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February 23, 2011

Cookbook: Love Soup

Love Soup cookbook

Anna Thomas wrote the very first vegetarian cookbook I ever bought, and I still have my tattered and food-stained copy of The Vegetarian Epicure from 1972. The bible for impoverished students on my college campus, the book taught us to cook beans and vegetables and meatless meals, and we redecorated our dorm rooms with jars of lentils and filled our mini-refrigerators with sprouts and greens. A lifetime later, I've fallen in love with Anna Thomas again. When Soup Chick turned one year old a couple of weeks ago, I celebrated by treating myself to a copy of Love Soup, a compendium of vegetarian soup recipes plus some sweet and savory sides to enjoy with them.

The recipes are organized according to the seasons, with additional chapters devoted to bean soups, green soups, big soups and holiday soups. In the dessert section, the recipe for bittersweet chocolate brownies tempts me because, well, what soup doesn't taste better with a brownie?

On my first pass through the book, I marked more than a dozen recipes I want to try right away, so as always, I need your help. Which of these vegetarian soups shall we make first?

  • Red lentil and squash soup, with ginger and lemon and sweet potato
  • Spicy black bean soup with sweet peppers, flavored with an interesting-sounding ancho and quajillo chile puree
  • Sopa de ajo, a Spanish garlic soup with smoky pimentón
  • Asparagus bisque with fresh dill (cream optional)
  • Spicy Indonesian yam and peanut soup, with tang from tamarind and lemon
  • Charred zucchini soup with yogurt and pine nuts

Please leave your choice in the comments, and I'll get to work.

And, if you're looking for new inspiration and vegetarian soups for any season, Love Soup should be on your cookbook shelf. Anna Thomas has inspired me for nearly four decades -- I own all of her cookbooks -- and she won't let you down.


Posted by: Bernadette | February 23, 2011 at 04:41 PM

I vote for: Sopa de ajo, a Spanish garlic soup with smoky pimentón - sounds delicious!

Posted by: Kristen | February 23, 2011 at 04:46 PM

SpicY black bean soup!!

Posted by: Gwen | February 23, 2011 at 05:26 PM

OOh, I vote for red lentil and squash soup.

Posted by: Kalynskitchen | February 23, 2011 at 07:03 PM

I had The Vegetarian Epicure too; not sure if I still have it though.

I vote for the Indonesian Yam and Peanut Soup.

Posted by: CJ McD | February 23, 2011 at 07:14 PM

I too, am a big fan of Anna Thomas and her cookbooks.

Wow- you're asking us to make a tough choice. For a first recipe to try I would either go with Sopa de ajo, a Spanish garlic soup with smoky pimentón or the Asparagus bisque with fresh dill (cream optional).

Happy anniversary Soup Chick! We are the lucky ones!

Posted by: Louise | February 23, 2011 at 09:37 PM

I think the charred zucchini soup sounds divine! Don't know what the recipe will really be but I've certainly got an imagined taste in my head just from the title.

Posted by: jane george | February 24, 2011 at 06:15 AM

I think I would like to try the red lentil.

Posted by: nora almond | February 24, 2011 at 07:21 AM

Asparagus bisque - eager for spring!

Posted by: Marcia | February 24, 2011 at 08:06 AM

Charred zuke soup gets my vote. Then we'd know
what to do with all those zucchinis which mysteriously
appear on doorsteps late in the gardening year.

Posted by: Colleen | February 24, 2011 at 08:11 AM

Asparagus (my favorite veggie) and fresh dill...makes my mouth water just thinking about it!!

Posted by: Mary | February 24, 2011 at 08:21 AM

Spicy Indonesian sounds wonderful to me. However they all do, so I can't be disappointed!

Posted by: Kate | February 24, 2011 at 09:13 AM

Mmmm ... the spicy Indonesian soup gets my vote!

Posted by: SCL | February 24, 2011 at 09:27 AM

Looks like you are going to have to do them all because every one is getting votes! I go for spicy black bean soup with sweet peppers

Posted by: Lynn | February 24, 2011 at 11:44 AM

I vote for red lentil and squash

Posted by: Renee | February 24, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I vote for the spicy black bean soup with sweet peppers. I love black bean soups.

Posted by: Judy | February 24, 2011 at 01:16 PM

Happy Birthday, Soup Chick! I vote for the spicy Indonesian yam and peanut soup first.

Posted by: Ann D. | February 24, 2011 at 01:45 PM

Charred zukes! But really, the red lentil & squash sounds wonderful too. Or the black beans...Hmm, I may have to look for the book somewhere!

Posted by: susan g | February 24, 2011 at 02:40 PM

Any or all, but if there's only one, Sopa de ajo -- my mother made Julia Child's French garlic soup, so this should be the next generation.
I took this book out of the library, and it's like this list, page after page of "make me!" soups, and the extras are appealing too. Now, i'm tempted to buy it (of course), to join my VE Books I and II, and her New Vegetarian Epicure. She's like an old friend!

Posted by: Robyn | February 24, 2011 at 10:20 PM

They do indeed all sound yum. Spicy Indonesian gets my vote.

Posted by: Louise | February 25, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Can't choose only one - Sopa de Ajo and Asparagus Bisque with fresh dill for starters

Posted by: Judy | February 26, 2011 at 11:28 AM

I couldn't resist: I bought the book! (Through your link, so I assume that gets "credited" to Soup Chick?)

Posted by: Lydia | March 12, 2011 at 02:37 PM

Thanks, everyone! We have a four-way tie, so you'll be seeing more than one of these recipes in the coming weeks. (Really, I couldn't choose just one; they all look so good.)

Posted by: milton | March 16, 2011 at 08:45 AM

My copy arrived in yesterdays mail....awesome book and as a previous comment went: all 'make me' soups. Also, well laid out and tip heavy which is nice when you don't know anything like me HAHA many thanks for posting about it

Posted by: janet | March 26, 2011 at 04:54 AM

I just picked up this book from the library and the sheer number of recipes I have bookmarked has made me buy the book. I can't wait to see your verdict on the soups.. It looks like wonderful collection of soups for all seasons. :)

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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