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Love Soup: 160 All-New Vegetarian Recipes from the Author of the Vegetarian Epicure Paperback – September 21, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
With its title and a kitschy illustrated bright cover with hand-drawn lettering, along with all vegetarian recipes, it's hard not to think the blandly healthy vibe of the 1970s, but Thomas (of the Vegetarian Epicure cookbooks) presents 160 new and enticing recipes that may just charm even a die-hard carnivore. Soups are organized by season and range from hearty selections like rustic leek and potato, and minestrone for a crowd, to lighter summer options including tomato and fennel soup with blood orange and sweet corn. A deconstructed hummus soup, along with pickle soup, make the collection anything but tired. Inspired by a temporary housing move that included a kitchen less than seven feet wide, the author knows what it takes to make a recipe manageable and doesn't skimp on advice when it comes to time- and space-saving tips like freezing, doubling and garnishing. Recipes for breads, dips and spreads, salads and a collection of desserts, as well as sample menus at the start of each chapter, make it easy to plan a full meal. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A volume on soup making is always welcome in any cookbook collection, but this one has the added advantage of addressing vegetarians. Thomas offers her own approaches to the making of the usual vegetable broths, contributing one with browned vegetables for extra flavor and one onion free for those with special needs. -- Mark Knoblauch
Anna Thomas is back with her most inspirational cookbook to date.
Thomas (of the Vegetarian Epicure cookbooks) presents 160 new and enticing recipes that may just charm even a die-hard carnivore.
Anna Thomas is a visionary, pure and simple. She opened our eyes and enlightened our palates and a new world of garden-based eating began to unfold for a generation and beyond. In her latest book, Love Soup, Anna is as present as ever--consistent in her passion, skill, and pure delight. This book makes me want to run to my kitchen and get lost in her soups. --Mollie Katzen, author of "The Moosewood Cookbook"
Anna Thomas is back with her most... inspirational cookbook to date. "
This book will inspire me to make even better soups by just thumbing through the pages and savouring what it has to share. "
Love Soup is a must companion for everyone with a vegetable garden, or a kitchen (this means everybody). --Margaret Roach"
This book hasn't left my hands in the last 48 hours.... It's better than I had ever hoped for. --Amy Karol"
Is anything better than soup?... You'll be delighted and inspired by Thomas's collection of 160 recipes.... Each one a bowl of shining good health. --Weight Watchers.com"
Every page is a new original soup that I want to try. This is a fantastic book... a great resource. "
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Top customer reviews
A few months later we joined a CSA for the summer and I found myself baffled by what to do with the swiss chard that arrived with our bi-weekly basket. I tried a couple of chard recipes I found on the internet but kept finding myself being drawn back to "Love Soup". I finally realized that, as long as you already have broth on hand, many of the recipes just involved chopping up 3 or 4 different kinds of vegetables and pitching them into a pot with some herbs -- in other words, no more effort than the veggie soup I've made for years, just with some different vegetables. And, after all, didn't we join a CSA in the first place to try new vegetables?
So, I set off to make the basic light vegetable broth from the book. We cook a lot so I already had all of the herbs on hand, the carrots and celery and onions. The chard was from my CSA basket, so I found I only needed to buy the leeks, fennel and parsnips. I could handle that. Anna Thomas says in the book that "making your own broth is both a big deal and not a big deal at all" and I now completely understand what she means. I am a product of the hamburger helper generation, even though I moved away from that as soon as I could cook for myself, but the idea of making vegetable broth from scratch seemed needlessly indulgent. In the end, it really wasn't much effort but the end product is light years away from any mass produced broth I've ever had. In short, a big deal but not a big deal at all.
Since the broth recipe only uses the tops of the fennel and the leeks, and just the stems from the chard, what to do with the rest of it all? Luckily, "Love Soup" has probably the best index of any cookbook I've ever used. I looked up "leeks" in the index and had more than 30 recipes to choose from. I had yukon gold potatoes on hand so made the Rustic Leek and Potato Soup, which is hands down the best soup I have ever had, and that's saying something. I made White Bean and Garlic Soup With Greens with some dried beans and the leftover chard and discovered the secret to tempering the bitterness of chard is to pair it with carmelized onions. Beets arrived with our next CSA basket and I still had some leftover leeks and parsnips and fennel so I made Beet Soup with Ginger - fantastic! Beet soups had never appealed to me because of the earthiness of beets, but this time they were perfectly balanced by the other ingredients.
Now completely trusting the brilliance of Anna Thomas with making any vegetable, no matter how healthy, taste like a treat, we threw all caution to the wind and made Green Soup last night. You put an enormous pile of kale and chard in a pot with some green onions and cilantro, a bit of salt, and a chopped up potato and watch it all boil down, thinking all the while "there is no way this is going to taste like anything other than the ground". Meanwhile you carmelize an onion and brown some garlic, then dump it in with the pile of cooked-down greens, along with a few ladles of broth. It cooks for a couple of minutes and then you puree the whole mess in a food processor (or blender), add some cayenne and lemon juice, and doubtfully eye the very green results. Of course, we should have had more faith because it tastes amazingly good, as in I could eat it twice a day for a week and not get tired of it.
One caution: I think that Anna Thomas didn't include pictures because she doesn't want people to get caught up in what the soup "should" look like. She encourages you to make the soup your own. However, I strongly recommend you trust the recipe the first time around. Many of her soups have garnishes that are an integral part of the soup, and she takes care to point that out when it applies. For instance, I tasted the Rustic Leek and Potato Soup and thought it was very good but that there was a bit of something missing. I looked at the recipe again and realized she tells you to add 3 Tbsp of heavy cream to the entire pot right before serving. Once I did that, I tasted it again and the difference was significant. Just that little bit of cream finished the soup (and was cups shy of the amount of cream most potato leek soups include!).
I cannot recommend this cookbook highly enough. Anna Thomas has made all sorts of vegetables you know you should eat into something you actually want to eat. My husband is the definition of a die-hard carnivore and he has loved each and every one of these. The brilliance is that the soups in this book are so delicious that it is only as an afterthought that you realize they are low in calories and fat, jam packed with nutrition, and cost very little per serving. Also, many of them have only 1 tsp of salt in the entire pot but don't sacrifice any of the flavor.
Next up - roasted poblano soup!
In all the years I've cooked from them, no meat-eaters have ever remarked upon the absence of meat. It tastes so good, people don't really pay attention to that. (I'm an omnivore myself.)
I've given several copies of this book as gifts and been privileged to sample the results. Again, excellent food. I'm excited to see there is a new update to Vegetarian Epicure with a view to lighter fare. I'm not convinced it can be that much more healthy because when food is fabulous, I think your body appreciates it so much that whatever richness may be in the recipes can cause very little damage.
Now for some truth telling. I was a vegetarian when I bought this book, and it carried me through some difficult times of trying to plan interesting, tasty meals. Now I have become a vegan and find it easy to adapt the recipes with all the savory goodness intact.
As a result green soup has been a staple in my house for years now. But I'm not sure why I'd never thought to buy her book! It offers an array of flavor profiles of green soup that I'm excited to try, along with several chapters of other types of soups that look amazing. i will update this review when I try some more of the book.