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Mollie Katzen's Recipes: Soups is produced in an interesting format. It's a small ring-bound book tucked into a board sleeve so it'll sit well on a shelf. Once you take the book out, you move a couple of things around, tuck one thing into another, and you end up with an easel. The idea is that you set it up so it only takes up a few inches of counter-space and your recipe ends up standing up in front of you, making it easy to read while you cook.

In this it works fairly well. The angle is fairly steep, so you'll need to set it down on a perfectly level surface or risk pages falling closed on you. I also felt that this worked better for cooking than for looking through the cookbook to find recipes, which was a bit more awkward. And once you've set it up as an easel, it'll never quite collapse back all the way again; while you can slip it into its sleeve to fit on a shelf, at least, it's still a bit awkward to work with in other ways. Other folks might find this format perfect; it just didn't quite work for me.

The handwriting font is attractive, but when it comes to cookbooks my personal preference is for something plain and clear. There are no photos, but I tend to think photos are pretty unnecessary with soups. The directions are clear and simple; these are not overly complex recipes.

The table of contents and index are quite handy; the ToC lists recipes in order, while the index lets you look for things by ingredient, both of which are useful.

It seemed to me that the flavors in these soups weren't balanced entirely well. Some seemed under-seasoned while others seemed over-seasoned. The spices in the curried squash soup smelled to-die-for while cooking, but the soup was flavored strongly enough that I found it a bit unpleasant, and that's unusual for me (I'm a flavor junkie!). I also found some of the soups didn't reheat very well (without mentioning this in the directions), which is a tad unusual for soups.

The soups aren't vegan, as a number of them use dairy, but it would be simple enough to substitute soy products and the like.

If you're die-hard looking for a source of healthy, vegetarian soups, this is certainly a good option. As a cookbook in general, however, I'd say it's good but not great. On the other hand, many of the things I wasn't so fond of will be taste-dependent.
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on January 6, 2010
This cookbook is fabulous - especially if you are trying to sneak more vegetables into your diet. I've tried about a third of the recipes and look forward to trying the rest! I make one or two soups a week and bring them to work or reheat them at night for a quick dinner. I am an amateur cook and had no problem following the instructions in this book and making great soups. The easel format is a big bonus - it's easy to read the recipe without having to hold the page open. If you're not familiar with the typical Moosewood format: the presentation is friendly and the font is hand-written for a homey, personal feel. The instructions are easy and for the most part the ingredients are widely available. Most of the recipes take about 30-60 minutes of prep and cooking time (less if you are using a food processor to chop veggies, or if you are a super competent chopper - I am not).

FYI to my fellow newbie cooks: soups (in general) often require a food processor or blender. If you don't have one of those two things, about half the recipes in this book will be irrelevant to you. I use a pretty basic blender (two speeds: on and off) and it works fine.
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on September 16, 2012
I was hoping for some more soup recipes from Mollie, but what I didn't realize was that these are not unique and are only reprints from Moosewood, etc. Rats for me! I should have done some more research.
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on January 14, 2015
A bit disappointing…The format is difficult to use. I was looking forward to the easel and I have to say it's not great. As for the recipes, I haven't really prepared many so far. I have other books by Mollie Katzen that I like a lot…would expect to like these recipes as well. As far as using the easel…could be improved upon.
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on February 5, 2014
I discovered this book after a friend made me several soups during the winter. They were to die for. I didn't realize they were vegetarian! FABULOUS. I especially love the lentil, the black bean which I never thought I'd like and the split pea. EASY recipes, make them and freeze them. You'll even lose weight!
Highly recommend.
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on May 1, 2014
Presented in the form of a small, countertop easel, MOLLIE KATZEN’S RECIPES for SOUP offers recipes for fifty different vegetarian soups. They range from cream soups to lentil soups to assorted vegetable soups to lemon soups to gazpacho. Many of them can be made without the use of milk, as well. She also provides hints for preparing stock. The index has references for each major ingredient. If you want to use mushrooms, there are eleven listings. There are seventeen utilizing potatoes. So, if you have something that you want to use up before it spoils, you can easily find several interesting suggestions.
Each recipe looks as if it was hand-written and includes notes about substitutions, cooking times, preparation tips, etc. Each one also includes the use of herbs, often missing in many recipes. New cooks can easily follow the directions. Experienced cooks can be inspired. And Molly Katzen’s sense of humor comes through: e.g., for The Pumpkin Tureen, which can be prepared, baked, and served in a pumpkin, she writes: “Prepare the pumpkin as though you were going to make a jack-o-lantern, but stop short of carving the face.”
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on November 12, 2011
The days are turning cool and the leaves are dropping... soup weather! This is a great little book and it even stands up so you can easily read the recipes when cooking. I have tried almost all of the soup recipes and received raves from family and friends. If there's any left-overs (which rarely happens in my household), most soups taste even better the next day. Thanks, Mollie for another great recipe book!
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on October 3, 2012
Molly Katzen who was one of the original authors of the Moosewood cookbook has created a wonderful compendium of soups. I've made many from this book and have never been disappointed. Katzen is a master at making vegetarian flavorful with just the right ingredients and spices. This is my go-to soup book.
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on July 4, 2010
This is a must for the winter. So many great soups to make, and all so yummy! You really HAVE to have this one. And the price is fantastic.
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on December 26, 2014
I have many (too many) cookbooks but this is my favorite by far.
It never fails, everything always comes out perfect!
It's a lifesaver in the kitchen.
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