Clean Soups: Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health and Vitality by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson

What prompted me to review this particular book is my own personal love of soup, although my versions are much simpler than those of the author. Hers, with additional ingredients, add a dimension and richness that my feeble attempts lack.

Clean Soups: Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health and Vitality by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson is full of enticing photographs highlighting the various ingredients and finished products for the 60 detailed recipes. Using a comprehensive table of contents, Katz divides the cookbook up into five chapters: The soup tool kit, nourishing broths, blended soups, traditional healing soups, and soup toppers, as well as a resource guide and index.

In the introduction, Katz shares what compelled her to focus on these soup creations. She originally was inspired by her mother and grandmother and their flame enameled LeCreuset pot. Then there was her soup mentor Rich LaMarita of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts who promoted “using all your senses to navigate a soup to fruition”. He helped Katz refine her innate talents to become a “soup master”. Through her work she discovered that even seriously ill individuals who have difficulty eating can enjoy a little “liquid health”. The old adage promoting mom and her cup of chicken soup to make everything better has its roots all the way back to Hippocrates and the Greeks. While there are numerous commercially prepared so called healthy soups, the authors with this cookbook promote the idea of the home cook (meaning the reader) preparing their own “culinary alchemy in a pot”.

Katz starts with a list of staples used to transform one basic eight quart pot of broth into four distinct new broths as a basis for a multitude of soup recipes. Using the given template the reader can even improvise their own combinations. Perfect taste is achieved through the FASS method utilizing fat, acid, salt, and sweet from the pantry staples.

The recipes have step by step fool proof instructions many with photographs of the ingredients and/or finished products plus numerous handy tips. Basically, the author talks you through the whole process. You could call this taking the reader from
soup making 101 to graduate school transforming the magic mineral broth into culinary delights. The 160 pages are packed with an informative narrative along with the recipes which every home cook should have on their Cookbook Shelf.

A shout out to photographer Eva Kolenko and her crew for the stunning colorful illustrations.

Four stars and a thank you to Netgalley and Ten Speed Press for providing an ARC of this book. This review also appears on Goodreads.

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