Mark Reinfeld packs A LOT into 100 soup recipes! His 30 Minute Vegan Soup's On cookbook will forever change how you think about soup.
30 Minute Vegan soups are packed with nutrition, flavor and satisfaction. That's because each one has a long list of ingredients. Now, don't let that put you off.
Most of the ingredients in these soups are seasonings, and that's the secret to soups that take 30 minutes, but taste like they simmmered all day. Mark Reinfeld is a Master of Umami.
The other thing I like about Soup's On is that it isn't just soup recipes, but teaches the reader how to make soup.
Template Recipes: Mark Reinfeld asks "How can I show you how to prepare thousands of soups with one hundred recipes? It's called a Template Recipe format ... you look at a recipe in the most general form and break it down into its component parts. By changing the components, you get an entirely new recipe." In Part One, Mark explores this concept in detail, including the making of soup stock, the 'body' of any soup.
Parts Two through Five cover different soup types: Vegetable based, grain & bean enhanced, cream soups, raw and dessert soups. For each recipe, Mark gives many possible variations, along with Chef's Tips and Tricks.
Part Six covers Garnishes and Sides "to enhance your soup experience", lifting your soups into a higher realm of soupdom. There are many possible ways to do this, but my personal fave is Raw Crème Fraîche, which seems like a cross between buttermilk and yogurt. Whatever you call it, it's ideal in just about any soup.
Candied Pepitas, Crostini, Vegetable Chips, Krispy Kale and Tapenade are also on my list of must-try soup enhancing sides and garnishes.
The metric conversion charts and appendices are very useful: Preparation Basics, with grain and bean cooking charts, spice mixes, marinades, natural sweeteners, Seasonal Growing Charts for eating in season (this is a seasonal cookbook, after all), Supplemental Information about vegan diet, and Additional Resources - books, websites and where to buy stuff.
Sample Recipe: I made the Ragout of Fall Vegetables on page 60, leaving out the onion, subbing sweet potato for potato, and lemon juice for vinegar. We garnished it, of course, with Raw Crème Fraîche.
The Fall Vegetable Ragout was delicious! And I've bent the pages on many other recipes I want to try: Coconut Curry Veggie Soup with Tofu, Indian Mulligatawny, Coconut Carrot Soup with Ginger and Dill, Raw Creamy Greens Soup - to name just a few!
My One Quibble with Soup's On: Being a pressure cooker fanatic, I rarely make soup without one, since it shortens cooking time drastically, while preserving color and flavor. I saw how pressure cooking could easily apply to the recipes in Soup's On, and I couldn't help but wonder - does Mark Reinfeld know about the magic of pressure cookers?
I'm sure he does, but maybe it's outside the scope of this cookbook, or he doesn't think pressure cooker use is widespread enough. (it should be) Or maybe he just loves the hands-on simmering and stirring of soups.
But never mind! If you are a pressure cooker person like me, I'm sure you'll figure out how to work that into these excellent soup recipes.
I highly recommend Soup's On, another excellent cookbook in the 30 Minute Vegan series of fresh, delicious homemade fast food cookbooks.