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Love Soup

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This review was prepared by Nikki Gardner of Art and Lemons.
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Love Soup: 160 All-New Vegetarian Recipes from the Author of The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas serves up 160 vegetarian recipes, the book is a comprehensive soup catalogue designed for every season. Complete with hand drawn illustrations and personal stories, this book celebrates fresh ingredients and pots of soup made from scratch, like Whole-Wheat Walnut Bread scooped into a bowl of Red Lentil and Squash Soup, Green Soup, or Neeps and Tatties Soup, suitable for any occasion.

Anna Thomas wrote the best selling The New Vegetarian Epicure: Menus–with 325 all-new recipes–for family and friends in 1973 as a graduate student in film production at UCLA. The book remains a classic with over a million copies sold and is broadly known for bringing vegetarian cuisine into gourmet eating. She went on to write a companion volume to the original classic, The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two (1978), as well as, the menu-based The New Vegetarian Epicure: Menus–with 325 all-new recipes–for family and friends (1996). Anna Thomas is also a well-known screenwriter and film producer, her recent credits include the screenplay for Frida (2002) and producer for Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner (2008).

Love Soup features the author’s favorite comfort recipes and accompanying stories and reads more like a conversation with a close friend than a cookbook. In short, Love Soup excites the reader and stirs creative possibilities in the kitchen. Thomas writes, “From my kitchen to yours here are the best soups I’ve ever made.” She means it too.

Love Soup features 100 simple and seasonal soups, both hot and cold. Thomas also includes 60 “from soup to meal” recipes, such as breads, appetizers, summer and winter salads, and desserts to turn a pot of soup into a meal worth celebrating. She encourages you to begin with the freshest ingredients available and homemade stock for the best possible results.

The recipes range in complexity; from a soup with 4 or 5 ingredients, such as Old-Fashioned Split Pea or Summer Tomato, to a soup with a longer list of ingredients and steps, like Christmas Eve Porcini Soup, yet Thomas’s motto is that anyone can cook up a pot of soup with a little time and forethought.

The layout of Love Soup is simple and reader-friendly. The book design is a square format with a full color cover and two color pages that include hand-drawn illustrations by Annika Huett. The book is packs with 160 vegetarian and vegan recipes in 528 pages. Thomas also includes chapters on cooking basics, such as, how to shop, what equipment to use, along with a few practical notes on tasting your food and becoming a cook. The rest of the book includes chapters on: broths, fall and winter soups, spring and summer soups, dips, sandwiches, and more, salads for summer and winter, and sweet endings.

Love Soup features healthy easy-to-read and prepare recipes made with fresh ingredients. The book appeals to vegetarians, vegans, and meat lovers alike, the recipes seasonal are diverse and range from light to hearty fare. Thomas’s conversational style makes for an enjoyable read, and she wants us all to learn how to cook and improvise in making our own soup creations.

Reicpes you must try: Parmesan and Fennel Biscotti; Oatmeal Molasses Bread; Spicy Indonesian Yam and Peanut Soup; Rustic Artichoke and Potato Stew; Charred Zucchini Soup with Yogurt and Pine Nuts; Salad of Baby Arugula, Aged Jack Cheese, and Asian Pears; Olive Oil and Lemon Cake; and Melons in Orange and Mint Syrup.

I recommend this book from cover to cover. Love Soup inspires us all to nourish ourselves with comfort and soup.

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