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300 Sensational Soups
By Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds
ISBN: 0778801969
Publisher: Robert Rose
Publication date: October 2008
Format: Paperback
List price: $24.95
Type: Single Subject: Soup
Sample recipe: Carrot, Celery and Leek Soup with Cornbread Dumplings
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive coffee-table Biblical stature
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 ≥300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-Eleven airfare required online pantry supermarket
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose bare-bones full-figured educational
Time conscious: unconscious outright lies white lies realistic honorable
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant balanced generous
Photos/drawings: none distracting decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Tone: food police intense neutral supportive comforting
Result: guilt-inducing heavy-handed balanced encouraging inspiring
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine kind work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging tolerable clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy dubious years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: non-existent hard-to-find spotty sufficient every page
Table of contents: AWOL frustrating passable useful excellent
Index quality: none tragic adequate good a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writer: beginner food writer writing cook personality auteur
Cook: unknown self-taught chef teacher celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfactory exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward best friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it fair good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: All the classics are here – Chicken Noodle, Bouillabaise, Shrimp Bisque, Gazpacho, etc., etc., but there are also many very creative recipes. Among the more innovative: Snapper in Chinese Stock with Habanero; Chilled Curry Pear Soup; Creamy Sausage, Chickpea and Rosemary Soup; Orange Muscat Soup with Mascarpone Cream – well, there are just too many to mention. But unlike so many cookbooks where "creative" really means "weird," these creative recipes just look delicious.

What can these writers not make into a soup? Lasagna, Beef Stroganoff, Boeuf Bourguinon, Steak and Potatoes, Chicken and Dumplings – and a number of other previously landlocked dishes – have all been transformed into soups. Clearly it takes a lot of creativity to generate 300 recipes.

These writers are not afraid of cream and bacon and cheese (what we like to call flavor), but they don't appear to overdo their use, either.

Chapters cover chilled soups, vegetable, bean, cheese, meat, poultry, seafood, and dessert soups, as well as a primer on stocks (including suggestions for dressing up store-bought stocks), and a huge chapter on international soups (although international soups are also scattered throughout most of the other chapters, as well). Finally, there is a chapter on toppings and garnishes – everything from nine recipes for croutons (including brownie croutons for desserts) to sauces, salsas, and creams to dress up soups, and including fried sage leaves, spaetzle, wild mushroom risotto cakes, compound butter, etc. – that seems to us almost worth the purchase price of the book itself.


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