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on 13 November 2006
From a passionate company, whose employees obviously take their job very seriously, a useful selection of recipes where the more well-known, such as a simple 'Vegetable Stock', and 'Bouillabaise' mingle with the more intriguing 'Christmas Dinner Soup' or 'Love & Hearts'.

122 high quality pages, split over chapters:

* Larder Ingredients
* Simple Stocks
* Our Philosophy
* Autumn Recipes
* Winter Recipes
* Spring Recipes
* Summer Recipes

sandwiched between an introduction and a concise index.

Opening with the comment:

'To those who believe the world can be put to rights with a simple bowl of soup..........Soup is easy, down-to-earth, one-pot cooking. It's friendly, too. The aroma draws people into the kitchen as casually as it calls them to the table. They come because soup is different every time: bubbling with winter comfort, ripe with summer growth, mellow with autumnal plenty, bursting with the vibrancy of spring............'

Simply presented with a cheery bright cover, one is drawn to the charming black and white illustration on page 8, introducing each member of the 'New Covent Garden Food Company', from the guy who 'tends to the kitchens' big soup saucepans', to the lady who 'does a bit of everything and keeps us on our toes' the chap who 'does the figures', and gets the feeling that this is a 'homely' book which stands out from the crowd, purely by taking the making of a largely misunderstood dish - SOUP - so seriously.

'Our year - the soup-maker's year - starts in Autumn. That's when friends and families retreat to the kitchen, and root vegetables - the soup-cook's most dependable ingredient - come into season.........Autumn also marks the start of our recipe-testing cycle. Some we invent, some arrive by post or email from friends and strangers; some we adapt from foods we've seen on our travels; and some are from the army of cooks who rise to the annual challenge of our Student Chef and Create a Soup competitions.
This book contains recipes from all those sources. It represents the collective soup-fuelled wisdom of the wider New Covent Garden Food Company community - our chefs, our friends, our relatives, our suppliers, our supporters and our fellow cooks.'

Imagination quickly forgives the fact that the subtle colour opening plate which heads each season, along with the odd black and white drawing is all the 'illustration' that is included.
Following on from 'casual' text (usually dedicated to a member of the staff relevant to the recipe) at the start of each recipe, is a clear ingredients list, cooking time and method.

A small taste of the delicious recipes contained within:

* Parsnip, Apple & Chestnut
* Venison, Apple & Blackberry
* Beef, Ale & Wild Mushroom
* Leftover Soup
* Cullen Skink
* Duck & Pomegranate
* Russian Beef Borsch
* Wood Pigeon & Morel Mushroom
* Crab & Artichoke
* Haggis, Neeps & Tatties
* Broad Bean & Smoked Chicken
* Roasted Fennel & Somerset Cider
* Runner Bean & Braise Ham Broth
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on 20 February 2012
Of course, this is a fantastic book and my kitchen wouldn't be happy without it. NCG has a reputation as a first-class producer of soups and of recipes, which is why what I'm about to say is all the more surprising.

Open your copy and go to the recipe for spinach, stilton and white wine soup. You will see that you're instructed to melt two thirds of the cheese into the soup. However, whoever wrote the recipe forgot to include an instruction about what to do with the other third. I put it in just before serving and it tasted great. Actually, I replaced the stilton with roquefort because I hate stilton. But why oh why weren't these recipes given to people to test out before committing the book to print. School boy error I'm afraid. I'd expect this company to do much better.
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on 24 October 2006
Every kitchen should have a copy of this book. With a wide range of choice for every season it has something for everyone. The 'Beef and Ale Soup' is absolutely delicious as are the other winter warmers, and I look forward to trying some of the summer recipes. I will definately be buying the other Covent Garden recipe books.
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on 16 August 2008
I always find it hard to say which one of the three books I like most. Perhaps it's this one, because it contains my absolute favourite: "Apple, Vine Tomato & Smoked Bacon". This soup is just too yummy to describe. It may sound a bit strange (when I tried it for the first time, people asked why there were apples in a tomato soup), but the result is completely stunning. It's also the perfect soup for late summer, because then you're often swamped in both, tomatoes and apples. In fact, I make this soup whenever I feel like it, because you can get the ingredients around the year. Of course, there are many more delicious recipes in this book. It is split up into four main chapters (the seasons), which in turn are split up into the different months, making it easier for you to find something seasonal. Buy it - a great gift, too!
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on 16 March 2009
I have the previous Covent Garden Food Co book of soups, and this one is equally as good as the previous one for all the same reasons. The handy spiral bound format makes it easy to use, the recipes are clear and very easy to understand, and the end product (the soup in my bowl) taste just as wonderful! I would still like to see some pictures, and the only thing that let this book down (but only a very tiny bit) was the lack of the reference grid at the back where you can write in your thoughts about each soup recipe, any substitutes made etc.
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on 1 November 2008
I love the variety in this book, the simplicity of the recipes and the fact that I don't have to go out and buy ingredients that I wouldn't normally buy. It's also just an excellent idea to make a book that provides seasonal recipes, great for people who grow their own fruit and vegetables.

I'd recommend this to anyone, even if you think you can't cook!
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on 27 March 2013
Book arrived on time and I've really enjoyed using it. Made three of the recipes and they've all been yummy so far! Recipes are really simple to make, but end up tasting good, and range from really basic to more fancy soups, so you can make comfort food or dinner party starters. I like the page per soup format and the fact that recipes are listed in order according to the month of year, not just the season as in other books, meaning that you know you can get the particular seasonal veg necessary for the specific recipe. Definitely glad I made this purchase!
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on 22 April 2009
highly reccommended to anyone with a passion for soup. i have all three new covent garden books, cant wait for the fourth.
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on 7 May 2010
I bought this recipe book as I tried one of the soups cooked by my sister in law and loved it. I'm currently on a diet after having a baby and have found plenty of diet friendly recipes here which are really easy to do and taste fab.
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on 1 November 2014
I've started making a lot of soup in the hope of eating more vegetables and lentils. I bought this book in the hope that it would provide me with some much needed inspiration. Unfortunately the recipes are needlessly overcomplicated, transforming typically simple recipes into daunting tasks! Rare and expensive ingredients are commonly added to recipes, without any real justification of why they've been added...sometimes it feels like they've only been added so that the soup can be made to look posh! Cooking soup shouldn't be as difficult as it's made out to be in this book!!

I've since researched alternative soup books on amazon and found that the soup bible and Delia's book about soup are so much more useful than the covent garden soup book. Although I like Covent Garden soup from a supermarket, I would consider giving this one a miss, particularly if you're wanting to make a variety of different soups without causing annoyance or costing the world.
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