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The Big Book of Soups and Stews: 262 Recipes for Serious Comfort Food Paperback – November 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; English Language edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081183056X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811830560
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 8.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With its bold graphics, attractive cover and clear, concise recipes, Vollstedt's latest has all the signs of an interesting work. Unfortunately, unlike James Peterson's excellent primer Splendid Soups, this book gives only cursory treatment to the principals of soup- and stew-making. Moreover, the facile introductory notes rarely describe the finished dish, let alone mention technique. Vollstedt (The Big Book of Casseroles) tells readers that Bean and Beer Soup with Ham is perfect for "game watching on TV," and a broccoli, mushroom and peanut butter soup is just the thing for the "peanut butter fan." In another instance, Vollstedt assumes that her readers will not know how to pronounce "ratatouille" (the Union Street Ratatouille recipe offers a phonetic spelling), yet takes it for granted that they will know how her recipe, which calls for slow-roasting the vegetables to a gelatinous heap, differs from the classic version. Perhaps it sounds like a quibble, but the book contains many such omissions. Then there is the matter of the recipes themselves. While some of them will no doubt appeal to people with large families and their children what child wouldn't adore Spaghetti Soup? more sophisticated readers may long for, well, more sophisticated dishes.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

"Serious comfort food" is what a lot of people are craving right now, giving Vollstedt's (The Big Book of Casseroles) book an unforeseen timeliness. Home cooks, especially those with families, will find a wide range of easy, uncomplicated recipes here, from a hearty Beef and Chile Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings to a more sophisticated Shrimp and Scallop Chowder; there are many kid-friendly recipes as well, including several hamburger soups. Some of the recipes are staples (such as a classic Irish Stew), but many busy cooks will find it handy to have such favorites gathered in one place, along with more unusual "meals in a bowl." For most collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Maryana Vollstedt has written several Chronicle cookbooks in the Big Book series. She lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Customer Reviews

Many great soups and stews in here!
saki
I would like to try some of the recipes, they sounded very good.
Dot
A good basic cook book for beginners like myself.
working man

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By E. Marin on March 7, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've made at least ten of the recipes so far, from lamb stew with spinach and orzo to spicy black bean to lentil with brown rice, and every one has been tasty and straightforward to make, including the vegetarian ones. I cook once or twice a week and eat each dish for several days, so this kind of consistency is important!
Note that these are generally not quick recipes in the sense of being able to whip them up on the spot - most I've tried involve throwing things in the pot to simmer at least an hour or two before I intend to eat, and many suggest soaking beans overnight, etc. But the time spent actively preparing the food is usually not that much, and the results have always been well worth it. Enjoy!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Norred on January 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I love soup, but I don't like to spend all day making it. Maryana has "boiled down" every recipe to the simplest yet tastiest way to make it. Try the Sunriver Soup for company...it is delicious. I have had this book for over a year, and have made over 20 of the recipes...they have all been fantastic. Both of the Gumbo recipes are super, the seafood one is divine. The Gazpacho is perfect, and I love the Mexican Chicken and Corn soup too. I like how she doesn't require a million and one ingredients but just selects the perfect combination of spices for each soup.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'll admit..I'm mainly a soup person only in the fall and winter months when it's cooler and you don't mind a nice pot of soup simmering on the stove for several hours. Soup and winter just goes together even though this book contains many lighter receipes that can be enjoyed all year round.

This is a follow-up to the Big Book of Casseroles and contains receipes for over 250 soups, stews, and chowders. Some very elegant soups perfect for a formal dinner party to go along with stick to your ribs soups for tailgating before a big game. There's old classic favorites such as Chicken Noodle, Motzah Ball and Clam Chowder to go along with more exotic soups such as the Thai Ginger Chicken Soup and Spicy Cuban Pork Stew. One of my favorites is the Chicken with Buttermilk Thyme dumplings which is just fantastic in the dead of winter like it is now. There are several potato soup recipes which I absolutely love including the baked potato soup.

The recipes are fairly simple to make and most of the ingredients are availabe from the grocery store but a few will require a visit to a gourmet food store if you really want to do it right. This book is a soup-eaters dream!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Audra Alexander on January 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have slightly above-average cooking skills, and must employ them at least 5 nights a week for my 6'4" husband and 9 year old daughter who both eat like they have hollow legs. This book is extremely easy to use, which is essential for my time-strapped evenings.

After a brief introduction about technique and tools, this book is organized by food type, i.e. meat, poultry, seafood, vegetable etc., with additional brief sections about garnishes and bread-sides. The recipes are not exotic, meaning you won't need a specialty grocery for every recipe. They are however intensely flavorful, utilizing plain, old-fashioned techniques like sautee and simmer to bring the flavors together.

The editorial review of this book complains about its lack of sophistication in the descriptions of each recipe, but I prefer the simplicity. The page layouts remain uncluttered and (more importantly) un-intimidating, which is important at 6:30 pm just walking in the door from work and faced with a hungry kid and a blank kitchen!

Included in this book are several standards like chili, beef stew, chicken soup, and vegetable ministrone in addition to some surprising and refreshing ideas such as cold avocado soup with cashews, white chili with chicken or turkey, and lamb shanks with gremolata. All retain their simplicity, flavor, and ease of preparation.

There is nothing more heartening than the bouquet of steam rising from a pot of fresh, homemade soup in these cold winter months... unless it's watching your family smile around their spoons!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. Bowers on April 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this one for Christmas and have tried perhaps 18-20 recipes since (I'm addicted to soups and stews).

Often, I have followed recipes in other books which were very disappointing, and sometimes very poorly seasoned. If I repeated the recipe, I often had to adjust seasonings, etc., to make it more palatable. However, every single one turned out perfect! Though I have a habit of improvising, I'm confident that I will not likely change these recipes.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
I just recently purchased this book and have tried 3 recipes so far. They have all been very tasty and easy to prepare, and I especially appreciate that they haven't called for any exotic or expensive igredients but in no way compromise on taste! I highly recommend this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Salerni on October 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I cannot say that I have enjoyed every soup and stew I've tried in this book, I can safely say that it has provided my household with some all-time favorites, which are now staples in our cooking repertoire for daily use -- and for guests.

I first bought this book as a wedding shower gift, for a friend who loved soups. After leafing through the pages, I became unable to part with it. I kept it, and bought another one for her. The recipes are clear, simple, and easy to follow. Most of the soups can be made between the time you come home from work and the dinner hour, if you have the ingredients on hand.

The Winter Tomato Soup is an example of a recipe which has become a staple for my family. I have copied the recipe onto my laptop computer so that when we are away from home in the winter (on a skiing vacation, for example) I will have the recipe at hand. The Sun River soup is a fun soup, just a bit spicy, with a variety of toppings that can be added to it. I have used it at parties. And being an artichoke lover, I thoroughly enjoy the Cream of Artichoke soup, which can be made with a single can of artichoke hearts and half-n-half instead of cream.

With many more recipes still on my list "to try," I can safely say that this book will continue to see much use.
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