An Exaltation of Soups: The Soul-Satisfying Story of Soup, As Told in More Than 100 Recipes
An Exaltation of Soups: The Soul-Satisfying Story of Soup, As Told in More Than 100 Recipes
An Exaltation of Soups: The Soul-Satisfying Story of Soup, As Told in More Than 100 Recipes
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Price: $7.95 FREE for Members
Type: eBook
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Page Count: 384
Format: epub
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400050359
ISBN-13: 9781400050352
User Rating: 4.3333 out of 5 Stars! (3 Votes)

An Exaltation of Soups: The Soul-Satisfying Story of Soup, As Told in More Than 100 Recipes free

Patricia Solley pdf

Solley's passionate compendium of history, folklore, literary references and recipes collects tidbits about and recipes for soup from all over the world. The author, who runs the Web site, shares proverbs and quotes about soup's famed comforting qualities, and recipes for stocks, which are the foundation of all soups. She looks at the role soups can play in life's key moments: e.g., French "Boiled Water" Garlic Soup is traditionally served to convalescing new mothers; Guatemalan Lamb Soup with Tamales, with its robust, meaty content, is reserved for weddings and other fancy occasions; and Irish Cottage Broth for the Wake is "enough to bring the dead back to life." Next come "soups of purpose," that is, ones that supposedly assist in weight loss (Cabbage Soup), appetite stimulation (Creamy Crab and Cognac Soup) and healing (Fava Bean Soup from Egypt). There are also recipes to foster love (Lobster Sweetheart Soup) or cure a hangover (Beer Soup from Denmark). The clear and generally simple recipes are enhanced by informative and descriptive head notes; sidebars on such topics as the use of almonds as an aphrodisiac or the history of Japanese soy sauce; literary quotations and extracts; and personal stories.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. When not running the website or putting out her monthly soup newsletter, Patricia Solley is chief of Research Communications and Public Relations for the FBI. She lives in Falls Church, Virginia.

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| 4 out of 5 Stars!

I first came across Patricia Solley's website when I Googled the The Mock Turtle's song ("Soup, Beautiful Soup") from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. I put her book on my wishlist right away and recently purchased it. The interweaving of soup through the events of our lives is an interesting frame to hang a book on and makes for a great read, which is what I like in a cookbook! The only bad part about it is that it means that many soup recipes that don't have any sort of special connections (and that might be more approachable ingredient-wise) aren't presented. But that would be a much bigger book, so again the framework of soup as part of life serves the purpose of limiting the content with purpose. An Exaltation of Soups is very well written and well researched, and the author's love of food and ingredients (and soup!) speaks clearly to the reader. I've enjoyed it very much and it's staying on my cookbook shelf.

| 5 out of 5 Stars!


The Soul-Satisfying Story of Soup, as

Told in More Than 100 Recipes

By: Patricia Solley

"Little is nobler than presiding over a kettle of homemade soup."


This is a cookbook you will likely read in most any room in addition to your kitchen -- hearty and stirring tales of 100 soups for more than 40 worldwide occasions ...

Solley invites us to "look at a bowl of soup and see the evolution of foods created in remote locations over thousands and thousands of years, made into recipes passed from hand to hand, transported on the backs of Indian, Asian and Arab traders, Roman soldiers and European explorers all the way to your supermarket." Soup as an indicator is underscored when Solley invites us to regard the recipes, and at the same time think upon different cultures with personalized celebrations, their sacredness of family intimacy and rites of passage.

An Exaltation of Soups is divided into four parts peppered with marginal Soup Notes containing riddles, quotes, wives' tales, advice, lyrics, sound wisdom and cautionary maxims. Not surprising, her six pages of Contents runs longer than her remarkably concise History of Soup.

Part I

Soup Basics containing soup history, proverbs, reflections and some very complete directions and for soup stocks, including the history of and directions for portable Pocket Soup, soup sometimes known as Veal Glue or Cake Soup.

In Soup Reflections, she cites an anecdote from Winston Churchill's soup humor:

"Well, dinner would have been splendid if the wine had been as cold as the soup, the beef as rare as the service, the brandy as old as the fish and the maid as willing as the Dutchess."

Part II

Soups of Passage celebrate worldwide cultural experiences from birth to marriage and finally, death.

Part III

Soups of Purpose from Losing Weight to Stimulating Appetite, Wooing a Lover to Treating Hangover.

Part IV

Soups of Piety and Ritual

These take you through the entire calendar and to many civilizations from New Year's Day to year's end and Kwanzaa.

Some recipes:

On Birth from France: "Boiled Water" Garlic Soup. This is simply French bread, olive oil, water, 24 cloves of garlic, a couple of herbs and a garnished of Gruyere cheese. With a couple of exceptions, Soups To Celebrate and Recover From Giving Birth "are offered in small 'at home' portions, meant to be prepared quickly and served immediately," Solley tells us.

On Marriage from China: Red Bean and Lotus Seed Soup - even simpler, this ceremonial soup calls for water, red beans, lotus seeds, tangerine skin and brown sugar. Simple is good.

On Marriage again, from France: Blandness has its virtue. Take water, many onions, a few potatoes, tapioca, an egg yolk, heavy cream and butter. This also sounds after a day of extreme stress.

Upon death, from France: Combine French bread, chicken meat, carrots, chicken stock and ground saffron.

In her Soups of Purpose section under To Lose Weight, she offers a few soup admonitions:

Eat soup at the beginning of a meal. Makes you feel full early.

Soup fools the body's calorie sensors. This is good.

Soup as food is less voluminous.

Soup is complicated to eat and takes more motor skills

Another Soup of Purpose: To stimulate an appetite -- Avocadolucious Soup Combine chicken stock, heavy cream a chile pepper and garlic. Mix with pureed avocados, experiment with garnishes.

Soups for wooing lovers: Aphrodisiac Almond Soup (for two):

Combine hard-boiled egg yolks, almonds, raspberries, chicken stock, light cream and honey. Solley offers Christopher Marlowe's, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love," on the facing page.

Soups to Chase a Hangover, and there's very, many remedies -

Beer Soup from Denmark: Take some pumpernickel bread, Danish dark ale, water, lemon juice and sugar. Garnish with heavy cream, cinnamon.

Soups for Eastertide, this one from Albania: Bean Soup: This calls for white beans, water, olive oil, onions, tomato paste, parsley, chili powder, mint and whipped yogurt as a garnish.

From Hungary, a Christmas Wine Soup: A goodly amount of white Hungarian wine, much less water, sugar, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks and eight egg yolks. This is a hot soup.

Another Christmas soup from Spain: Iced White Almond Soup - Combine white bread, raw almonds, garlic, salt, olive oil and sherry vinegar with fruit, shrimp or toasted almonds for garnish. The author quotes "Sancho Panza on Soup and Life," on the opposite flip page.

Soups need not be long litanies of ingredients, nor a "mix of leftovers." The legendary soups in this book feature soups locally famed, usually very simple, inherently delicious, frequently endowed with magical powers.

Solley seems onto something ... you can visit her at:

Review by Marty Martindale, Largo FL, 2005

| 4 out of 5 Stars!

`An Exaltation of Soups' is author Patricia Solley's published scrapbook of stories, proverbs, wit, wisdom, and recipes about soup. This is not my opinion. The author states this fact as clearly as you may please in her introduction. The author is far more of a researcher than she is a culinary professional, as she is chief of Research Communications and Public Relations for the FBI. Yes, that's the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington.

In the spirit of being much more about the lore of soups than a culinary exploration as you will find in culinary specialists James Peterson and Barbara Kafka, the recipes are not organized by season or ingredient or thick versus thin or smooth versus chunky. They are organized by use. How do we human inventors of cooking over 10,000 years ago use this food preparation called soup?

The first Part of four (4) is `Soup Basics'. It does not deal with soup cooking so much as with a speculative history of the origins of soup, a collection of soup proverbs and clichés, a small collection of stories about soup, and recipes for soup stocks. This includes seven basic stock recipes plus a technique for clarifying stock and a technique for concentrating stock. While this collection has several stocks you may not easily find elsewhere such as a Hungarian chicken stock and a Japanese fish stock, all the recipes are relatively simple. Simpler, for sure, than what you may find from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America, not the foreign colleague of the FBI) textbook or cooking experts such as Jeremiah Tower or Judy Rodgers. They are much simpler than expert soup specialists such as Seattle's Michael Congdon, the author of the new recipe collection, `S.O.U.P.S'. But then, this book is not so much about cooking soups as soup's place in the goings and comings of various human communities.

The second Part is `Soups of Passage'. Here is where the book comes into its own, as we are given recipes for various important events in our lives, or at least in the lives of members of some very important cultures. The four `passages' represented here are birth, confirmation, marriage, and death. It is no surprise that the largest selection by far are those recipes developed to celebrate marriage, including the famous Italian wedding soup with meatballs. Oddly, I seem to recall that the name of this soup with meatballs has less to do with a human wedding as it does with the wedding of ingredients.

The third Part is `Soups of Purpose'. Here, unlike the preceding and following chapters, the soup recipes are constructed to accomplish a specific culinary objective, so that there is a connection between ingredients and cooking techniques and the soup's use other than simply tradition. The most famous of this breed is the `Les Halle Onion Soup', which I had the pleasure of sampling at a Les Halle bistro in Paris at 5:00 AM, along with the traditional glass of red wine. The author recounts a tale from Harold Pinter about the playwright's ending a night of carousing in Paris at a similar open air market bistro with fellow playwright Samuel Beckett, who was kind enough to let Pinter slip into a slumber with head on table while Beckett retrieved a large glass of water and bicarbonate of soda. Unfortunately, Ms. Solley says nothing about the tradition of red wine with the onion soup.

The last and longest Part is `Soups of Piety and Ritual'. Unlike the second chapter, these are all soups dealing with a particular date or holiday that occurs every year. The holidays so honored are New Years Day, St. Tavy's Day (represented by a leek soup celebrating a Welsh saint), Eastertide (including soups for the carnival at the beginning of Lent, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, Jewish Festivals (including soups for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Passover), Islamic Festivals (Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr), Christmas, and Kwanzaa. I am really pleased to see recipes for Islamic festivals appear in an English book for general audiences. This is the second such book I have seen. The first is Nigella Lawson's new book `Feast'. It is great fun to see how important the soup borsht is, as at least two different recipes, one Russian and one Jewish, appear in the book.

Aside from the fun to be found in reading the sidebars, headnotes, and other commentary about soup, the most useful function of this book would be as a source of recipes to fit various events in one's life. Many writers make a great deal of how food brings people together over the dinner table. This benefit is doubled if one can prepare dishes behind which there are centuries of tradition. While bread can probably outdo soup as a type of food that is most heavily wrapped in tradition, soup certainly seems to have the edge on most other types of cooking. What makes this especially useful in this context is that almost all the recipes are relatively easy. This being the case, there is some chance that these are not the very best recipes possible for these dishes. But, the book has still served its purpose if you are looking for an Italian Lenten soup and you find `Minestrone di magro'. If you are not satisfied with Ms. Solley's recipe, you can always fetch a copy of a recipe from Marcella Hazan or Lydia Bastianich. At least if you don't have a cookbook for foods of the Middle East, you at least have these five Arab influenced recipes for Ramadan.

One feature where Ms. Solley really missed the boat was in her not including a bibliography of other books on soup recipes. The book ends with all her literary credits in place, but no citations of good books on Soup. So, only four stars for this omission and to alert potential buyers that this book is more about lore than about gourmet cooking.

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