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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 1, 2009
Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons is the fourth edition of Nava's book previously titled Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons. It is essentially the same book as the third edition, but with the color photos added along with the new cover. It is substantially different from the first two editions.

I am a total soup nut so I was very excited to try this one. I hadn't seen any of the previous editions but I'm a big fan of Nava's other cookbooks. This certainly lived up to my expectations. Like all of Nava's cookbooks, the recipes in this book were easy to make, used simple ingredients that I typically have in my pantry, and, most importantly, my family loved them.

The recipes are arranged by seasons, which is a really nice feature since we try to eat local, seasonal foods. It being January when I got the book, I turned straight to the winter soups and found several just perfect for a rainy winter suppers. The first soup I tried was the Three Bean Soup with Brown Rice. Well, actually it was only two bean soup (kidney and cannellini) because I didn't have any frozen green beans. I did have kale though so we still got the green in there. My daughters had bowl after bowl of this hearty tomato-based soup and I ended up with no leftovers for lunch the next day.

The second soup we tried was the Hearty Winter Roots Soup. This was a wonderful mash of potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, and parsnips in a creamy, cheesy soup. Another hit with the family. The third dish we tried was the Vegetarian Goulash--a great "meat" (seitan) and potatoes stew that reminded me of the Sunday dinners my mom made when I was growing up--except without the meat of course.

I can't wait to cook my way through the rest of the seasons. This spring, I'm looking forward to Asparagus and Spinach Soup, Leek and Mushroom Bisque, and Puree of Spring Greens. In the heat of the summer, I can try one of the many cold soups offered like Cream of Lettuce Soup, Classic Gazpacho, or Minted Peach Soup. Next fall (if I can wait that long), I'm dying to try the Baked Onion Soup, New England Clam-less Chowder, and Pumpkin-Apple Soup. In addition to soups, there's a lovely selection of breads, muffins, biscuits and scones. My daughters and I had a blast making Chapatis.

If you love soup or are looking for each meals for your family, this is definitely a good cookbook for you.

Review as seen on VegFamily Magazine [...] by Cathe Olson
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
As a person who has over 30 vegan cookbooks (My husband can't believe there are that many vegan cookbooks in print!) I definitely will add this one to those at the top of my list. One of the best things about this book is that it is divided into seasons, so it's easy to find the produce at a reasonable price in the grocery store and it's more likely that it will be locally grown. Another thing I like is that the ingredients are mostly easy to find. I love weird ingredients as much as anyone, but when you are trying to figure out what to make for dinner you don't want to have to run all over town trying to find something that's obscure.

My favorite recipe so far is a fall one, Sweet and Sour Sauerkraut Soup which includes carrots, celery, potatoes, diced tomatoes and of course, sauerkraut among other things. If you don't like sauerkraut or sour foods, skip this one, but I think it's even better the next day. Another favorite is the Okra-Rice Gumbo or the Thai-Flavored Coconut Vegetable Soup. These all go together pretty quickly and if you double the recipe you'll have enough for a couple days and the flavors have a way of melding together that makes them all the better.

Soup is always great with a big salad and some crusty bread and this cookbook has a lot of imaginative recipes, not just the same old standbys. It's one of those books that's fun to just go through and read because I always seem to find one recipe that is appealing for that particular day, no matter what sort of mood I'm in. Two thumbs up for this book! I'll be looking forward to more vegan cookbooks by Nava Atlas.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2012
I was really disappointed with this cookbook. We love soup and I was excited to have another source for vegan soups but I should have read the book more carefully before buying it. Almost every recipe requires fake milk or fake cheese. In my experience, recipes with lots of fake food substances generally aren't great and the soups I tried from this book were no exception. If you are looking for vegan recipes why in the world would you want a recipe for Mac and Cheese soup?!? After reading the book, it became clear that this book is adapted from another presumably dairy-rich book. By adapted, I mean that the reader is instructed to just put fake cream or cheese or milk into the soup. There are so many great books (vegan or not) that provide recipes for soups that are delicious and built with naturally vegan foods (like beans and vegetables). I don't see why anybody would prefer to make soup with poor-tasting industrial food substitutes but I appear to be in the minority.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2012
I was really excited to receive this book. Who doesn't love to make a good soup? I have been using this book as my go to cookbook lately, but each recipe seems to get worse and worse. Nava Atlas originally wrote this book as a vegetarian cookbook. She went vegan and changed the recipes, hence the reason that there are so many soups that say garnish with vegan cheese. I try not to use too much vegan cheese because it is so expensive, but if you can afford it then go for it. She also really likes prepackaged spice mixes like No-Salt Added Mrs. Dash. I have a million spices and would rather use those than going out and buying a new spice blend.

Perhaps it is because of this that I found the soups to be lack luster and flavorless. I made the Taco Soup and the Mac and Cheese soup which were good despite the Mac and Cheese thickened up every time I put in the refrigerator and became a casserole. The Autumn Harvest Stew and the Polenta Potage (this soup also turned into a brick of polenta in the fridge) were flavorless. The kicker for me was the fall soup called Kale, Yellow Squash and Sweet Potato Stew. This has summer squash in it which is obviously a summer vegetable not fall. It tastes terrible seasoned with both balsamic vinegar and fresh ginger. I wasted Kale and Sweet Potatoes! I was so glad to finish this soup.

I will continue to cook with this cookbook, but don't have high hopes for it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2009
I love the fresh new variety of soups as well as the old veganized favorites of the past, i.e. mock chicken noodle soup, gumbo, tomato soup, etc. I mainly cook soups in the wintertime, but they do have summer fruit soups, winter root soups, fall harvest soups, and spring soups representing the early growing season. There's something for everyone's palate from broths, stocks, seasonal and regional soups, and breads.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or an omnivore, you can't miss with this fabulous collection of seasonal soup recipes. From the heat of summer to the cold grey days of winter, Nava Atlas has created a soup to match the weather and sooth your soul. Nutritionists are touting the benefits of eating fresh, locally grown produce and there's no better way to enjoy nature's bounty than with a delicious bowl of soup. And, for the weight conscious, a bowl of vegan soup is a great way to fill up with maximum nutritional benefits and minimum calories.
As I write this, it's early Fall and I look forward to many days of my kitchen filling with the aroma of one of Atlas' hearty soups or stews. Some of my special favorites are her "Curried Red Lentil Soup," Autumn Harvest Stew," and "Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup." I've prepared these for friends who raved about my cooking. And, believe me, I'm not a chef!
You can't go wrong with "Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons." Get yourself a copy and pick up several for friends. The holidays are coming and this book will be a treasured gift, I promise!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2009
What I love about Nava Atlas is, she writes for the average cook. Her recipes are colorful, easy, and quick to prepare. She doesn't bog down recipes with exotic ingredients. Most recipes call for three or four easy-to-find ingredients and take about 30 minutes or so to put together. The color photographs in this soup and stew cookbook are great. I've prepared several of these recipes and shared them with non-vegan diners - they never suspected a thing. This is a great gift book - not too expensive, very beautiful, and useful for the day-to-day cook, especially during the winter months. Also, these recipes are perfect for a single person. You can make a pot of soup on a Sunday and you've got your meals for a few days.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2009
Aside from being a cookbook hoarder, I am also a die-hard soup lover! This book is perfect for those of us who eat soup regularly, and for those of us who want to eat soup more often. Nava Atlas is an excellent cookbook author. Her recipes are clear, simple (but not boring), straightforward and tasty. I really like the seasonality of this book as well. Now that winter is approaching, a hearty bowl of chili with savory muffins or scones is just what we need to keep us warm and toasty. You will find all of that here. Nava's cookbooks are also just what busy people need on their bookshelves. As a full time working mother of two, I don't have hours to put together a healty, delicious meal. Nava makes getting a healthy meal on the table easy. It doesn't have to take forever, and a soup, salad and biscuits are suitable for kids and adults. Thumbs up!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2009
If you enjoy making a variety of delicious and healthful soups and stews, look no further. Whether you like brothy Asian noodle soups, hearty bean stews, or creamy vegetable bisques, you'll find it within these pages. The recipes call for easy-to-find ingredients and the instructions are clear and simple to follow. I especially love that the book is organized according to seasons, so you can savor these wonderful soups all year long. The yummy selection of accompaniments is an added bonus.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great book with lots of healthy seasonal recipes front to back! This is a great go to book for a wide range of tastes! My family loves it!
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