Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Soup Club Cookbook (Review)

The Soup Club Cookbook
by Courtney Allison, Tina Carr, Caroline Laskow, and Julie Peacock

Cookbook
Available January 2015
Random House
240 pages



About the Book
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.

Recipes include quick and easies, classics, twist on favorites, and dozens of flavor-rich new crowd pleasers: 
  • Carrot Coconut and Chicken Chili
  • Senegalese Peanut Soup
  • Faux Ramen
  • Red Lentil Curry Soup
  • Potato Cheddar Soup
  • Sun Dried Tomato Soup
  • Jeweled Rice Salad
  • Cheddar Cornbread
  • Summer Corn Hash
  • Soy Simmered Chicken Wings
Buy a copy  |  Find out what others think

My Thoughts
I love soup, and the idea of sharing soup with other families through a soup club sounds like a genius idea! The first section of the book does a great job explaining how these four families do soup club and offers suggestions for how you can do something similar with your own people. 

There are tons of recipes in this book—everything from broths and dressings to soups (duh!), a few other main dishes, sides, and snacks. Each recipe is accompanied by a few details or a story behind why it's a favorite for the club. There are also tons of helpful tips about prepping, cooking, packaging, and delivering mixed in throughout. Very practical and helpful cookbook. 

The main drawback I see is that the majority of these recipes involve a lot of steps and a lot of ingredients. I'm sure you could eliminate some of this based on whether you buy fresh or pre-packaged ingredients, but if you're hoping to simply follow a recipe as is, be prepared to spend several hours cooking.

I look forward to trying these recipes. There are several that I know now we will love. There are many others that will be more adventurous "tries" for us, but I look forward to trying these new soups and hopefully finding a few to add into our permanent rotation. Now to just find a few more families to form a soup club with! [4 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About 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.

The Soup Club Online
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