Reviewed by Katy Killilea
Spoon it up, dip a hunk of bread into it, and if you are a baby, eat it by the fistful. Soup brings joy to so many. But how much devotion can a bowl of soup inspire? Consider these two new soup books. SoupLove is a teeny-tiny book with three (yes, just three!) family-perfect soups for each season. Love Soup, on the other hand, is thick with over 150 recipes for soups and soup accompaniments. Both are vegetarian (for the most part vegan), and organized by season. Both feature top-of-the-line nourishment. Both are written by women with unshakable admiration for both farmer’s markets and soup.
Wee SoupLove is the creation of Rebecca Stevens and is as unpretentious as a brown paper bag. It’s illustrated with sparse, lovely line drawings of carrots and spoons and gawky long-stemmed mushrooms. You’ve already heard that this book has just three soups per season. Each season gets one smooth soup, one chunky/brothy soup, and one hearty soup with beans and/or grains. All of these are easy to prepare, and each makes two quarts; that’s enough for a medium-sized family dinner. Especially tempting: Lemon Lentil for Spring. Ginger Yam for Fall. In lieu of stock, Winter’s Pure Parsnip uses the two beverages a household with children is likely to have on tap: white wine and apple juice. I am in love with this book and feel that its author is onto something great. How refreshing to see a completely pared-down book, free of not-so-favorite recipes.
Mighty Love Soup comes to us from Anna Thomas, author of the legendary Vegetarian Epicure. She starts off with the very most basic (broth) and proceeds encyclopedically through the soup universe. There are “Green and Greener” recipes for dark-leafy-greens-intensive soups, noodle soups, spicy soups, and chilled soups. Many of these are perfect for snobs (i.e. picky eaters). Who would turn down Cold Peach and Nectarine Soup with Strawberry Sauce? Love Soup includes salad and baking recipes as well, to help round out your soup-centered meals.
When Spring arrives, I’m usually sad to see soup season end. But beginning this year, we’re in for eternal soup.
by Rebecca Stevens, illustrated by Nabil Samadani
2009 by Rebecca Stevens, available online, $8
by Anna Thomas, illustrated by Annika Huett
2009 by W.W. Norton & Company, $23
The publishers of these books sent copies for review. Neither the author nor Kidoinfo has an undisclosed relationship with the publishers and Kidoinfo never accepts payment for reviews.