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The Simple Soups Deck: 50 Easy Recipes for Satisfying Soups    by Maryana Vollstedt & Paulette Mitchell order for
Simple Soups Deck
by Maryana Vollstedt
Order:  USA  Can
Chronicle, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Having sons heading off to live on their own, I was on the look-out for simple recipe collections to offer them. The Simple Soups Deck - one of a series of card decks from Chronicle Books, including 50 recipes for both simple soups and stews - fits the bill perfectly.

The fold-out card at the front quotes the Spanish proverb: 'Of soup and love, the first is best' and goes on to talk about soup's 'glorious possibilities' for entertaining. Techniques explain the use of stock (bought or made from scratch); discuss the use of dried versus fresh herbs; and talk about simmering soups. Individual cards are organized under: Stocks (vegetable, chicken and beef); 25 Vegetable Soups; 5 Seafood Soups; 6 Poultry Soups; 12 Beef, Pork & Lamb Soups; and even 2 Fruit Soups (Berry-Wine and Gingered Pear).

Although this is called a Simple Soups Deck, it also includes quite a few recipes for stews, like Classic Oyster Stew, Chicken Gumbo, and Irish Stew. Each card starts with a preparation or serving tip, followed by a list of ingredients, instructions on cooking and serving, and the number of portions that result. I plan to start simmering Chestnut Soup, Cauliflower & Fennel Soup, Carrot Vichysoisse, and Good Old Split-Pea Soup, but I'm sure you'll find your own favorites. As the author/chefs remind us, Soup's On!

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