Posted by: thedirtybaker | November 6, 2011

A Wintry Mix

In places that get such crappy weather, “wintry mix” is a mixture of freezing rain, ice and snow.  Here in Tucson, that’s not likely.  Our winters are beautiful.  At the same time, many of us become complete wimps, with no cold tolerance.  So my wintry mix is soup and toast!  Unlike the weather kind, it generally stays off the ground.

A culinary solution to winter, even in Tucson, is soup.  It often has the added advantage of freezing well, which helps if you live alone.  My first soup of the winter was Julie’s Mushroom Barley Soup, which she copied from a cookbook and put into her amazing binder, which is sort of like a scrapbook of recipes and associated stuff. It turns out that it can also be found on Epicurious.  So here’s the link:

Julie loves this soup and swears by it.  I followed the recipe as written, using portobellas.  I liked it as it was, but it needs a little something more.  I started by adding a little sea salt, some pepper, and some smoked paprika. That didn’t quite do it, though, so I added lemon juice and hot sauce.  Much better!  Next time I make it (and I will make it again!), I’ll add some minced garlic with the vegetables, and some lemon juice at the end.  Because, if it’s not dessert, garlic will improve it!

I also made a loaf of whole wheat beer bread (I used an Alaskan Summer beer) to go with it.  It’s a quickbread, so there’s no yeast to mess with.

It’s super-easy to make, and delicious – I really follow directions on this, because it’s baking.  The only addition I make is (sometimes) to pour 1/4 c. melted butter on top of the bread before baking.  It goes very well with stews, pb and j, and most things that don’t call for ketchup or mustard.  I started making it to use up bad beer left after a bbq, and now I highly recommend it!

What are you making to warm yourself from the insides in the winter?



  1. OMG…you’re inspiring me. I might have to try the added lemon juice and hot sauce. So glad you enjoyed it! I feel honored you even wrote about it!

  2. Of course – I LOVE good food, and your binder is such a great personal food history. But unless you have an objection to garlic, try adding that to the soup, too. I think it would add another dimension, and possibly render the hot sauce unnecessary. If you want me to, I can give you my friend Brenna’s recipes for white bean soup and pumpkin black bean soup. They’re both easy, delicious recipes.

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