100 Soups for $5 or Less
By Gayle Pierce
Gibbs Smith, 2009. $12.99. www.Gibbs-Smith.com
"Come home to the comfort of homemade soup," invites this compact guide to categories including: light, cream, bean, beef, poultry, pork, seafood, vegetable and fruit. The index further breaks down ingredients to specifics from apples to zucchini. Ingredients are easily accessible, preparation and cooking time are minimal and directions are easy to follow. Servings range from four to six, thus allowing for quick turnover or a handy leftover. Calories per serving range from 19 for Ginger Soup with Spinach, to 602 for Garbanzo Simmer. Fat per serving ranges from 1 gram to 38 grams for the 00 recipes, but most are below 10 grams. Perhaps because the emphasis is on cost and hence the recommended use of easily accessible bouillon cubes, there is no sodium count. For the sodium conscious consumer, either set aside your own supply of frozen soup stock (search the internet for: beef, chicken, vegetable stock recipes) or opt for a higher cost to purchase low or no sodium canned soup stock or cubes or powder. For the new cook the introductory section is particularly helpful with hints for shopping and budget saving habits to develop. The fruit soups are particularly enchanting and while they need not be reserved only for hot weather, the cost factor does limit them seasonally. Pierce, who lives in Indiana, created the recipes, citing childhood memories along with her adventuring into far-flung cultures and testing unexpected combinations of ingredients.