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Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen Paperback – February 7, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Madison continues her quest to make vegetarian food palatable to all, banking on her belief that soups are "almost universally popular." Still, though the author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone mostly refrains from using tofu, few of her recipes are as "uncontrived" as she claims: for instance, Roasted Fall Tomato Soup is vastly better than anything canned, but the curry, saffron and quinoa swirled in may intimidate the palates of less ambitious cooks. The other recipes—including hearty broths, bean soups, lentil soups, grain-thickened soups and soups for each season—either riff on classics or take wholly innovative directions. This approach will attract experienced cooks bored with the usual noodle soups or minestrones, and who have access to top-quality spices and vegetables, plus plenty of time and patience. While not all of the recipes are demanding, readers who are willing to commit the necessary effort will be rewarded by rich layers of taste in elegant selections like Rice and Golden Turnip Soup with Fontina Cheese. An excellent opening section on stock sets the stage, and in the margins Madison provides helpful tips on ingredient buying, preparation, presentation and wine accompaniment. Her fans, as well as soup connoisseurs, are sure to lap this book up eagerly. Photos.
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From the Inside Flap

Deborah Madison has shown millions of Americans how to turn vegetables and other healthful ingredients into culinary triumphs. In her newest collection of recipes, Madison serves up a selection of soups ranging from elegant first courses to substantial one-dish meals.
Madison begins with a soup-making primer and streamlined recipes for vegetable stocks--like a simple-to-prepare Roasted Vegetable stock--which are the foundation for many of the recipes that follow. Light soups like the Mexican Tomato Broth with Avocado and Lime make for delectable beginnings to a meal. Cooks looking for heartier choices will find such satisfying dishes as Navy Bean and Winter Squash Soup with Sage Breadcrumbs or grain-based soups like Quinoa, Corn, and Spinach Chowder. Organized by seasons, the recipes make the most of the freshest produce-from a springtime Fennel and Almond Soup with Saffron and Ricotta Dumplings to a rich, autumnal Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Soup. A spoonful of Cilantro Salsa is just an example of Madison's tricks for improving prepared soups when fresh vegetables--and time--are in short supply.
"Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen provides enticing ways to enjoy many of those daily servings of vegetables and grains we all need. Featuring 50 stunning full-color photographs, serving suggestions, and ideas for creative garnishes, this is a soup lover's bible for healthful and delicious meals in a bowl.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 4.5.2006 edition (February 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076791628X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767916288
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
`Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen' is a title loaded with significance, for a book by the foremost writer on vegetarian cooking techniques, Deborah Madison. The first implication, which reading the book bears out, is that this is all about vegetarian, but not necessarily vegan soup recipes. As in all her books, Ms. Madison makes liberal use of milk products and eggs, with no apologies for that fact. The second implication is that Madison is turning her name, or more exactly `Deborah Madison's Kitchen' into a brand name, in much the same way as Mark Bittman has turned his `How to Cook Everything' and Rachael Ray has turned '30 Minute Meals' into a brand, with the hopes that brand recognition rather than the quality of the book's contents will get you to buy this book.

On the one hand, I can state categorically that this is the one of the best books I have seen on soups at all, let alone its being the very best book I have seen on vegetarian soups. I will begin by exploring why this is true and later consider how much of this book is original rather than simply being a copy from Madison's earlier excellent books.

The other vegetarian soup book I have reviewed is Paulette Mitchell's `...a beautiful bowl of soup' which is aimed at giving us a collection of `the best vegetarian recipes'. This book is very, very good, and I gave it a high rating compared to the dozen or so other soup books I have reviewed, but Madison's book is better. Both books are excellent at giving good general advice on soup cookery, but Madison's book is superior, in that she goes far beyond Mitchell in repeating her excellent doctrine of creating stocks and broths to enhance the primary ingredients from which the soups will ultimately be made. Madison did, not invent this principle I'm sure.
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Format: Paperback
for perspective purposes, i'll start by mentioning that i'm an avid vegan cook. i received this book as a gift, and i will use it mostly for inspiration. this book is best for people who want to eat more healthy, nutrient rich vegetable soups. i wouldn't consider it in the vegetarian category, because fish and chicken broth are included in some recipes. deborah says in her introduction that she cooks a chicken once in a while and will make stock from it, which a seasoned vegetarian would not do. so, if you are looking for strict vegetarian recipes, look for something else. if you want to eat more veggies, or if you are already experienced in the kitchen and can edit recipes easily, this book has a lot of interesting flavor ideas. deborah also gives a lot of insight about the structure of soups, like: which veggies are good for stock and which aren't, how and when to add texture, and how to get the best flavors out of your ingredients.
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I'm definitely not a vegetarian (and neither is Deborah Madison, as she writes in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)but this book is full of wonderful soups. We are huge soup eaters in our house and find that a bowl of soup, especially in the winter months is one of the easiest ways to eat healthy. So many of these soups go well as a prelude to a main course of perhaps simply roasted chicken or grilled salmon. Soup is usually economical; my husband packs a thermos of soup for lunch and avoids the vending machine/fast food routine. Vegetables are usually less expensive than meat or poultry and soups made from them really stretch your food dollar. Besides which, these soups just taste great. I didn't find any of them too terribly taxing in regards to preparation; and the most exotic ingredients were saffron and coconut milk. Easy to obtain if you decide you want to spend the money. I've stopped checking this book out from the library; I need to own my own copy!
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I've made around 5 soups from this book so far, so I feel like I can truly give a fair review to the book.

Things that I Love:
Great section on Broths/Lighter Soups
Book is organized by Season
Creative recipes with some Great Ideas (Examples: roasting squash, pear and ginger in the oven prior to putting in the soup pot, adding crumbled Feta cheese to a Quinoa, Corn, and Spinach soup)
Writing is entertaining. I've actually read the book from cover to cover.

Things that I'm not a fan of:
Fighting over the leftovers
Just one recipe I've done was disappointing--it was Cauliflower Noodle Soup w/ Saffron. While good, I was disappointed that the saffron taste wasn't highlighted very much. Especially since saffron is sooo freaking expensive.

Overall, I love the recipes in this book--and might try to cook each and every one of them. I already own Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and felt that this definitely adds to my cookbook repertoire, and didn't find it redundant at all.
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Very nicely illustrated and laid out however for anyone in smaller towns some of the ingredients may not be available. It would be helpful to give a directory of the more unusual ingredients,a description of them and perhaps a buying guide.
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OK, so I'm slow, or maybe just dull....I'm just now figuring out that Deborah Madison only writes vegetarian cookbooks! I say that to preface my review because this wonderful soup cookbook is just that - wonderful. Not in-your-face vegetarian, not roots and twigs, but just good recipes. I ran across it in the library and had to get my own copy. And the one I returned to the library was a good bit more food-stained than when I checked it out (sorry!)
Yes, some of the recipes are a bit complicated. Yes, some are very time consuming. But it seems you get what you pay for, more or less, and the end product is so superior to other soups I've cooked that its worth the work. With a hubby who loves any and all things "soup", I have an extra incentive to try these too. So...if you have a soup fan in your house, or are one yourself, this book is worth purchasing. Start with the black bean, lime, and coconut milk soup. I'd almost pass up cake for a bowl!
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