The Wooden Spoon Book of Home-Style Soups, Stews, Chowders, Chilis, and Gumbos: Favorite Recipes from the Wooden Spoon Kitchen

Marilyn M. Moore, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $20 (224p) ISBN 978-0-87113-480-6
Moore ( Baking Your Own ) here considers what is common to food served in a bowl. Starting with principles of stock preparation, but confessing that canned broth is perfectly acceptable as a base, she then works through the genres, justifiably observing how little must be conceded to cholesterol and fat for rib-sticking heartiness. The author seems surest with soups running heavy to vegetables (although only a few of these compounds are actually meatless) and is a connoisseur of herbs, calling frequently for fresh-picked basil, lemon thyme, rosemary or summer savory. In other contexts, she is content to be less discerning; the gumbo and chili recipes call indiscriminately for ``chili powder or pure ground chiles,'' ``curry powder'' or ``hot pepper sauce,'' as if these generic terms were definitive. She does make the point that most simmering concoctions can forgive considerable latitude in preparation, and these 150-odd recipes, while guiding the timid with clear and complete procedures, reveal enough general principles to tempt the adventurous to improvise. An excellent chapter on tangy fruit soups, both hot and cold, complements the savoriness of the main collection. The concluding bread and cracker recipes are a useful afterthought. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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