Book cover for SOUP FOR SYRIA by by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

SOUP FOR SYRIA: Recipes to Celebrate our Shared Humanity

Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Interlink Publishing
October 13, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1566560894

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Barbara Abdeni Massaad is a food writer, TV host, cookbook author, and a regular contributor to international cooking magazines. She is the author of Interlink’s bestselling cookbook Man’oushe : Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery. She won the the Gourmand Cookbook Award and the International Academy of Gastronomy Award for Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, she moved to Florida at a young age. She gained her real culinary experience while helping her father in their family-owned Lebanese restaurant Kebabs and Things. After moving back to Lebanon in 1988, and completing university there, she decided to pursue her passion for cooking. Determined to gain proper experience within the culinary world, Barbara trained with several renowned chefs at Lebanese, Italian, and French restaurants. She is also a founding member of Slow Food Beirut and an active participant in the International Slow Food movement. She lives in Beirut with her husband and three children.

Syria’s neighbors—Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq—have together absorbed more that 3.8 million refugees. In these times, the need for food relief is great and growing. SOUP FOR SYRIA: A Celebration of Our Shared Humanity, a dynamic new cookbook, offers readers and home chefs the opportunity to do something to alleviate human suffering while learning how to make some of the world’s most delicious soups.

From appetizers to desserts to full meals, and from steaming dishes for the dead of winter to chilled delicacies for sweltering summer days, SOUP FOR SYRIA has a perfect selection for every occasion. The contributors include chefs and cookbook authors such as: Anthony Bourdain, Alice Waters, Paula Wolfert, Claudia Roden, Chef Greg Maalouf, Chef Alexis Coquelet, Chef Chris Borunda, Chef Alexandra Stratou, Necibe Dogru, Aglaia Kremenzi, and many others. The recipes come from all over the world and include easy-to-follow directions, easy-to-find ingredients, and mouth-wateringly gorgeous photographs. 

All profits from the sales of the cookbook will be donated to help fund food relief efforts through UN Refugee Agency UNHCR. Most Syrians hope that one day they will be able to return to their country and rebuild their lives. For now, support this vital work of saving lives and help deliver essential food items to the displaced refugees.

Turkish Chicken and Rice Soup Nur Ilkin and Sheilah Kaufman

Serves 4-6

soup 1

  • 2 whole chicken legs (1½ lb/650 g)
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and halved
  • A few sprigs flat-leaf parsley,tied together
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • ½ cup (100 g) medium-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) butter
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper paste
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • ½ cup (100 g) canned or cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Lemon wedges, to garnish

In a large pot, bring 5 cups (1.2 l) water to a boil. Add the chicken, onion, carrot, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt to taste. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, 40–45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it cool. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid. Once the chicken has cooled, remove the skin and bones and shred into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
In a medium–large pot, bring 1 cup (250 ml) water to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and simmer until rice is cooked, 10–12 minutes (or follow package instructions). Add 4 cups (1 l) of the reserved chicken stock (if there is not enough, add water) and the shredded chicken. Cook for another 4–5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a small skillet. Stir in the tomato and red pepper pastes, flour, and dried mint. Mix well and pour over the soup, stirring it in well. Add the chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
“Since Turkey is a direct neighbor of Syria, and host to more than one and a half million Syrian refugees, we witness this tragedy on a daily basis. This project that could help alleviate their suffering is most useful and timely. What is more, soup dishes are enjoyed by everyone in our part of the world. As we say in Turkey, a bowl of hot soup offered goes a long way in the minds and hearts of people.” —Nur Ilkin

Fennel Soup with Lemon and Cinnamon Greg Malouf

Serves 6-8

soup 2

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped 
  • 2 leeks, roughly chopped 
  • 3 large fennel bulbs, sliced 
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 
  • 6 cups (1.5 l) chicken stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Peel of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and sauté the onions, garlic, leeks, and fennel for a few minutes until they soften.

Add the potatoes and chicken stock, then the cinnamon stick, lemon peel, allspice, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick, lemon peel, and bay leaves, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cream, then stir in a large spoonful of the hot soup. Whisk together well, then tip the egg mixture into the soup. Slowly return the soup to just below boiling, stirring it all the time. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper and the lemon juice.

As you serve, drizzle each bowl with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and parsley.


These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

Recipes from SOUP FOR SYRIA: Recipes to Celebrate our Shared Humanity by  Barbara Abdeni Massaad. (Interlink Publishing, October 2015; $30/hardcover; ISBN: 978-1566560894).


Contact: McDowell Childs