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Looking for a cookbook recommendation: topic = SOUPS!


I hope this is the right place to ask. I'm looking to buy a cookbook for my mom for Xmas that specializes in soup. We tend to like healthy, vegetable-y soups, but are not restricted to that. We eat meat but in moderation. Only thing I wouldn't want too much of in the book are weird/esoteric ingredients you'd have to go to a specialty store to get. Stuff that can be found in most bigger grocery stores is fine.

I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. I recently bought one called Splendid Soups by James Peterson (John Wiley & Sons, 2001), but I haven't used it yet. It's a large book, over 600 pages, and that's nearly all recipes, not pictures.

    1. The New England Soup Factory Cookbook is one of my favorites cookbooks solely devoted to soups but with a chapter of sandwiches and salads. Everything I've cooked from this book has been excellent. Here's a list of recipe titles in the book with ingredients listed but no actual recipes...

      Amazon's listing...

      3 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        I love this book. I often reduce the "chunky" stuff since I love a brothy soup and they still come out so very well.

        I live only miles from one of their retail outlets, and have never been! Based on these recipes, I really should make the effort.

        1. re: smtucker

          You should really hit them up and try a bunch of their delicious soups, sammies and salads. Their mazoh balls are pretty awesome.

          I dream about their tomato soup with cheddar and habanero.

        2. I am a huge soup fan, so will be following this thread . . .

          I have Barbara Kafka's Soup cookbook - have had it for years - can't say I ever really use it (I know not helpful but for what it is worth).

          1. Those are exactly the three I would recommend: Peterson, New England soup factory and Kafka.

            I have them all and love soup.

            I'd put them in this order, though:

            NESF - lucky enough to be near their restaurant once in awhile and everything is delicious. It's a great book.



            1. I have several soup cookbooks, this is my hands down favorite:

              12 Months of Monastery Soups, Victor D'Avila-Latourrette

              Soup recipes by month, with a focus on simple, delicious fare...


              1. "The Daily Soup Cookbook" is loaded with more than 200 recipes from the Manhattan restaurant chain of the same name. This is one of my favorite soup cookbooks; when I did my last cookbook purge I kept this one and gave away Bernard Clayton's book of soups and stews.


                1. Our daughter gave me a book a few years ago for a gift giving occasion, my birthday in 2012.

                  Soup of the Day, 365 recipes for every day of the year, by Kate McMillan, published under the Williams-Sonoma name.

                  1. We are a huge fan of the Bakery Lane Soup Bowl Cook Book, http://www.amazon.com/Bakery-Lane-Sou.... Bought it in the 70s when it came out (we went to school in Midd, and ate often at the restaurant), and still make the recipes from it.

                    1. Last year I bought Love Soup by Anna Thomas as a result of a discussion on these boards. It is vegetarian and arranged seasonally (spring/summer and fall/winter). I've made, I think, 4 soups from it. Three were great and one was good. But all had a really warm, healthy and homey feel -- eating them just felt good. All the soups are packed with veggies and none are heavy with cream or cheese, though she often recommends a bit of cream or cheese or olive oil to enrich the finished soup. I'd like to use this book more. I find almost every recipe appealing. The thing that stops me from pulling it out more often is that sometimes the soups contain just a few more ingredients than I have handy. The soup pot is often a destination for things I have around and need to use up, as opposed to me buying ingredients specifically for a soup. That said, I like the book. In addition, to soups it has a small selection of recipes for simple salads, breads and desserts to round out a soup meal.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Westminstress

                        Agreed - I have this book and love it as a jumping off place. I don't always have all the ingredients but the recipes are healthy and delicious and with these soups you can be creative without fear of ruining the recipe.

                      2. Love Soup by Anna Thomas
                        All Vegetarian and over all healthy. Easily adaptable, sorted by season.

                        1. Deborah Madison's Vegetable Soups. I've made a number of delicious recipes from it.

                          1. The New York Times Bread and Soup Cookbook.


                            Amazon lists the publication date as 1994. I'm pretty sure mine is at least 30 years old, because I haven't seen the person who gave it to me in nearly that long!

                            It has lots of good basic recipes like "cream of (insert vegetable here) soup", and then follows with chapters containing various geographic and ethnic recipes.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: kcshigekawa

                              This book sounds really good. I have a feeling it will teach me more about the mechanics of making soup and not just be a collection of recipes that are all different with no standard operating procedure. Just ordered a copy. Thanks!

                            2. I have both Splendid Soups by James Peterson and the Book of Soups by the Culinary Institute of America. It is the latter one I reach for every time even though I am in general a fan of Peterson. The CIA book is fabulous.

                              1. Don't know if it is too late to join this discussion or not. Obviously it is too late for Christmas, but in the future, you may wish to look at "A Feast of Soups" by Jacqueline Heriteau. It is an older book, published in 1982. I have relied it for many years, and I have never found a recipe that hasn't turned out wonderfully. I even gave a copy of it to my mother-in-law years ago for Christmas. Generally speaking, it doesn't call for unusual ingredients. It contains recipes from around the world. Many of the recipes are classics, but there is a chapter on "Health, Diet, Dairy, and Herb Recipes". It is carried by Amazon, in paperback.

                                1. There are lots of different soups - all wonderful, but I have never seen a soup recipe book. The best soup is one in which you can toss any of yesterday's leftovers and call it 'chili' or 'minestrone'.