Cookbook Profile

A Way of Life

By Barbara Kafka


Soup A Way of Life "The recipes are terrific."—Publisher's Weekly

"When I am tired and want comfort, or when I want to share happiness or just when I want something full of flavor, my desire is soup.

So writes Barbara Kafka in the prologue of her most personal cookbook to date. In Soup, A Way of Life, Barbara shares the recipes that have fulfilled those desires. Sure to satisfy her loyal fans, who have been cooking with her from her award-winning books Roasting: A Simple Art, Microwave Gourmet, Party Food, and Food for Friends, Barbara now turns her attention to that most humble of dishes.

She offers soups from her family and childhood (Split-Pea Soup, Michael's Fish Soup), soups from her friends and favorite cooks (Doug Rodriguez's Black Bean Soup). She creates soups that can made in a hurry, many in under 15 minutes, (Quick Pea Soup, Spicy Peanut Butter Soup) and soups that can simmer all day (Extra Rich Chicken Stock). Soups to make kids eat their vegetables (Mixed Vegetable Potage), and soups to dazzle adults at a dinner party (Oyster Soup with Broth, Ginger Scallop Soup). with the simple substitution of Barbara's Magical Garlic Broth, more than half of the recipes become suitable for vegetarians. And in characteristic Kafka style, she includes her own highly original and incredibly flavorful offerings, Veal Soup with Fennel, Vichyssoise of Red Pepper, and many more.

Barbara's talent for innovation (and need for speed) have resulted in an array of ideas. She has perfected the concept of the "continuous kitchen"-roasting a chicken for example, for one meal, then simmering the remains in a pot for stock, and freezing for later use. She rarely wastes any ingredients, and always has the makings of a good soup on hand. Soup includes nearly thirty stocks and dozens of ways to use seasonal produce to cook and store soup bases for year-round enjoyment.

But soup is not stock alone. Barbara includes recipes and cooking times for everything from dumplings and piroshki to noodles and pasta; simmering times for every conceivable cut of meat; and yields and blanching times for an abundance of vegetables. Easy to follow charts answer every cooking question, and serving ideas enhance every kind of special meal.

Finally, woven through the recipes, Barbara's "memory pieces" form a book within a book-one family's personal and culinary history. Warming and enriching, they remind us why soup is a vital part of our lives.


Soup, A Way of Life
By Barbara Kafka
Hardcover, jacketed, $35.00
300 recipes ,480 pages
ISBN 1-57965-125-9
Information provided by the publisher.


Soup, A Way of Life



Cookbook Profile Archive


This page created January 1999