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Over the years I have gathered a variety of cookery books; many of which rarely see the light of day as I tend to repeatedly use the same ones. When choosing cook books I will always look for those that display colourful images of the recipes, so I have an idea of how my completed dish should look. The majority of my books are purchased from stores such as Sainsburys, The Works and The Book People who regularly leave sample books at my work place. My husband and I are not that fond of tinned soups, so I required a book that offered a variety of soups that were easy to make and wholesome to eat.
A purchase I made during the early part of last year is The New Soup Bible and it was the colourful image on the front of the soft covered A3 sized book that captured my attention as well as the blurb on the cover which informed me that the recipes are step by step with 750 gorgeous colour photographs. In addition to this, I was inspired by the fact that the book contains over 200 recipes from around the world and as I would describe myself as a fussy eater, I thought it would help me to broaden my taste buds. I like the fact that whilst the book has a soft cover, it is protected with sturdy transparent plastic and my copy looks as good now as the day I first bought it.
The book consist of 256 high quality glossy pages with a reasonable sized font where we begin on the contents page, which gives brief details of the 11 chapters contained within the book. The introduction discusses the essential ingredients of soups together with the equipment we need to create the recipes. We are provided with recommendations for each of the seasons such as light and refreshing soups for the summer with recipe suggestions from France, Spain and Mexico. I must admit that I found this section a little boring as it went into far too much detail.
The second section of the book discusses the main ingredients used throughout the book and we are provided with supporting colourful images. We are given a run down on the health benefits of foods such as vegetables, fish, poultry, legumes, herbs and spices together with descriptions of their taste and examples of the soups they can be used in. I must admit that I found the information relating to the large variety of herbs and spices interesting, particularly as I cannot admit to being very experimental in the kitchen. We are provided with a number of recipes for different stocks although the majority revolve around meat ingredients. The book offers a number of ingredients that can be used for thickening although I tend to use corn flour if my soups are too thin.
The soup recipes begin with those that are light and refreshing, which includes a small choice for vegetarians. The recipes that I have tried are those that are suitable for the cold weather such as Grandfather's Soup, which is a vegetarian dish with the main ingredients being onions, potatoes and noodles. Another recipe my husband and I have enjoyed eating is Catalan Potato and Broad Bean Soup, which again is a vegetarian dish and wonderfully warming and wholesome for the cold winter months. Both recipes were fairly easy to create and contained only a handful of ingredients; all of which I tend to regularly purchase. Whilst both my husband and I are meat eaters we tend to choose a small selection from the huge choice of vegetarian options as they are easy to create as well as being extremely tasty. We eat a lot of chicken and whilst there is an easy chicken, leak and celery recipe, the other choices contains ingredients such as prunes, coconut or chilli, which is a little ambitious for our tastebuds. There is a wholesome choice of Irish recipes, which I would describe as comforting and wholesome foods with various dishes using bacon and kidneys.
Whilst there are large colourful images displaying the most mouth watering dishes and the majority of the recipes are fairly easy to follow, my grumbles with this book are that the recipes consist of so many ingredients, which are not generally found in the average kitchen cupboard. Many of the recipes are far too lengthy for me and I do not wish to be spending ages in the kitchen preparing a soup dish and for this reason the book was simply placed back on the shelf to gather dust.
This was a real disappointment for me, as when I browsed at the sample book it was the images that captured my attention as opposed to studying the individual recipe ingredients. I also find the book is far too big to sit on the kitchen worktop and is more suited to those that enjoy hosting dinner parties especially as a huge percentage of the recipes could be described as complicated and exotic. As previously stated, I am not one to experiment with new ingredients and unfortunately, my body cannot tolerate strong spices and I found far too many of the recipes contained an array of spices. Consequently, I have since made a purchase of a more basic style soup cookery book and this one will probably be donated to my local charity shop.
If you enjoy tasting and being creative with different flavours from around the world and don't mind lengthy preparation times then this is the book for you with its Pumpkin Soup and Rice from Morocco, Caribbean Peanut and Potato Soup or Irish Parsnip Soup. Unfortunately, this book is not for me and for that reason it loses two stars.
Written by Anne Sheasby
Published in 2009 by The Book People Ltd
Published by Anness Publishing Ltd
ISBN - 13: 978-1-84477-633-7
ISBN - 10: 1-84477-633-6
At the time of writing The Soup Bible can be purchased from Amazon at 1p plus postage and packing for a used copy and £12.83 brand new.
I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.