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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. Hardcover, 464 pages.
Vendor: Workman Publishing
In this stunningly rich and wide-ranging book, Barbara Kafka gives the food we love perhaps best in the world a new vitality. Though the subject is so familiar to us all, her approach is totally original, just as it was in her award-winning Roasting: A Simple Art and Microwave Gourmet. In a wonderfully diverse collection of nearly three hundred recipes from all over the world--some traditional, some newly minted, many so simple they require no cooking at all, each of them very much a part of our spiritual and emotional lives--she offers up a lifetime worth of pleasure:
As always, Barbara's intelligence and talent for innovation have resulted in a vast body of ideas to make your life in the kitchen easy and interesting. Nearly thirty stocks are offered, as well as dozens of ways to use seasonal produce to cook and freeze soup bases for year-round fresh taste. You'll find cooking times for everything from dumplings and piroshki to noodles and pasta, simmering times for every possible cut of meat, and yields and blanching times for dozens of vegetables. There are easy-to-follow charts to answer every cooking question.
And then there's Barbara's "memory pieces." Woven through the recipes, they form a book within a book, one family's personal and culinary history. They're fascinating and warming and enriching on their own. They also remind us why soup is a vital part of our lives. And why Barbara Kafka is a vital part of our cooking experience.
Few have done more to define how Americans prepare food than Barbara Kafka, whose IACP and James Beard award-winning books Roasting and Microwave Gourmet made two underutilized techniques central to everyday cooking. Ms. Kafka is a former food editor of Vogue and a frequent contributor to The New York Times. She lives in New York and Vermont. The author of Artisan's Soup: A Way of Life and Vegetable Love, Barbara Kafka's immense achievements were recognized once more in 2007, when the James Beard Foundation gave her its Lifetime Achievement Award. Her most recent book is The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food Without Gluten & Lactose.