Soup,Syria,Refugees of the Syrian Civil War,Lentil,Refugee camp,Beirut,Alice Waters,Refugee

'Soup For Syria': Chefs Share Recipes To Raise Funds For Refugees

December 16, 2016

Barbara Massaad was watching a TV news program about the plight of Syrian refugees from her apartment in the suburbs of Beirut when she decided to visit a refugee camp herself. "I just wanted to go and see what was happening," she told me. "So I went and started taking photographs and talking to people about food." Soup for Syria Why food? Because Massaad is a cookbook writer and photographer. She grew up working at her parents' kabob shop in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Then she became a force in the Slow Food movement, starting the Beirut chapter, and racked up prestigious gastronomic awards for books like Man'oushe: Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery. A mother of three, Massaad says she was particularly touched by the Syrian children she met and photographed at the camps. She wanted to raise awareness, so she thought about writing a cookbook based on Syrian cuisine, or perhaps a more sociological look at what refugees actually eat. But then, she reconsidered. After all, who wants to eat like a refugee? Then came a call from a friend who, with Massaad, helps run a Beirut farmers market. "And she said, 'Hey, Barb, why don't we make soups and just give them out to refugees at the farmers market on Tuesdays?'" Massaad recalled. "We made, like, really hearty soups with beans and vegetables and pasta. And lentil soups, because lentils are really popular around here." Then the idea struck: a cookbook — to benefit refugees — devoted entirely to soup. Massaad called upon an all-star lineup of culinary celebrities for help with Soup for Syria. "I'm friends with Alice Waters," Massaad says of the pioneering farm-to-table owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif. "I contacted her and of course, everything that has to do...

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