Monday, November 19, 2007

Soups On!

Here's another illustrated paperback cookbook from Chronicle Books. This one is Soups On!: 75 Soul-Satisfying Recipes from Your Favorite Chefs, by Leslie Jonath (author) and Frankie Frankeny (photographer), some of whom have their own titles with Chronicle.

I tried two of the recipes. The first was Gingery Cauliflower Soup, by Madhur Jaffrey from her book Quick & Easy Indian Cooking. The soup is made with cauliflower florets, potato, and chicken broth, and flavored with onion, garlic, fresh ginger, and Asian spices, including turmeric, coriander, and a little cayenne pepper. It is then pureed and strained, to remove the woody bits of ginger, and finished with cream. The result was very flavorful, with a satisfying mouth feel, and a little kick. This could easily be made as a vegetarian soup by substituting vegetable broth, or even water, for the chicken broth. I used less than half of an average cauliflower making this recipe.

The second was Maytag Cheddar Soup, from Maytag Farms, the blue cheese folks. Made with milk, aged cheddar, potato, aromatic vegetables, chicken broth, and both Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces, this is not going to remind you of liquefied cheese. Instead you get rich, rich flavor and luxurious mouth feel. I didn't puree this soup, but might next time. But I think I'd miss the chicken broth if I tried making a vegetarian version.

Overall, recommended. Part of the proceeds from this book go to Nextcourse, an organization that sponsors programs that encourage people to eat locally produced foods.

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