By JOHN T. WARD
The vegetable barley soup PieHole ordered at Readie’s Deli in Red Bank last week delivered a surprising spicy jolt.
Turns out that was the first time Readie’s had ever made the soup, owner Tom Fishkin told PieHole.
“I said, ‘Hey, why don’t we make some vegetable barley soup today?'” he recalled saying to his cook, Elid Cruz, that morning. “Elid said, “Ok, what’s in it?’ I said, “Well, start with some vegetables… and barley.'”
Ok, but vegetable barley with a high-wattage kick?
We looked for signs of something among the green beans, carrots, chunks of onion…. and, oh yeah, barley… that might explain it. Seeing none, we tracked down Cruz and asked him.
“Black pepper,” he said, with a shrug. “Just some black pepper.”
Well, alright, then.
After he’d walked away, Cruz returned to make a point of saying that the secret to his soup is “don’t cook the veggies too much. You gotta see the color and the flavor.”
Well, alright again.