With recipes by Adam Ried, this colorful book is organized by four sections labeled for each season of the year. The forty-four soup and a few stew recipes are organized that way to take advantage of what should be in stock and of the highest quality at that time.  After an intro that pushes using locally grown produce, organic when possible, and seasonal importance along with being bold in flavors and providing texture in the soup, “Spring” kicks off the recipes.


It begins on pages 16/ 17 with “Leek And Asparagus Vichyssoise” and includes a full color picture. Like others cookbooks from Williams-Sonoma each recipe has detailed directions, an extensive list of ingredients, a serving count, and some general tips along with directions on how to serve the completed dish. That same formula continues through other recipes in this chapter such as “Artichoke And Onion Soup With Green Garlic” (Pages 22-25), “Caramelized Onion Soup With Cheese Croutons” (Pages 28-29), “Chilled Sour Cherry Soup With Tarragon” (Pages 40-41) and others.


“Summer” section kicks off rightfully so with a soup using tomatoes in “Summer Vegetable Minestra With Orzo And Arugula Pesto” (Pages 48-49). If that doesn’t appeal, there is the “Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho” (Pages 54-55), “Lobster And Sweet Corn Chowder” (Pages 60-61) or the “Tomato- Bread Soup With Toasted Garlic Oil” (Pages 62-63 which really means adding at the end toasted garlic smothered in oil) among many others. Zucchini, the afore mentioned garlic, and tomatoes are frequent ingredients in these recipes.


The “Fall” section kicks off on pages 80 and 81 with the “Pumpkin Soup With Sweet And Spicy Pumpkin Seeds.” If that doesn’t appeal the following recipe is “Mussels In Yellow Curry Broth With Thai Basil” (Pages 82-83). Tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms are the primary ingredients for these recipes along with turkey and ham.


Pages 112-173 kick off “Winter” with “Kale And Roasted Sweet Potato Soup With Lamb Sausage.”  Beans and cheeses are primary here with recipes such as “Cheddar And Hard Cider Soup With Fried Shallots” (Pages 118-119) and “Chicken And Hominy Soup With Ancho Chiles “(Pages 132-155) among others.


The book moves to a close with a section on fundamentals aimed at making stocks and broths of various types and cooking dried beans, nuts and seeds and other tips. That is followed by a multi page easy to use chart listing various ingredients and their seasonal availabilities. A multi page glossary and index follow bringing this 160 page book to a close.


Like other books in the series, each dish is lovingly photographed and often rather complex. Those with strong cooking skills won’t be intimidated but those with weak skills or very finicky eaters in the family may wish to consider other books in this area. Screams of “Yuck!” and “Oh, that looks so gross!” from my sons while examining this book do not bode well for the future use of the book in my kitchen.


Servings or proportions are noted, but it would appear based on the extreme close up photography that the portions are small. It is also worth noting that this recently released book contains absolutely zero nutritional info. So readers concerned with fat intake, sodium, etc, will have to examine the ingredients for each recipe to determine suitability. In a few recipes, suggestions are made for using a low sodium broth or stock as part of the soup base. With the rising problem of obesity in this country and so many people watching their diets for such important needs, it is surprising that cookbooks are still being published without such very important information. One hopes that is something that Williams-Sonoma will rectify in the future.


Other than that dietary concern, overall the 160 page cookbook is done very well. Filled with numerous recipes that will take you in many different ways the cookbook does live up to its title very well. Whether it works for you and your family depends on your abilities in the kitchen and the taste buds involved.


Williams-Sonoma: New Flavors for Soups—Classic Recipes Redefined

Recipes by Adam Ried

Photos by Kate Sears

Oxmoor House


February, 2009

ISBN# 0-8487-3271-5

159 Pages



Review copy provided by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2009



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