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CIA Book of Soups
cookbook reviewscia book of soups
The Culinary Institute of America
Book of Soups
List Price: $35.00
Our Price: $24.50
You Save: $10.50 (30%)

Reviewed by Eren Guryel
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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 Dumplings.

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.

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