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on May 1, 2010
Many cookbooks, especially those written by celebrity chefs, suffer from too much complexity. I call it the "making their mark disease" because it seems to be about showing off more than writing great recipes real people can prepare and enjoy. I favor cookbooks that present fairly simple, adaptable recipes, like '500 Soups'. Just like my other current favorite cookbook, 'Quick & Easy Thai: 70 Everyday Recipes by Alison Miksch', 500 Soups has a number of delicious recipes accompanied by color photos, and then variations on each recipe. Of course because it has more recipes it has many more variations.

It includes recipes for making beef, vegetable, fish, and chicken stocks from scratch. All the recipes use scratch ingredients, and you can elect to use boullion, base, or prepared stocks. All ingredients should be available in any grocery store. Most recipes use measurements that are easy to multiply or divide, and are easy to adjust according to your own tastes. For example, I don't care for flaming hot spices, just a touch of heat, so I always reduce those.

Some are good for preparing in batches and freezing, some are better prepared and eaten fresh. There are broth soups, creamy soups, and red sauce soups, some with meat and fish, some vegetarian. Something for all occasions. (Plain yogurt is a nice substitute for heavy cream and coconut milk. Not quite the same because it adds a bit of tang. Add it at the very last or it will separate and look yucky.)

Here is a sampling:
Red-hot spicy chickpea and pasta soup
potato and garlic soup
beef and barley soup
ginger and salmon soup
spicy sausage and bean soup

**April 2012
I still love this cookbook and use it frequently!
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on September 13, 2008
I have tried about 10 soups so far from this book, and all of them have been fantastic!! The instructions are easy to follow and the pictures make you salivate in anticipation. A must have for any soup lover!!!
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The 500 soups provides 125 recipes for a variety of soups from everyday to exotic variations. Each of the 125 recipes has four minor variations that tweak the item into a different version by adding a new flavor profile. This is hands down the best cookbook in the series and provides excellent recipes for easy use. There are tons of great flavored soups that are easy to make from this book and may ones that are hearty enough to serve as a meal. This truly is an essential book for those who like to make soups.
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on November 30, 2010
When I saw 500 soups, I was expecting a wider variety of recipes. What you get is about 75 recipes with 5 to 10 variations of the recipe at the end of the chapter. Variations can be changing mint for parsley or make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth vs chicken broth. There are a few interesting variations but in most cases the variations seem like the author is stretching to get to the 500 number versus providing 500 unique recipes.

A picture for about 2/3s of the main recipes is nice. The small size of the book takes getting use to and I'm not a fan. I also wish there was a total cooking time at the top of each main recipe. You need to read through the recipe and judge how long it will take so no way of flipping through to find quick versus lengthy recipes. I'm still looking for that complete soup cookbook.
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on December 1, 2010
I have been "accumulating" soup cookbooks from Amazon and also eBay for a soup feast I am planning. One thing about buying books online, you don't enjoy that ability to leaf through them and see if they really appeal so the reviewer information is really helpful. So, with a stack of soup books on hand, I will say that this one and New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation's Best Purveyor of Fine Soup (Marjorie Druker, Clara Silverstein)[nice but a tad expensive] are the standouts for the appeal of therecipes, photos (a must), and general organization. Once you get too many books (I think I'm there!), the recipes start repeating and it's difficult to find anything new. This is a small compact book but I love the photos and the pages on "variations" for each recipe. These variations are how they cram 500 recipes in such a small volume! I would say this book is a great resource and priced fairly for what it provides to readers.
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VINE VOICEon November 5, 2010
I purchased this book looking for a source for my cold weather favorite.... soups. I browsed through amazon's offerings of soup cookbooks and came across this one. When it arrived, I immediately dove in and was very pleasantly suprised.
Many of the recipies are tried and true so I don't need to go over them. What I liked most about this book was that it brought a number of my favorite recipies together in one spot... except for Tuscan Bean Soup, which is sadly missing from a lot of these type cookbooks.
What I didn't like was the variety included things I know I will never try, but that's with almost every cookbook. But the ratio was about 50/50. Not bad actually for a soup cookbook.
Between the chapters are pages that give you variations for recipies in the previous chapter, handy for the newer cooks and gives thought to more seasoned cooks.
There are some, what I consider to be, 'exotic' ingredients... things you wouldn't normally have around the house... but that may be just my house. However, that annoyed me... especially the seafood recipies. Not that I don't like seafood... I just don't see a lot of seafood soups other than chowders in my life and feel there could have been more heartier fare in their place.
Either way, this little book is worth it's price indeed. One of the few cookbooks that will last in my library. I do recommend it to those looking for a collection of soup recipies all in one spot.
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on June 18, 2012
As other reviewers have complained, this book does not contain 500 soup recipes, it contains alterations of the recipes printed and these are supposedly new recipes making 500. My other complaint with the book is that many of the recipes are either too basic or too advanced. I will use this book but it will not even come close to as much as I used my other 'smaller' books. It's not a bad purchase if you are just starting making soups and don't really understand the basics of what mixes with what and how to slightly change recipes to create new ones. But for an experienced soup maker there are better books out there.
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on January 6, 2014
I'm not a soup cook, using this book was the first time I made soup and made two. The leek soup and coconut spinach soup. Both turned out fantastic. If you are a veteran soup maker, this book is not for you. If you are a beginner - middle of the road soup 'er this book can be very useful.

There are vegetarian versions of meat-type soups listed in the book as well.

The "500" number is misleading as many times you will include or omit one ingredient to create a soup. So for example expect "Chicken Noodle Soup" to be one soup followed by 10 more variations. Like "Exclude chicken" for a vegetarian version.
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on September 16, 2013
my boyfriend loves hearty, nutritious soups but most cookbooks only have creamy or heavy soups... we got this book last week and have already tried a couple of recipes, this is a must have for the kitchen! - book is small and easy to read, first few pages explains everything from ingredients needed for the base of the soups, garnishing and condiments, to the measurement and cooking tools needed to execute the recipes... also has variations after each chapter, for instance it'll tell you about a lamb chop and couscus soup and at the end will tell you how to make it with chicken or vegetables if you are a vegetarian and what other ingredients to switch in the process... love it!
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on February 1, 2013
I bought this book as a gift for my Grandmother who always has us over for soup nights. She recently make the broccoli soup and although it was good we both found it was better when we added a little white cheddar cheese, something the recipe didn't call for. Overall the recipes are nice as starting points, but I do think they can be improved on. She has only make a few of the soups so I can't say this is a general for all 500 recipes but so far we've slightly tweaked all of the soups.
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