Soup: Superb Ways With a Classic Dish

This week's cookbook is Soup: Superb Ways With a Classic Dish, another one of the $5 cookbooks published by Hermes House that I've picked up. The range of this book is pretty remarkable: it covers soups from around the work such as Hot and Sour Soup, Chiang Mai Noddle Soup, and Plantain and Corn Soup as well as western standards like Chicken Noodle Soup.

I decided use this book when I woke up on Monday and saw an inch of snow on the ground (!) I flipped through the book and decided to make a lentil soup since I had most of the ingredients on hand and it seemed like a cozy-type of soup. Never mind that it had warmed up to 55 degrees by the time dinner rolled around. (Crazy Utah weather.)

The soup was easy to make but a little on the subtle side. I like spicy food and was tempted to squirt some Sriracha or Tabasco into it to liven it up but I resisted and tried to embrace the lentil-y goodness.

Lentil Soup with Rosemary from Soup: superb ways with a classic dish

  1. Place the lentils in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for at least 2 hours; rinse and drain well.
  2. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Add the bacon and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the celery, carrots, rosemary, bay leaves, and lentils. Toss over the heat for 1 minute until well coated in the oil.
  3. Tip in the tomatoes and stock, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, half-ocer the pan, and simmer for about 1 hour until the lentils are tender.
  4. Remove the bay leaves and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

The Verdict
3 out of 5 stars. This is a handy book that covers almost every soup you'd want to make. The wide scope kind of makes me wonder how consistently good all the recipes are, though. Most recipes are pretty healthy but unfortunately nutritional information is not included. All recipes include several photos and clear directions. An introductory section includes step-by-step recipes for creating stocks from scratch. Worth picking up for $5 or $6 if you can.

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