I Ate Too Much in L.A. Cabbage Barley Tomato Soup

OH MY GOD I ate a lot of food in L.A.! By the last day I was starting to miss homecooked meals and swore I was going to eat nothing but salad for the next month to atone for my gluttony. Well, I could happily eat a salad every day for a month, but obviously I’m going to need more than that. I still want to keep things light this week though, so I decided to make soup and salad for dinner last night. Here is the soup I made:

Cabbage Barley Tomato Soup

1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large or 2 small carrots, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 cups veggie broth
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
1 14.5 oz can Great Northern (or other similar) beans
1/3 cup pearled barley
several leaves cabbage (I used savoy), chiffonaded or chopped
lots of freshly ground pepper

Heat some oil in a Dutch oven, then add the onions, celery, and carrots, and saute until onions are starting to brown. Add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Deglaze the pot with some sherry, wine, or broth, then add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until barley is cooked and soup is slightly thickened, about 45 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

This was pretty good; hearty enough to fill me up (accompanied by a salad) but light enough to not make me feel fat. It tasted even better for lunch today.

I don’t have anything else food related to tell you about L.A., so if you’re here only for the food, that wraps up today’s post. Those interested in a few travel photos can stick around, although I’ll have to warn you I didn’t take any photos at all that I consider particularly great. I don’t usually go for particularly touristy things and I don’t like celebrities, so I didn’t go on any tours or anything and most of what I did was what any resident of the city would do: eat, read, and shop. Of course, my shopping was limited to book and thrift stores, which is all the shopping I can tolerate – no Rodeo Drive for me, thanks. I’ve mentioned some of the bookstores already, but if you didn’t know, L.A. is a great town for thrifting. I went home with 2 or 3 times as many clothes as I arrived with and I think I spent a total of $50 on clothes.

Anyway, on with a pictorial representation of my visit. Here is where you can legally graffiti on Venice Beach:

Obligatory shots of the ubiquitous Hollywood sign:

From Runyon Canyon

From the Observatory

Close up

Foucault pendulum in the Griffith Observatory:

(By the way, I read Foucault’s Pendulum this year and hated it, but I still think the device is neat.)

One of Fortinbras’ favorite places is the Getty Villa and he was anxious to share it with us. It’s a beautiful museum devoted to Greek and Roman antiquity. Half of the beauty of this place is its serene setting; just walking around the grounds is nearly as exciting as looking at the art and artifacts and the architecture of the place itself is in fact true artwork. Here are some random photos:

This is an herb garden. It also contains citrus trees, from which Fortinbras says you can pluck fruit for free in season, however I wouldn’t take Fort’s word for it because he’s a known liar.

When we were reviewing my pics later, Fort wanted to make this one his desktop.

This is papyrus.

Fort’s favorite sculpture; he likes to pretend he is this drunk guy slurring his words at a party.

He also likes this one:

Mark, however, apparently prefers this one:

(This is a reproduction statue visitors are encouraged to touch by the way; Mark doesn’t molest real art.)

The Getty Villa apparently does this to me:

Stay tuned next time for The Cats of L.A., a photo essay by Renae.


  1. Jes Said,

    December 7, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

    Mmm I could live off of cabbage soup if I had to! I love the beautiful barley you put in! & the Getty pics are great! I love the papyrus one–who knew that plant was so beautiful?

  2. Zoa Said,

    December 7, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    Well, let me confine myself to expressing how I’ve never seen a papyrus plant before, except in ancient Egyptian frescoes, so thanks, this has been very educational! Also, man, I have been craving barley, but must, must use up the leftovers from VeganMoFo 2010 before indulging. The Cats of L.A., looking forward to it!

  3. Josiane Said,

    December 7, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

    Ha, that’s (almost) exactly the soup I was planning on making for dinner tomorrow! It’s the perfect meal for these snowy days…
    The Getty Villa does look like a nice place to visit when you feel like finding some beauty in a peaceful and quiet setting. That reminds me of how my gentleman friend loves the Rodin museum in Paris for its garden.

  4. susan Said,

    December 8, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

    No cat pictures? How were they when you returned?

  5. renae Said,

    December 9, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    Susan, thanks for asking about them! I figured I had too many photos in this post already. I hated leaving them for so long, but they didn’t seem upset about it, although they were obviously very glad to see us and were even more purry than usual.

  6. susan Said,

    December 9, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

    We always need to hear about them. My super spoiled little one holds a grudge for a day but the other two are happy to see me immediately. It’s just amazing how I can spend an entire vacation worrying about them and 24 hours after I am home everyone is back to normal.

  7. mark Said,

    December 14, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

    would you believe I was hung-over in that picture?

  8. Pam B Said,

    January 9, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

    a great easy sewing project are ‘pillow case dresses (or shirts)…to give you inspiration here is an etsy link – Ive bought them to fit me (adult size 6). http://www.etsy.com/listing/65555003/sale-after-christmas-sale-select-dresses

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