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Splendid Soups: Recipes and Master Techniques for Making the World's Best Soups (Hospitality) [Hardcover]

James Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

17 Oct 2000 Hospitality
Praise for the fully revised and updated Splendid Soups "Jim Peterson′s Splendid Soups is a comprehensive and mouthwatering atlas of the world of soup. It not only covers soups of all nationalities and every garnish, but provides a handy list of sources for every hard–to–find ingredient and kitchen tool, too. More importantly though, through his gargantuan world tour Jim empowers home cooks to strike out on their own and invent new soups. It just makes me want to get into the kitchen and start cooking!" — SARA MOULTON, Host, The Food Network′s Cooking Live ; Executive Chef, Gourmet magazine; Food Editor, Good Morning America "We love James Peterson. Splendid Soups is a bountiful source of enticing ideas!" — the moosewood collective Authors of the Moosewood Restaurant Cookbooks

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (17 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471391360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471391364
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 5.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 831,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Daft title, evoking memories of Lewis Carroll ("Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup"), for what is otherwise a fine book. James Peterson's Splendid Soups is about as comprehensive a survey of the soups of the world as you could wish for. Perhaps one should say the world of soup, as over 400 recipes can induce a feeling that soup is as much a philosophy of life as a source of nourishment. The definitions do tend to stretch in works of this kind, so that in the end practically anything can be recomposed as a soup of one form or another. This is encyclopaedist's soup making, imbued with a slightly mad orderliness. So we encounter Broths and Consommés, Vegetable Soups (encompassing the sub-categories of Single-Vegetable Soups, Beans, Lentils and Dried Peas, and Mixed Vegetable Soups); Fish Soups, Bivalve Shellfish Soups and Crustacean Soups. Meat Soups, Bread Soups, Dairy Soups and Fruit and Dessert Soups box the compass. The recipes are very good indeed, and authentic (although modified here and there to suit American tastes or the exigencies of the supermarket). Soup of the evening indeed; soup for every occasion, in fact. --Robin Davidson


Tremendously informative and stubbornly opinionated, master chef Peterson updates his classic soup tome by stirring new recipes and more international ingredients into the pot. Before getting to the recipes, readers are treated to a detailed remedial education in ingredients, featuring Peterson′s humorously fussy explanations of dried and fresh herbs. The tried–and–true leek stands alongside the trendy galangal root as a soup essential, as Peterson enlarges the intermediate cook′s familiarity with international cuisines. Peterson also seeks to re–educate readers on the proper methods for composing bouquet garni, making a roux and improving the flavor of the commercial broths they will insist on buying. He wisely intersperses his suggestions for technique alongside relevant recipes, making valuable information accessible for the busy cook. The recipes are roughly organized by ingredient and include the vast range of vegetable soups in some unusual combinations (Water Chestnuts with Watercress and Sweet Potato with Chili and Lime). Other noteworthy concoctions include Spicy Brazilian Fish Soup with Coconut Milk; Shabu–Shabu; and Duck and Sherry Soup. Most of Peterson′s recipes are not for the fat–phobic; whether he′s extolling the virtues of heavy cream over milk and yogurt or encouraging readers to add a few pats of butter to any bowl of soup they order in a restaurant, Peterson throws caution to the wind. ––Publishers Weekly September 18, 2000

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The easiest way to make broth is to combine meat or fish trimmings and bones with flavorful vegetables such as carrots, onions, garlic and celery, plus a bouquet garni, and then add enough cold water to cover. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars full of information 2 Nov 2012
By akis
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book. It is very detailed, easy to read and full of information about every kind of soup and the ingredients needeed. Furthermore it contains a vast number of recipes of different styles and cuisines.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable Meals! 8 Feb 1998
By A Customer
Over two years use this is unquestionably one of my favorite, most reliable cookbooks. Simple, elegant recipes that never fail to delight everyone at my table. From classics to ethnic, includes many valuble tips that apply to all cooking, including stocks, broths, shopping tips and presentation knock-outs. I'm buying all of his other cookbooks!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 22 Oct 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very good
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
129 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First, Last and BEST Book on Soups - Anywhere! 30 Dec 1999
By E. Tarditi - Published on Amazon.com
I was introduced to Splendid Soups in my second semester of culinary school - my chef told the class that "if you follow the directions, there's not a bad soup in the book"- and she was so right! You really don't need to be a chef to use this book - as all of my friends and family who I've given it to for gifts can attest! Very clear directions for each recipe, good discussions on when Peterson likes to serve each soup, great advice on how to play with each recipe to make it more your own (and great advice on "fixing the soup" if you aren't completely happy with the recipe exactly as followed) and even a wonderful section in the back with resources, patterns for improvising soups, and fundamental knowledge of how to make the fun extras, like flavored butters and croutons. I write for the Dollar Stretcher (a frugal living webzine) and I've recommended this book to thousands of people, without reservation. If soup is part of your weekly menu (and for those of us trying to save money on food so we can buy more books, it is!) this is the first, last and best reference to have on your shelf. Many of the soups are very down-to-earth - try the wonderful French Onion (p.169) or White Bean and Vegetable Soup (p.197) or the Mushroom Veloute (p.163-164) if you want soups that freeze well and save tons of money from the grocery bill. There are also lovely soups for when company comes (like the Duck Consomme) and a whole section on Fruit Soups (which any child will love!). Perhaps my favorite thing of all about Splendid Soups, after the recipes, of course, is how Peterson tells you how he discovered each soup (hitchhiking to Paul Bocuse's restaurant for a meal that began with Foie Gras and Truffle Soup), mistakes he's made while preparing some (like buying a pumpkin too big for his oven)- you get to live vicariously though his background information. In all, a splendid book.
69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Souper-Douper! 17 Oct 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
A hefty, comprehensive, door-stop of a book, this "soup-lopedia" includes every soup I'd ever had a hankering to make--"Sopa de Ajo"--Spanish-style garlic soup with an egg in it (I craved it after a trip to Madrid) and Dried Fruit Soup (which my Scandinavian grandmother made when I was growing up)--and every other broth-based dish under the sun.
The histories of the soups and ingredients are so thorough and so fascinating that I felt like I was in a cooking class being taught by a wise, likeable teacher--and the photos of the soups were mouth-watering, and gave me serving suggestions.
An A++ book--I'm giving it to several people for Christmas!
70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book, but not for beginners 11 Oct 2002
By speak04 - Published on Amazon.com
I am a self-described soup addict. I make soups at least once a week year round, even when the weather in my hometown is well above 100 degrees! This book is an excellent book, great for someone who has spent a lot of time making soups and is willing to put the time and effort into getting the ingredients, and doing the chopping and cooking that is required. It has nearly every soup imaginable in it and is great for coming up with great ideas for your own new recipes. However, the reason I can't give it 5 stars is that, as others have mentioned before, it does not go into intimate detail in the instructions, it includes some hard-to-find or largely unfamiliar ingredients, and some of the recipes are difficult. If you are a beginner, you should probably stay away from this book. If you are soup obsessed like me, this book is well worth buying and will become an invaluable source of information for you.
129 of 142 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good compilation of recipies, but poor quality of each recipe.. 11 Mar 2006
By Luculo - Published on Amazon.com
First of all I have to say that I am spanish and I am not writing in my mother tongue. So I have to apologise in advance for my poor English skills.

When I read a review I like to know who write it in order to guess what he expected to find in the book and what sort of judgment he is going to give us.

I am an Spanish Food Engineer. I am not a professional chef but, I dare say, I am an advanced amateur cook.

I read the cookbooks form cover to cover at least twice. I underlain it and even it compare the recipies with other books.

I dont want a compilation of recipies that I left in my shelves for checking a recipe from time to time.

What I expected to find in this book was:

1-A classification of soups.

2-A correct description of the techniques for cooking the soups.

3-A collection of really splendid soups. I dont mind how many recipies the book has, but I mind the quality of each recipe.

I want a perfect recipe for each soup. Whether I like or not the soup, once I have cooked it, it depends on my personal taste.

So with this in mind, here is my review.

1-The book is organized by ingredientes (meat soups, fish soups, vegetable soups..). It makes easier to find a recipe if you have some ingredientes in the refrigerator and you wants to know what to do with them. But it should be arranged by technique as the book "Professional Chef" (CIA) does (consommes, hearty broths, cream soups, puree soups and bisques).You cant remember all the recipies but you can remember the techniques. This is the most didactic way of organize the book if you want to read it from cover to cover.

2-The general description of the techniques are omitted. The author goes straight to the description of the preparation of each recipe. What it is good if you want a compilation of recipies, but it isnt very useful if you really want to learn how to cook soups at your will.

By the other hand, the description of the preparation of the recipies are detailed and correct. Neither it is "over-detailed" nor ambiguous.

3-At first sight, the number of recipies seems to be huge. But once you have read some chapters you will realise that some recipies are almost the same. Organizing the book by ingredients its easy to repeat recipes because you only need to change an ingredient.For example, "Miso Soup" and "Miso soup with egg plant", the first one appears in the chapter of broths and the second one appears in the chapter of vegetables. But both are the same .Another example "Puree of Artichoke", "Puree of Asparagus", "Puree of Cauliflower"...etc.

The number of recipies has been falsely increased

4-I cant say the recipies doesnt works, but I cant say the recipies are excellent.In some cases I am sure the recipe is wrong. As I said I am spanish, and I cant assure that Gazpacho doesnt contain neither chicken broth nor lime. I understand the author wants to transform/interpret some exotic/ethnic soups. But the changes should not become the dish into another thing. Another example is the Bisque. He uses vegetable puree to thick the soup. By definition a Bisque is a soup that only contains crustaceans and the vegetables are only use for give a subtle taste and it should not distort the crustacean taste.

I wouldnt say that from the 400 soups all of them are "splendid". On the contrary, only few ones are good (but not excellent). He should be more concentrated on the quality rather than in the quantity.

5-There are few photographs (8 pages). The "soups" showed by these photos has got so many solids and so few liquid that you would need a fork and a knife for eating it. So it isnt soups, because you dont use a spoon for eating it.

6-The style of writing is a bit arrogant. I agree with other review. He uses a lot the word "I". I think he is too worry about demostrating that he has cooked each soup, because he repeat many times "Each time I cook it..." "I like to eat it.." "I cant image a summer without it.." and so on.

I dont think he has cooked all the recipies, or at least, I dont think he cook the soups with frequency he try to show.

The book contains 400 recipies, really do you think that he eats so often all them during the 365 days of the year?.

On the other hand, he is too precise with very tiny details (add the parsley just 1 minute before serving, for example) but he is too loose with other matters.

Does he pretend to be exquisite? an epicurean?

7-This book has got some good points. The chapter of ethnic soups is excellent. He describes some ethnic and exotic ingredients and also incorporate soups from Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, China, India Morocco, Mexico etc...

After reading the book you will be able to prepare a soup freely just watching what you have got in the refrigerator.

All in all, I doesnt believe its a masterpiece as other reviewers does. The recipies arent totaly perfect and if you are purist the book will disappoint you.

But if you arent a purist, if you doesnt look for the perfect soup, and if you only want to find a recipe and cook it from time to time, this is your book.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Book on Soup You Will Ever Need 27 Oct 2001
By RogerOutWest - Published on Amazon.com
This book is great. I bought it for the Senegalese Peanut soup recipe and it was a stunning winner. When the weather turns colder and darker I make a lot of soups and this is the best book I have seen on the subject.
I have been reading some of the other reviews and I am somewhat amazed. I guess the net of all of these remarks is that this book is not a step-by-step for beginners. It assumes you know something about cooking. It does not give exact instructions. It gives outlines with options for branching out. This is exactly the way I like to cook, so it is perfect for my style.
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