Soups + Sides

by Catherine Walthers

  • Paperback, 272 pages

  • ISBN: 978-1891105456

  • $19.95

Buy the book

“Everyone loves soup—the ease, comfort, and wholesomeness,” writes Catherine Walthers in the Introduction of her newest cookbook SOUP + SIDES.  This time, the author of the sleeper success Raising the Salad Bar: Beyond Leafy Greens, takes the humble soup to a new level, pairing each with an accompanying side dish meant to complement—even elevate—it.

Walthers has created soups perfect for any season, from comforting hearty stews and chilis to refreshing chilled soups. The paired sides are both creative and diverse, inviting readers to think beyond the classic soup and sandwich combinations they know and love.  So “in addition to great salads or breads, these sides also include quesadillas, spring rolls, grain and pasta dishes, and small plates,” continues Walthers.  She’s also created flexibility with each soup so the cook isn’t just limited to a specific side. Though most ingredients are familiar, some such as lemongrass or farro, quinoa, and other unexpected whole-grains encourage homecooks to explore something new.

There are seven categories of potages in SOUP + SIDES, and highlights include:

• Vegetable Soups + Sides:  Thai Carrot Soup with Wild Watercress Spring Rolls
• Poultry Soups + Sides:  Chicken and Escarole Soup with Orzo and Buttermilk Biscuits
• Meat Soups + Sides:  Beef, Farro, and Vegetable Soup with Twice Baked Potatoes
• Noodle, Whole Grain, and Bean Soups + Sides: Red Lentil Soup with Chickpea Burgers and Yogurt Sauce
• Chilis, Chowders, Gumbos + Sides: Black Bean and Turkey Chili with Mac and Cheese Minis
• Tomato Soups + Sides:  Sylvia’s Tomato Bisque with Black Pepper Parmesan Cheese Twists
• Summer Soups + Sides:  Chilled Cucumber Soup with Gazpacho Salsa and Baked Pita Chips

SOUPS + SIDES also offers great tips and techniques for all the basics, like easy ways to make and store batches of rich homemade stock ahead of time so you’ll never need the bland or sodium-filled store-bought variety again. Even get suggestions for last minute flavor boosters that will liven up any soup. The many color photographs will inspire readers to head to their kitchens to make soup in every season. Whether you mix and match your favorite soups and sides or enjoy them separately, SOUPS + SIDES will dare you to think beyond your favorite grilled cheese and tomato soup. 

“People worldwide are questioning the dependence on tasteless processed foods and are returning to real foods,” writes Catherine Walthers, “foods locally grown, encouraging cooking that reflects ingredients in season. Luckily, these are the trends and ingredients that make for the best soups.”  Just as she did with salads in Raising the Salad Bar, Walthers will pull you out of your soup slump with playful yet elegant recipes that will be just right for any meal or occasion. 

Diana Kuan