cooking fresh

Soup for Syria, Source of Comfort and Nourishment

By | December 15, 2015
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Soup for Syria book cover


Simply uttering that word can make you feel warm, loved, safe. When we want to comfort and nourish those around us, soup is what we turn to.

When Lebanon resident and author Barbara Abdeni Massaad wanted to do something to aid the Syrian families in the refugee camp near her home, she began with soup. Every weekend, she and her husband began cooking gallon upon gallon of soup to bring to the camp. Her friends saw what she was doing and joined them. Feeling like she should do more, Massaad turned to her friend and publisher Michel Moushabeck who suggested they combine efforts to have a greater impact. With Massaad’s background as a food writer and TV host and Moushabeck’s experience as publisher and editor, the logical choice was a cookbook. The two of them began making phone calls, requesting recipes from friends and acquaintances.

The result is Soup for Syria, a collection of over 80 lavishly photographed soup and stew recipes. The international family of contributors includes celebrity chefs and authors such as Paula Wolfert, Alice Waters, Mark Bittman, Yotam Ottolenghi and Anthony Bourdain. All the proceeds from the book’s sale go the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR.

There are over 4 million Syrian refugees in five countries:

Turkey 1,622,839
Lebanon 1,174,313
Jordan 623,241
Iraq 242,468
Egypt 136,661

Nearly 8 million Syrians are internally displaced with thousands fleeing their country every day. Half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18 and most have been out of school for many months. More than half of Syria’s pre-war population of 23 million is in desperate need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
Source: UNHCR, February 23, 2015.

‘‘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.’’

‘‘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.’’

‘‘Everyday images of war-torn communities, once beautiful and thriving, flood our hearts and fill our souls with grief and the ever-growing need to help those affected by conflict. The Soup for Syria projects is a message of hope and a giant step towards the light.’’

‘‘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’’

Article from Edible Aspen at
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