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S.O.U.P.S.: Seattle's Own Undeniably Perfect Soups Paperback – October 6, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books (October 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570614261
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570614262
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ariel Meadow Stallings VINE VOICE on October 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
Hopvine has some of Seattle's best lunches, in my opinion, with hearty, healthy sometimes-vegetarian fare that goes way WAY beyond "pub food." The seasonal wasabi spring salad is to die for, and the artichoke/gouda sandwich is fantastic. Don't get me started on the soups: the amazing chilled strawberry soup in the summer, the creamy potato leek with lavender in the winter, the miso soup that's more like a meal.

And now, imagine my delight to see that Hopvine's chef, Michael Congdon, has released a whole book full of his amazing soups! Michael has an amazing concept of taste...once, when I sat by myself sipping his vichyssois, he came by my table and whispered conspiratorially "the taste will really pop with a little of this hot sauce." I do not like hot sauce. I lean towards un-spicy food and had never (seriously: NEVER EVER) added hot sauce to anything. But the way Michael suggested it, I figured I'd give it a shot. Just a tiny little dot of hot sauce on the top of the cold, creamy soup. And that tiny dot totally transformed the soup. There were many more dots after that, and I learned to trust Michael's advice absolutely.

And now there's this book! The whole first chunk is all about spices and tools, and might seem old hat for experienced chefs, but for culinary dullards like myself, it's sheer genius. And the soups! Dear god. I cannot wait to try some of these. Bonus: there are salad, cookie, and other non-soupy recipes in the back.
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Format: Paperback
The number of Seattlites who greet new residents and visitors to the city with the statement "Go to Capitol Hill and eat soup!" is unnerving, but those who take the advice aren't disappointed.

Michael Congdon, the talented, appealingly edgey, and occasionally irrascible cook at Seattle's Hopvine pub eventually wearied of being besieged for soup recipes and caved to pressure to write a book.

S.O.U.P.S. is the happy result. The book is as unpretentious and charming as the pub and its tattooed skinhead chef, but don't be fooled - it offers an extraordinary variety of well-written formulae for seriously tasty soups. (The "Butternut Squash with Pears and Cranberries" on page 125 is my current favorite, but ask me again tomorrow.)

Five star cooking from a venue that can't be bothered with stars. Now shut up and eat.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`S.O.U.P.S' by Michael Congdon, with a subtitle of `Seattle's Own Undeniably Perfect Soups' reinforces the picture we in less benighted metropolis that Seattle is challenging New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Houston as a major national presence in good food service. It must be all those Microsoft business lunches! This book is a welcome; quality addition to the literature on soup making and it is notable for both its great accomplishments and its weaknesses.

Good soup books seem to come in two flavors. The `upper tier' of books by major American culinary writers and figures such as Barbara Kafka, James Peterson, and Jasper White, published by Wiley and Scribners cover all the classics and the authors' variations on classic recipes. The lower tier by, for example, Paulette Mitchell, the `Daily Soup' chef/owners, and our current author Conned, published by new, small publishers such as Hyperion, Chronicle, and Sasquatch Books present collections of soup recipes which are honed to a fine edge in small restaurants over a long time.

The most obvious question is whether Herr Congdon's soups live up to their billing as `perfect soups'. My humble opinion is that the soups produced by these recipes are very, very good, at the cost of a level of effort that may be beyond most home cooks on most days of the week. Thus, what Congdon has done is to give us a collection of excellent recipes for special occasions. He has enhanced his presentation by giving us the recipes by season, and I find no violations to his suggestions for cooking seasonally. His recipes are very similar to soups done in New York's `The Daily Soup Cookbook', where every soup is meant to be the center of a complete meal.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some of the recipes are complicated but I liked reading about how to best pick and use the right herbs and seasonings. There was one recipe in particular that I wanted that I had tried in a restaurant in Seattle where I live.
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Me and my daughter are really enjoying cooking a pot of delicious soup for Sunday dinner and asking others to bring salad and bread, a bit hit - delicious recipes. I have since given 6 of these as gifts (used ones)
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Format: Paperback
Soup is my favorite food! After eating at the Hopvine and enjoying the soups for quite some time, I was overjoyed when Michael Congdon brought many of those soups to us in the cookbook. I got my copy in the first week it was available, and made my favorite - the Southwestern Pumpkin - shortly thereafter. Delicious! I've also made the wonderful Potato Leek and the White Bean with Caramelized Shallots and Rum. A friend of mine purchased a copy of S.O.U.P.S. for me for Christmas, not knowing I already had one... but hey, it just meant that she now has a copy of her own. :) She and her guy made the Moroccan Lentil soup and loved it! That's going to be what's in my pot next, too. Michael, thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us!
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