MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Soup Club Cookbook by Allison, Carr, laskow, and Peacock

The Soup Club Cookbook: Feed Your Friends, Feed Your Family, Feed Yourself
By Courtney Allison, Tina Carr, Caroline Laskow, and Julie Peacock
ISBN: 9780770434625
Publisher's Synopsis:
Food-sharing is the hot new thing in the "getting dinner on the table" conversation, and in The Soup Club Cookbook, four busy moms share not only their formula for starting a soup club—which gives you at least three meals every month when you don't have to worry about dinner—but also 150 fantastic recipes for soups and sides and storing tips for stretching those meals across the week.

The Soup Club began when four friends (who, between them, have four husbands and ten hungry kids and several jobs) realized that they didn’t actually have to cook at home every night to take pleasure in a home-cooked meal. They simply had to join forces and share meals, even if they weren’t actually eating them together. Caroline, Courtney, Julie, and Tina happen to be neighbors, but a soup club is for anyone: colleagues, a group of workout buddies, a book club. All you need are a few people who simply want to have more home-cooked food in their lives.

In a soup club each person takes a turn making soup—and sometimes other dishes for sides or for when everyone needs a break from soup, so if a club has four people, in a month each person will have dinner delivered three times—a dish that can start as a full meal and stretch into more dinners or lunches or even morph into a sauce. Soup is forgiving, versatile, and perfect for sharing; it can be spiced to taste, topped elaborately or not at all, and dressed up or down. It travels well and reheats beautifully.  The Soup Club Cookbook also has dozens of tips for cooking in quantity and for tailoring soup to individual tastes and needs. Here, too, are simple guidelines for starting your own soup club, anecdotes, and a few cautionary tales  that will inspire anyone to share food and eat well.

 MrsK's Review:
Since our Booked to Dine book club started, I have enjoyed so many delicious meals and treats. This book was a "given" must read and share. Everything to get started is carefully outlined. These women have come up with such a unique option for everyone whose schedule is "unbelievably" busy. Who wouldn't want three nights off with a great meal for their family?

I appreciated their "voices" as they told you about their choices. It was refreshing to be "included" in their thoughts as they outline the making of their soups throughout the seasons.

"What we do is simple. We take turns cooking big posts of soup,
enough to feed our four families. We drop off the soup, 
along with sides and garnishes, at the homes of our three other club members.
This happens once a week, which means we cook our big pot of soup once a month."

With few rules, it seems that a commitment to cooking at home on a schedule leads to the joy of sharing with others. Of course we are all cooking on a schedule... we are all committed to providing "yummy" meals for our families. What we rarely do is share those meals beyond our tables. I adore this idea. I will be sharing this idea with my daughters and a few neighbors with the hope that I can experience, at least for one month, the joy of discovering "what's for dinner" in someone's kitchen. Even if I can't get three others willing to try a soup month with me, I like the idea that I could share eight quarts of my favorite soup with my book club at least once a year.

Just a few hi-lights to "tantalize" your taste buds: 
  • Discover the ease of creating your own soup broths (pgs. 30-31)
  • Try the Roasted Boccoli soup, there is an undiscovered sweetness in the flavoring (pg. 80)
  • What about a Potato Cheddar soup, yummy comfort on a chilly day (pg. 81)
  • No one will turn down the Sun-Dried Tomato soup, maybe it's the grilled cheese croutons that inspired this "yum" (pg.98)
  • Chilled soups for the hotter months (pgs.119-120)
  • Don't forget the Jewish Chicken Noodle soup, complete with Matzo ball goodness (pg. 135)
  • Perfected Italian Wedding soup to warm everyone's heart (pg. 147)
  • Beyond the soups... think salads with endless possibilities (pgs. 152-162)
  • Choosing and using the freshest of vegetables in the soups or as a side (pgs. 165-177)
  • Consideration of which bread, grain, or pasta for the meals touch of perfection (pgs. 179-199)
  • Big food favorites are dishes meant for get-together meals (pgs.201-217) 
The organization for each recipe is brilliant, easy to follow, with added inspirations or "trial & error" perspectives. No detail is left out of their first year of discoveries (some are even humorous). Each recipe has notations for delivery, for serving, and for what they have done to make it a better soup and/or experience. You will also discover how to add different types of toppings (pgs. 43-51), how to stock your pantry (pgs. 21-25), expert Firefighter tips about cooking in quantity (pg. 143), and of course...  never forget the cook's snacks (pgs. 225-235).

Don't forget the best part of preparing the soup... might just be the choice of the music,
Well organized... can't wait to get cooking!
 Click the above logo to connect to the website.
Meet the Authors:
We grew up in other places and settled in New York City. We are an educator, an ecologist, a filmmaker, a nutritionist, a yogi, a traveler, a feminist, a mother, a runner, a Dane, a Jew, a Yankee, a Christian, a vegetarian, a gardener, and a coffee drinker.
We make sure each other’s glasses are filled with seltzer or wine, as the case may be. We pick up, hang on to, feed, and hug each other’s kids with abandon. We try to be honest and kind and sometimes succeed at doing both.
We are four friends who cook and we are Soup Club.

 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

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