THE SOUP BIBLE

“Beautiful soup so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen
Who for dainties would not stoop
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup!”
–the Mock Turtle in Alice in Wonderland

THE SOUP BIBLE FROM PUBLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL, published in 2010, appears to be a group effort with no one person receiving top accolades; the CEO of the company, Louis Weber, is listed on the copyright.

This was a Christmas present from Auntie Sara and Nana, my daughter in law’s sister and mother—it always amazes me when someone gifts me with a cookbook I don’t have! I love soup cookbooks—but then, I really love making different kinds of soup. I tend to go overboard and end up with too much soup but freeze the excess in one of those two-quart Glad plastic containers that are perfect size when frozen. If you pop the frozen sop out of the container and re-store it in a plastic freezer bag, then you can write on the bag with a Sharpee pen as to the contents. I give “bricks” like these to my girlfriend Mary Jaynne, who lives in Pine Mountain (about an hour and a half north of me) – MJ no longer cares if she cooks or not so they welcome the soups. And in return, she does all my mending. It’s a great barter system.

Over the New Year’s Eve and Day, I made two pots of soup – partly to use up some leftovers from company dinners and partly because it feels like soup weather. One pot contains Beef Taco Tortilla Soup and the other is Vegetable Beef & Barley.

Yesterday, though, I put all the leftover meat and the bones from a prime rib roast into my pressure cooker and let the contents cook for about an hour. When I was finished, and had removed the bones—I had over a quart, maybe two, of well cooked beef as well as about 3 quarts of beef stock. Once it was chilled, I could easily remove the fat.

I love homemade soup stocks – it has so much potential. And what can be more satisfying than a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day or night? With a few Saltine crackers and a couple slices of some Tillamook cheese, I’m ready to settle down for dinner while watching Jeopardy! Or Wheel of Fortune. I also make my own dried tortilla strips from flour tortillas, a few stacked together and cut into strips, they dry out in no time on a cookie sheet in my oven, which has a pilot light always lit. There are some advantages to having an old stove.

One thing I really like about the new Soup Bible is that the recipes are generally not too long or convoluted and each is accompanied by a photograph of the connecting recipe.

(I have another Soup Bible by Debra Mayhew—it may interest you to know that a book title cannot be copyrighted so oftentimes you will find several, albeit different, cookbooks with the same title). My other Soup Bible is a large book and not always the handiest to work with in the kitchen. The new Soup Bible cookbook was a compilation by the editors of Favorite Brand Name Recipes).

Since I did make a pot of beef taco tortilla soup the other day, I turned to recipes for Turkey Taco Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup and Tortilla Soup with Grouper. (Grouper is a nice white fish available in Florida but not California, so I would suggest using any kind of mild white fish with this recipe).

There are many quick and easy recipes in The Soup Bible—catching my attention is CHEESY MEXICAN SOUP, SWEET POTATO BISQUE WITH GINGER. And BLACK & WHITE MEXICAN BEAN SOUP and ALBONDIGAS SOUP! Oh, and POTATO SPINACH SOUP WITH GOUDA! What fun it will be to try all these new and different recipes.

Years ago, my girlfriend, Mandy, and I frequently made up a pot of soup over the weekend and then would bring jars of it to work to reheat (to the chagrin of other employees in the kitchen at the same time). We often experimented with new or different recipes. Oftentimes, when I brought a jar of soup to work with us, she’d show up with something different but invariably something that complimented the soup. We frequently speculated that we could have gone into business at the office (or some of the other offices nearby) selling soup and a sandwich to other employees.

The Soup Bible by the Editors of Favorite Brand Name Recipes is available on Amazon.com. The Soup Bible by Editors of Favorite Brand Name Recipes (Sep 8, 2010) can be yours for $7.35 new, or starting at 6.43 pre-owned.

My thanks to Auntie Sara and Nana for the inspiration to write this review on the 2nd day of January, 2014.
Review by Sandra Lee Smith

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