More Soups Than You Can Shake a Ladle At

300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds

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Though why you’d want to shake a ladle at anything, much less soup, escapes me.

Soup is one of those feel-good dishes that can be a meal on its own, a side to a salad or sandwich, or the first course of a larger meal. Soups can be hot, cold, or room temperature. While often savory, they can also be sweet; or sometimes both! Soups are also easily portable with a good insulated container and a tight lid, which makes them great for packing lunches or dining al fresco. Soups are also a healing food. A way to show someone you care.

There’s little that can replace a favorite relative’s recipe for Chicken Noodle or Creamy Tomato, but sometimes we need a new idea or 20, don’t you agree?

In 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, you’re bound to find some inspiration to easily fill any gaps in your menu.

Potato Tarragon Soup from 300 Sensation Soups

This is comfort food at its best.

Potato soup is one of the standbys for many cooks–it’s warm, filling, and has a great texture when pureed. We tried their twist on the original, a Potato Tarragon Soup (p.72), and were happily surprised by the addition of the bright-tasting herb. As filling as it can be on its own, we opted to serve this soup (which, even with the tarragon, can be a little on the sedate side) with roast beef sandwiches.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup from 300 Sensational Soups

A glass of pinot grigio went quite nicely with this soup.

The next recipe we tried was the Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (p.204) that starts you off by making the chicken broth before proceeding to the soup. Since wild rice takes just as long to cook as the stock, I opted to prepare the wild rice in plain water so that I could shorten the overall cooking time.

Spicy Sweet Potato Chowder from 300 Sensational Soups

Those flecks in the center are bacon–delicious!

Chowder is another one of those common soups, Snyder & Deeds propose a Spicy Sweet Potato Chowder (p.264) that sounded too intriguing to pass up. With bacon and chiles it reminded me of some of the other Spanish-influenced sweet potato dishes we’ve tried and was quite happy with the overall results. One thing I did that wasn’t in the recipe was to puree the soup–they intend the sweet potatoes to stay in cubes in the broth, I thought pureeing was the better option. It’s simply a texture preference.

Stracciatella from 300 Sensational Soups

Rich chicken stock makes this dish what it is.

When I don’t feel well, take-out egg drop soup is my feel-good food. Color me shocked when I came across what is, in essence, Italian egg drop soup: Stracciatella (p.316). Since it’s mostly stock, you want to make sure you’ve got good stock and the best way to ensure that is to make your own. I had the luxury of time, that day (it was a Saturday spent at home), so made the stock and then made the soup. I even made a little extra to use the following week. The leftover meat (unlike the Creamy Chicken soup, above, the meat was not used in this soup, only the broth) I shredded and combined with the leftover stock veggies and a little mayo to make a chicken salad to serve over spinach with the simple soup. Nothing goes to waste!

And don’t skip the croutons on this one, they really do make a difference.

Steak and Potato Soup from 300 Sensational Soups

Even without the cream this was a wonderful soup.

Another great fact about soups is that most can be made in a slow-cooker without much difference in the outcome. For the Steak and Potato Soup we put all the solid ingredients in the crock the night before, added the liquid elements that morning, and came home to dinner ready. When you have a soup that finishes with any sort of dairy (cream, milk, sour cream, yogurt, etc.) that you’ve converted for slow-cooking, you should hold off adding that until just before serving (which we forgot to add at all on this one, oops!), but otherwise no real changes need to be made.

As the temperature continues to drop I see many more soup-er suppers in our future.


I received a copy of 300 Sensational Soups for purpose of review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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