This 212-page book is more than a
standard soup recipe file that I thought it was going to be.
This is not a textbook - rather a great book I would buy as
a gift for the non-chef. The procedures are easy to follow
with equipment that can be found in most home kitchens.
The book starts out with the basics of cookery. It tells you
what equipment you’ll need to have and why. How to cook, season,
cool, store, freeze, reheat, and serve. Then the book dives
right in to the necessary broths and bases for all the items
that you’ll be preparing within the book.
I can appreciate the breakdown of
each category of types of soup. The beginning of each chapter
gives to you, in detail the methods of making that type of
soup. The “Broths” section had some real classics like French
Onion and Borscht. Then, at the other end of the spectrum
there was Vietnamese Water Spinach and Beef and Salmon Miso.
The “Hearty soups” chapter contains the kinds of soups my
mom used to make in the middle of the winter back home in
central Vermont when there was 3 feet of snow outside, and
I just came home from a day of skiing.
My favorites were the Mushroom Barley
soup and Leblebi (chickpea soup). “Cream soups” came next
and “Puree soups” followed. Many of these soups are already
in the “Professional Chef”, they use the same method described
at the beginning of each chapter and use different ingredients.
It is true with the “Bisques & Chowders” chapter.
However, I really like the “Cold soups”
because they don’t just hand you the recipes for Gazpacho
and Vichyssoise. The Cantaloupe Soup and Lime Granite and
Chilled Red Plum Soup are some things I’d put on a menu as
an intermezzo prior to a dessert or cheese course. The last
chapter “Accompaniments” has some nice garnishes. Basics like
croutons and breadsticks to Gruyere Cheese Puffs and Sage
I thought the book should have standardized the yields. Some
recipes made 8 portions some made 4-6, or 10-12, or 8-10.
Get the picture? And the list of ingredients for each recipe
would be easier to read had it been aligned to the left hand
side of the page instead of on the right.
To summarize- It has beautiful photography
all within the setting of a homestead environment. A great
gift - my copy is heading to my sister. She’ll get more out
of it than I.