchair traveler books to take me away. :)

  16. You have three of my favorites on your list! one, three and eight. The soup is a new one to me and sounds delicious too. Love those oversized cups.

    The French Hutch

  17. This looks delicious. Beautiful table setting. I have a link party called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop and would love to have you share this and any other posts with everyone. It runs from Tuesday night through midnight Sunday. Here is the link to the party.
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

  18. Hey girl, I have soup simmering on the stove right now. We love soup! Today it is Broccoli cheese. It has been snowing all day. We really got dumped on. At least 8"'s of new. Certainly a soup day. Love your large mug for serving it up pretty. I have Campbells soup mugs given to me as a Christmas gift years ago that we use. Your vase is sure fun! Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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