cover image A BEAUTIFUL BOWL OF SOUP: The Best Vegetarian Recipes

A BEAUTIFUL BOWL OF SOUP: The Best Vegetarian Recipes

Paulette Mitchell, , photos by William Meppem. . Chronicle, $19.95 (168pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-3528-2

This satisfying, manageable cookbook highlights some of the most popular international recipes for vegetarian soup with vibrant photographs and easy directions. Some soups are familiar, like Minestrone or Black Bean Soup, while other recipes, such as Fresh Tomato-Orange Soup, Chestnut Soup and Wild Rice-Cranberry Soup, are unexpected and make this book stand out. Mitchell (The 15-Minute Gourmet ) emphasizes pleasure in cooking and presentation; even humble Cream of Tomato Soup is topped with puff pastry crowns without losing its homey feel. Tantalizing photos emphasize the elegant unfussiness of soups like Yukon Gold Potato. Home cooks will find practical tips sprinkled everywhere, like how to replace fresh tomatoes with canned when out of season or how to find and prepare dried Chinese wheat-flour noodles. A helpful list of these tips appears at the beginning, making the book easy to navigate. There are 19 vegan recipes, ranging from light Miso Soup to the filling Cashew-Carrot Stew—in addition, almost every recipe has instructions for vegan preparation (Caramelized Onion Soup is just as winning without the goat cheese). With a section on heartier vegetarian stews such as Acorn Squash and Fava Bean, a Greek-influenced Spicy Green Bean and Potato Stew, and an excellent Indian Cumin-Scented Coconut Milk Stew (as well as with fruit soups like Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup and Gingered Pear Soup), this book makes a convincing argument for soup as the star course of any meal. (Feb.)