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Zuppe: Soups from the Kitchen of the American Academy in Rome, The Rome Sustainable Food Project Hardcover – April 3, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mona Talbott’s Zuppe is smaller than a salad plate, but filled with 50 delicious, simple recipes...The recipes are classic Italian, but with [Mona's] own flair: purée half of the carrots in a lentil and carrot soup for body and color; infuse olive oil with chili flakes and drizzle over a hearty potato and chickpea soup; blitz some unexpected parsley along with the usual mint, and stir into a pea purée. The deliciousness-to-cheapness ratio of Talbott’s recipes will give you a thrill." —Christine Muhlke, The New York Times Book Review      

"Mona Talbott's Zuppe is as much a collection of inspiring Italian soup recipes—like puréed pea with mint—as it is a window into the eco-conscious, seasonal kitchen of the American Academy in Rome." — T, The New York Times Style Magazine

"Direct from the Alice Waters–revolutionized kitchen of the American Academy in Rome comes this uniquely conceived and designed single-subject cookbook, Zuppe….the small book is a well-curated collection of recipes...and is Chez Panisse alumna Mona Talbott's elegant ode to the simplicity and elegant comfort of making soups for all seasons." — Vogue.com

About the Author

Mona Talbott was chosen by Alice Waters to be the Executive Chef of the Rome Sustainable Food Project in 2006. Talbott is a mentor to many cooks starting their careers and is a respected teacher, author, and chef. Her first food-related job was working in large reforestation camps in Canada. After culinary school she was hired by Alice Waters to work at Chez Panisse. She later worked at Eli Zabar's Vinegar Factory and E.A.T. stores in New York and consulted for Hillary Clinton at her home in Chappaqua, New York. In 1999, Talbott began working as a chef for photographer Annie Leibovitz, and in 2004, was hired by Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project to design a children's after-school gardening and cooking program. In 2009, she was selected to be in COCO: 10 World-leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs. She has written articles and recipes for The New York Times, Saveur, and Organic Style.

Annie Schlechter has been working as a photographer since 1998. She spent from September 2009 to June 2010 living at the American Academy in Rome. Her clients include The World of Interiors, House Beautiful, The New York Times Magazine, Real Simple, W magazine, Travel & Leisure, and many more.
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Product Details

  • Series: Rome Sustainable Food Project
  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Little Bookroom (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892145979
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892145970
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At first, I was surprised that the American Academy in Rome would assume that Italians might need their help in preserving time-honored food traditions. This is a subject Italians are famously passionate about. After reading (and cooking from) "Zuppe," a wonderful collection of soups (whose sale benefits the Rome Sustainable Food Project), I understand better what's up. The student-chefs at the American Academy have put together an extraordinary collection of soup ("zuppe") recipes, their patronage -- under the auspices of legendary chef Alice Waters -- offered as a way to show gratitude to their hosts.

I've always believed that soup could be part of the answer to some of the problems closer to home, as budgets shrink and people begin to show the damaging effects of a national diet that fails to nourish in any sense. Trendy and precious, the ongoing coverage of high-end specialty food and restaurants is not the answer. Rather, I agree with chef Michael Ruhlman that the world is simply better when we cook at home. Soups -- traditionally based on vegetables and grains, or meat products that would be otherwise thrown away -- is an extremely cost-effective way to put lots of flavor and satisfaction on your table every night.

Few of us would go as far to reclaim otherwise wasted ingredients as they do in the kitchen of the American Academy, where fennel tops, usually cut from the fennel bulb and thrown away, are used in a amazingly flavorful potato and fennel soup. This is a demonstration of "cucina povera," a reference to a possibly impoverished kitchen, but also used as a kind of compliment to signal that a thrifty cook has been at work.
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Format: Hardcover
I started with Pasta e fagioli - and it was delicious. However, a novice would have run into trouble, since theinstructions omit the crucial step of adding water. I guessed how much to add and it worked out. The recipe also didn't say when to remove the aromatics (unchopped celery and onion) from the broth.

Another problem: the index is simply a list of the recipes contained in the book in alphabetical order!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a delightful little cookbook. It's springtime in California....the farm market was brimming with fresh artichokes, peas,asparagus,and fava beans, so we tried several of her seasonal spring soups. Truly delicious and well-worth the effort. I doubled all the recipes so we have a freezer full of wonderful fresh home-made soups. The recipes are easy to follow and the soups are fresh, tasty, and filling. 5 stars from a home cook.
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Format: Hardcover
I discovered this gem of a cookbook at a friend's house over a long cold weekend in the snow, could not put it down, and made one of the bean and kale soups that first night. Just looking at the interesting and sometimes unusual combinations of ingredients was exciting. The recipes are arranged by season, which is always helpful to find inspiration and go shopping or match up with whatever is handy in the kitchen. You should expect to find and experiment with soups that are a little different from the usual suspects in cookbooks with a 'Soup' section. For example, a forte of the winter section is the extensive use of different kinds of beans along with leeks and kale varieties. In this book, many soups stand out as really creative dinner party dishes. However, all are really suitable for family meals. In the back, there is a description of the key ingredients, along with some Roman roots. Picture plates are mostly of ingredients, chefs, and the Roman environs related to the cooking school that has inspired the publication... a few more pics of finished dishes would have been good. The just right smallish physical size of the recipe book is great, too, fitting easily on a kitchen bench. Soon, pages in my copy will be well splattered with ingredients of recipes tried out.
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Format: Hardcover
The New York Review of Books is currently running an excellent deal on all four of the books in this series:

All the RSFP recipes are rooted in la cucina povera, “the food of the poor,” a style of simple, wholesome, and wonderfully flavorful cooking that developed centuries ago in the agricultural communities of Italy. The recipes are healthy and economical, and will quickly become go-to dishes for everyday meals as well as special occasions—the spirit of la dolce vita inspires all of the RSFP cookbooks. Gorgeous photos by Annie Schlechter illustrate the recipes, and allow readers a glimpse into the kitchen, dining room, and garden of the American Academy in Rome.

Whether you’re interested in vegetable dishes, soups, pasta, or something sweet, take advantage of our 30% discount on Verdure, Zuppe, Pasta, and Biscotti. The set of all four books—a memorable gift—is available at 40% off.

***

Three years ago I found this an inspirational book, which encouraged me to make soup on the spur of the moment, quicker and better than the ones I bought in cans or even frozen from the fancy Market Basket here in Franklin Lakes. It continues to inspire; last night I made a soup with approximately the following ingredients:

One carrot
One celery stalk
One half small onion
One garlic clove
Half cup diced tomatoes
Sprinkle of quinoa -- maybe quarter of a cup
Enough vegetable stock to cover
Some spices -- Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base 8 oz and
...Read more ›
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