Soup is the blood in Barbara Kafka's veins. "When I am tired and want comfort," she writes, "or when I want to share happiness, or just when I want something full of flavor, my first desire is soup." It is through soup that Kafka embraces the generations of her family, her husband's family, the families of her children's spouses. It is through soup that Kafka embraces the world. "Every culture has its soups and the soups may be said to represent them."
The book begins with a brief overview of technique ("How to Boil Water"), then drops right into a section she calls "Family Soups." Here are the soups Kafka identifies with her grandmother and mother (Chicken Soup and Split-Pea Soup, respectively), her husband (Winter Duck Soup), her own youth (Gazpacho), her adult nature (Veal Soup with Fennel), as well as soups linked to other members of her family. It's as personal as looking through the Kafka family photo album with the author at your side.
From that base, Ms. Kafka moves on to the world of soups, be they of a vegetable nature, or those that rely on various birds or meats or seafoods. She winds down with stocks, noodles, dumplings, sauces, and the like.
It's a masterful production: simple, clear, uncluttered, direct, and thorough. It's a book that opens the senses to the world much as the steam rising off a bowl of lovingly made soup. --Schuyler Ingle
I love to cook, and am an avid "Roaster", partly due to Kafka's roasting book. I have had great luck with this book, especially the recipe for bread soup, and with the bouliabase. Read morePublished on June 25 2002 by Peter J Stempel
Kafka presents recipies that are far less challenging then many other serious cookbooks. Her simple prose and straight forward recipies are perfect for the cook ready to move up... Read morePublished on May 24 2000 by "washrag23"
I could not find a single recipe that I would use. Either they contained odd ingredients or the entire recipe did not sound edible. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2000 by Sharon Quaill
After the near disaster of 'Roasting', Ms Kafka's book of soups is definitive, delicious and on the whole simple to cook with. Read morePublished on June 5 1999