. Essential Soup Books for Every Soup Lover Seriously Soupy

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Essential Soup Books for Every Soup Lover

Even though I love creating my own soup recipes, there are some days when looking through cookbooks and magazines for inspiration goes a long way. Whether it’s new recipes or trying to figure out how I want to vary the classics, these books are staples in my own personal soup kitchen.

1. 500 Soups: The Only Soup Compendium You'll Ever Need
By Suzanne Blake
Packed with 500 recipes, Suzanne Blake’s pint-size soup book by the same name is must-have book for the new and even the novice soup maker. Packed with International soups, classic recipes, broth, bisque, and chowder, the recipes are not only easy to understand but also ideas and tips as well as what ingredients can be use to vary every recipe. Its 10 chapters – sub divided into cooled and chilled; healthy and wholesome; smooth and creamy; meal in a bowl; 20-minute treats; sophisticated starters; Asian and fruity flavors – allow for almost soup to be covered from new recipes to classic. There are also stunning pictures that accompany every recipe and an informative opening chapter about how to prepare various stocks, garnishes, and suggestions for what foods can accompany soup. For a cheap find, this soup book has been on my shelf for quite awhile and I can’t imagine it not being there.

2. Sunday Soup: A Year’s Worth of Mouth-Watering, Easy-to-Make Recipes
by Betty Rosbottom
Sunday seems like it was almost designed for soup. The slower pace and time is just what Sunday’s are about and Betty Rosbottom, author of Sunday Soup talks about just that. Filled with 60 soup recipes (one for each Sunday of the year), the book and its soups are devised by seasons – in the approximately titled “Soup Calendar.” Perfect for the beginner, the recipes aren’t too intricate and Rosbottom tries to keep it simple; not even insisting on homemade stock or fresh herbs – citing the value and quality of store-purchased stocks. She does, though, have soup stock recipes when you are ready to make that leap and a list of "Soup-er Sides" to accompany this comforting meal.

3. The Soup Bible: All the Soups You Will Ever Need in One Inspirational Collection
Consulting Editor: Debra Mayhew
Another staple in my household, this colorful collection of soups includes from around the world recipes and the classics in Debra Mayhew’s The Soup Bible. Stunning pictures accompany the recipes that also include simple tutorials by Mayhew on how to garnishes and stock (fish, meat, chicken and vegetable) as well as how to make stock for Japanese and Chinese cooking. Each recipe includes a brief description and simple directions that are clearly devised into the following sections: light and refreshing, one-pot soup meals, hearty lunch and supper soups and special occasion soups with interesting selections like Indian Beef and Berry Soup, Beef and Apricot Swirl, Moroccan Harira and much more! With over 200 recipes, this book doesn’t get old.

4. The Best Soups in the World
By Clifford Wright
The title speaks for itself, and lucky the recipes in this comprehensive book that lives up to its name. Written by Clifford Wright, food critic and award-winning author of the James Beard Award, The Best Soups in the World covers the most popular soup recipes from across the globe. Not only about recipes, the book reads as a mini-history book –describing the historical and cultural relevance behind each regional soups – including an organized list of soup recipes in appendix B where you will find them listed by their geographic location.  The recipes, though, are the prize of the book. With over 250 soups, the recipes are organized into 14 chapters –  ranging from basic broth to chilled soups – leaving much to choose from like the Tanzanian Black-Eyed Pea and the Georgian Beef and Apricot Soup. Most of the recipes use somewhat exotic ingredients, but thanks to the helpful information in appendix A you can find out where to locate them online. I often turn to this book for some inspiration and out-of-the box ideas and after you take a quick look through it, I’m sure you will too.

5. Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen
By Deborah Madison
Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen is a must-have guide for anyone who wants to learn a thing or two or 100 about soups. Great for the beginner, the book covers the gamut of soup recipes from classic soups and their variations to original recipes, and those that are specific to a region. Written in 2006, the book specifically covers vegetarian-based soups such as how to make light broths, bean-based soups like black bean, lentil and pea, and roasted vegetable soups, along with two comprehensive appendixes that discuss how you can change certain ingredients to vary the flavor of your soup. The book is very easy to understand, that along with the gorgeous full-color pictures will get you excited to make a vegetable-based soup the next time you cook.

What are your favorite soup books?

Seriously Soupy Serena


  1. How wonderful to find your blog! I love making soup and am always interested in finding new recipes. This weekend, I'm making split pea - an oldie-but-I-never-tire-of-it. Happy Halloween!

  2. So many great looking books you've mentioned here.

    Soup is the essence of comfort food goodness. Of the books you've mentioned, is there one in particular that's your favorite and that you'd personally recommend. I'd like a good soup cookbook (I have one by WS). :)

  3. Hi Deb,

    So happy that you found Soupy. I also love the classic split pea and actually need to update that recipe on the site. Do you have a recipe that you would like to share?

    Have a great Halloween.


  4. Hi Cristina,

    Soup truly is an amazing comfort food and one that is perfect as the temps continue to drop.

    I always refer to 500 soups and the Best Soups from Around the World. 500 soups is great because they feature one recipe and 4-5 variations on how to change that recipe. I often refer to it for some ideas and am shocked at their unique variations.

    I also love Soups from Around the World for featuring so many international soups. I always learn something when I look through that book.

    I hope this helps!

    Have a great Halloween.