The Soup & Bread Cookbook: More Than 100 Seasonal Pairings for Simple, Satisfying Meals Paperback – 8 Oct 2013
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"[The Soup & Bread Cookbook] provides ample excuses to turn on the oven and warm up the kitchen, and as the days get crisper and darker, I will be hugging this book close.""This is definitely a year-round kitchen companion.""I tend to view bread as a vehicle for sopping up the last drips from the bottom of the bowl, but in Ojakangas' hands, it's obvious that the relationship has much more potential...Ojakangas gets really inventive with her breads." --THE KITCHN.COM "This book is a delight...Every recipe we have tried has been 5 star quality." - SWEETHAPPYLIFE.COM"This...will banish the Campbell's from your cupboard forever." - THE SPLENDID TABLE
I tend to view bread as a vehicle for sopping up the last drips from the bottom of the bowl, but in Ojakangas' hands, it's obvious that the relationship has much more potential...Ojakangas gets really inventive with her breads. "THE KITCHN.COM"
This book is a delight...Every recipe we have tried has been 5 star quality. "SWEETHAPPYLIFE.COM"
This will banish the Campbell's from your cupboard forever. "THE SPLENDID TABLE""
I tend to view bread as a vehicle for sopping up the last drips from the bottom of the bowl, but in Ojakangas' hands, it's obvious that the relationship has much more potential...Ojakangas gets really inventive with her breads. THE KITCHN.COM
This book is a delight...Every recipe we have tried has been 5 star quality. SWEETHAPPYLIFE.COM
This will banish the Campbell's from your cupboard forever. THE SPLENDID TABLE"
"I tend to view bread as a vehicle for sopping up the last drips from the bottom of the bowl, but in Ojakangas' hands, it's obvious that the relationship has much more potential...Ojakangas gets really inventive with her breads." --THE KITCHN.COM
"This book is a delight...Every recipe we have tried has been 5 star quality." --SWEETHAPPYLIFE.COM
"This...will banish the Campbell's from your cupboard forever." --THE SPLENDID TABLE
About the Author
BEATRICE OJAKANGAS is a James Beard hall of fame member and award-winning author who has written 28 cookbooks, including The Finnish Cookbook, which is in its 38th printing. One of America's most trusted home cooks, she has written for many of the nation's leading magazines including Bon Appetit, Country Living, Southern Living, and Eating Well. She lives in Duluth, MN.
Top customer reviews
This fairly thick book is no exception, promising the soup lover 75 different soups and breads to accompany them, with inspiration drawn from all around the world. An obvious combination, you will hopefully agree, yet something often overlooked by other soup-orientated recipe books where, perhaps, a few breads might be given as a bit of an afterthought to serve up with the soup "main course."
Here the recipes solely do the talking, aided by some nice photography (of course!). Introductions and arty "theme-setters" are kept to a minimum. First you get the basics, the building blocks for many soups and breads and then everything is split into four big chapters, one for each season. A word of caution, you would be well advised to browse sequentially through this book at least once and resist the temptation to just dip in and out. Many nuggets of good, actionable information can be found and it is worthy of a read.
Of course, something has to come along and burst a bubble of perfection. Our usual niggles, in other words, namely the lack of a clear preparation and cooking time and the reliance on sole U.S. measures. Why, why, WHY! One can sort of forgive the false economy of not giving each recipe its own colour photograph, one can understand differences over design but think of a harassed or uncertain cook, give them a break and also remember that there are foreigners who might buy your book and be unfamiliar with cups and ounces as measures. This pre-release review copy was missing the index and the usual other stuff found at the end of a book so we don't know if one should be insulted by the inclusion of a conversion table or not. Hopefully there is a very detailed usable index to aid navigation and cross-reference otherwise you are sunk!
The range and selection of recipes is quite pleasing, although the instructions are rather terse and perhaps less beginner-friendly. All in all a fairly pleasing attempt with some pleasant packaging, but the higher the price the fussier the buyer can justifiably be and thus this overall package might be slightly-overpriced - it might come solely down to whether you "click" with it or not and whether you particularly need another soup-orientated book or not.
As it is, we will give this book the benefit of the doubt as it is sufficiently different to make it a warranted four YUM (star) thing but with the various omissions and quirks it might not deserve a five YUM award. In any case, it is worthy of closer consideration.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It might just be the fact that I already have quite a few soup books in my collection, which compels me to say I'm enjoying the bread recipes in this book even more than the soup recipes. It's not that the soup recipes are not worthy; they are fine recipes and provide a great representation of flavorful soups with ingredients from all over the world: I have many on my bucket list waiting to be made. But, with several other soup cookbooks in my possession, I've seen many of these recipes before in some form. The bread recipes, however, ARE inspiring me and calling to me. I have a lot of bread books, too. And I like to bake breads. Still, I'm finding a lot of bread recipes in this book that I've never seen before.
Ojakanagas' recipes are always down-to-earth, nourishing, comforting and wholesome, and they deliver that good ole' home cooking feeling. They are usually far from exotic--although, sometimes, she has surprised me with something out of the ordinary. Some recipes have introduced me to new ingredients, too. Don't look for sophisticated classy restaurant-style recipes in this book. Ojakanagas is not a chef: She's not looking to become the next Food Network star. She doesn't have an up and coming restaurant to promote. She's a great cook. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota. Her ties are to family. Her heritage is Finnish.
Both the bread and soup recipes are well thought out; they have been tested, the ingredients are easy to come by, the directions are straightforward. The pictures are plentiful and the page layout is appealing and easy to read and follow. The index is more than adequate. This is a fabulous book to own if your cookbook shelf is small or your cookbook collection is just budding.
If you are short on time YOU CAN STOP READING HERE; I have covered the basis for my five-star rating above. But, if you are still undecided about this cookbook, keep on reading. I've provided more information below, plus I've listed my favorite recipes. (I know the Index is included in the Look Inside feature, but it is kind of blurry):
Before this book was actually published, I had the opportunity to review a temporary download of it for several months. Previewing the book compelled me to preorder a copy of it because of all the interesting and unique bread recipes that I found.
The breads in this book are not only loaf breads: There are plenty of crackers, flat breads, batter breads, bread sticks, muffins, popovers, focaccias, scones--all kinds of breads. Some are created in a food processor, some in a bread machine, some in a mixer, a lot just in a bowl. There are so many great tasting and very easy recipes in this collection that you might not ever need to pick up store-bought bread again.
Following are some examples to explain what I mean by that: (And if I've made them already, I've marked them with an asterisk.)
--Chive-Dill Batter Bread with cottage cheese*;
--Herbed biscuit-like muffins;
--Caraway Rye Pretzels;
--Three-Grain Almond Hardtack;
--Sesame Sunflower Breadsticks, Carrot Breadsticks and a breadstick suitable for kids to help make;
--A gluten-free rice flour bun or loaf;
--A monkey bread with Italian herbs;
--Lavash (or cracker bread);
--Cheddar onion scones;
--Stir-and-pour breads where the dough is simply beaten in a bowl with a wooden spoon, then turned out to rise on a baking sheet;
--A flatbread with sesame seed oil and scallions, and one with olives;
--A skillet-toasted parmesan flatbread;
--There's a no-knead and hassle-free focaccia*;
--Cheese popusas* from El Salvador;
--A very easy beer-batter and cheese bread*, (my husband can't stop making this one...)
--A simple beer biscuit*, and a Russian Black Bread*.
Soups that I made or are on my bucket list:
--A Spring Tonic Soup and a Summer Day Herb Soup*, both are light and lemony-tasting and filled with seasonal vegetables;
--Spring Greens Soup with Dill;
--A tomato-y French veggie soup, and a chunky veggie soup; in fact there are many, many vegetable soups in this book.
--An uncomplicated new potato and chive soup*;
--A ham, green bean and potato soup*;
--Polish Easter Soup with kielbasa, ham, potatoes, mushrooms, eggs, sour cream and horseradish;
--Cream of mushroom and asparagus soup;
--Got a lot of walleye fillets in your freezer? Try Walleye Chowder.
--A zucchini soup loaded with herbs and spices*;
--There are soups made with children in mind, like the Zucchini and Macaroni Soup* to help get them to eat their veggies;
--Even a pot luck stone soup;
--A slow-cooked cabbage and hamburger soup*;
--A veggie soup with Moroccan flavors; several from South America;
--Several cheese soups, one with broccoli and cauliflower and one with potatoes.
--There are soups suitable to use as shooters. (Check out this appetizer set from 10 Strawberry Street if you like to serve soup shooters: 10 Strawberry Street 13-Piece Appetizer Set)
--Plenty of bean soups, both vegetarian and with meat; pea soups, one with spareribs and one with whole yellow peas and a fresh pork hock;
--Lamb Meatball and Root Vegetable Soup; and a beet and cabbage soup*.
I received a temporary download of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for a review. I also bought my own copy as you can see by the Verified Purchase" tag.
The bread recipes work, which means they have been properly tested for home cooks. The soups selections are well-balanced and interesting. You will find yourself using this book instead of just looking at the photos.
When you can get piles of recipes online, why buy a cookbook? Because it contains recipes that work, and because there is a creative intelligence and coherent vision behind it. This book fills both those criteria well.
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