Book Review: Soup for Syria

Acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors the world over have come together to help food relief efforts to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugees. Each has contributed a recipe to this beautifully illustrated cookbook of delicious soups from around the world. Contributors include: Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi, Anthony Bourdain, Mark Bittman, Alice Waters, Paula Wolfert, Claudia Roden, Sally Butcher, Ana Sortun, Greg Malouf, Aglaia Kremenzi, Joe Barza, Carolyn Kumpe, Wendy Rahamut, and many others.

  • Celebrity chefs and cookbook authors contribute favorite recipes to help feed Syrian refugees
  • Fabulous soups from around the world—from hearty winter warmers to chilled summer soups
  • Easy-to-follow instructions with stunning color photos throughout
  • Recipes made with no-fuss ingredients found in your local supermarket

The profits from the sales of the cookbook will be donated to help fund food relief efforts through the United Nation’s UNHCR. Most Syrians hope that one day they will be able to return to their country and rebuild their lives. For now, though, what we can do is listen to their pleas. Be part of this vital work of saving lives and help us deliver essential food items to the displaced refugees.

Soup for Syria: Recipes to Celebrate our Shared Humanity is available from and

Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

From the Contributors

“When I visited the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, I said to them: ‘Had I been a barber, I would have cut your hair. Because I am a cookbook writer and photographer, I am doing what I can do to help through my work.”
—Barbara Abdeni Massaad


“Soup is elemental, and it always makes sense, even when the world around us fails to.”
—Anthony Bourdain


“Soup is the ultimate comfort food: nurturing, sustaining and all good things. One recipe is a drop in the ocean, but if awareness of the plight of the Syrian refugees is raised with each batch made and shared then that is a force for good. As well as being a delicious meal in and of itself.”
—Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi


“Whether we are in times of crisis or times of peace, gathering family and friends together around the table and sharing food is one of the most powerful and life-affirming acts we can do. And there is nothing more comforting and nourishing than a bowl of warm soup.”
—Alice Waters


Soup for Syria is a touching visual account of one’s experience through the hardship of war. May this book bring a light of hope to everyone’s heart and body and may peace be found very soon.”
—Paula Wolfert


“There is hope that this marvelous collection of soup recipes from chefs all over the world will remind us of those in Syria who have lost their homes and so much more. Let us all make soup to create some relief and provide more outreach to those that are in need.”
—Ana Sortun


“My hope is that this project is a success and the book helps to keep the plight of Syrian refugees in people’s minds and that it will raise funds to alleviate their awful living conditions until their future is settled. Pasta e fasioi (Venetian dialect for ‘beans’) is an old peasant dish in the Veneto. The soup varies from one city to another—wide tagliatelle are used in Vicenza, whole wheat noodles called bigoli in Verona, lasagne in Este and Padua, and thin fettuccine or small tubular pasta in other parts. I am so glad that it is part of this humanitarian project.”
—Claudia Roden


“I’ve always believed that there is no better way to banish differences and bring people together than through sharing food… and soup is, perhaps, the ultimate shared dish. It’s a small enough thing, to contribute a recipe, but perhaps the many small voices that have joined together in this lovely book can, together, sing a loud message of hope.”
—Greg Malouf

Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Spinach Soup – Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Avocado, Cucumber, and Mint Soup (chilled) – Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massed – Aleppo Red Lentil Soup with Verjuice

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Cardamom – Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad


Chicken Soup 

Helena Zakharia


Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad

Chicken Soup – Photo by Barbara Abdeni Massaad


3 chicken legs, fat removed
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Salt, to taste
2 zucchinis, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
4 to 5 tablespoons broken vermicelli
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons
1 small bunch parsley, roughly chopped

1. Place the chicken in a large pot with 8 cups (2 l) water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to simmer, and add the onion, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Simmer gently until chicken is cooked, about 45 minutes. Continue to skim off the foam occasionally.

2. Lift the chicken from the broth and set aside to cool. Remove the bone, cartilage, and skin from the chicken and discard. Separate the meat into small pieces.

3. Add the chopped vegetables to the broth and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, vermicelli, and lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning and simmer for a few more minutes until the vermicelli is cooked al dente.

4. Serve steaming hot and topped with chopped parsley.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for me to be part of this amazing project. I enjoyed sharing my family’s soup recipes. What a blessing it was for me and my daughter, Maya, to be able to participate in such a worthy cause and to meet such amazing people.” —Helena Zakharia


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