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Weekend Cooking: 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker

April 7, 2013

50 Simple Soups

50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker, by Lynn Alley, is just what it sounds like – a compact little cookbook full of slow cooker soup recipes.  Alley starts off by explaining that she loves these recipes because they’re satisfying, simple to make, and easy on the planet and the pocketbook.  She shares ways to “bump up” the flavor of soups and gives tips on tools and minimizing work.

This cookbook is put together very nicely – the pages are approximately six and a half inches square and spiral bound so the book doesn’t take up too much room and will lie flat when open.  Only a dozen or so soups are pictured but those photos are very appealing.  I have to admit that this cookbook is really for families who are more gourmet than we are.  It includes recipes for soups like Avgolemono with Spinach and Dill, Garnet Yam Soup with Coconut Cream, and Hummus Soup with Kalamata Olives and Mint as well as some old faithfuls like French Onion Soup and Real Cream of Tomato Soup.  Most of the recipes are meatless but it would be simple to add if you prefer a heartier soup.  Recipes are easy to find because they’re alphabetized and there’s an index in the back.

I decided to try the recipe for Pasta e Fagioli.  A few of the ingredients weren’t available at my local grocery store, but I was able to find acceptable substitutes.  The directions were clear and the recipe was easy to follow but, unfortunately, we all thought the soup was very bland.  I’ll add some spices if I ever make this one again.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

Review copy provided by Andrews McMeel Publishing. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. sandynawrot permalink
    April 7, 2013 7:14 am

    Sounds a little too gourmet for my picky eaters as well, but boy does that tomato soup on the cover look good!

  2. April 7, 2013 7:49 am

    This is an awesome recommendation! Thanks! AndI’m so glad that it’s linked to IB – they’re my favorite!

  3. April 7, 2013 8:14 am

    That is so important about a cookbook being able to lie flat when open! I don’t get why so many don’t get that!!!!

  4. April 7, 2013 8:30 am

    I love soups! Pasta e Fagioli is a staple Italian soup that my mother made often ( I make it occasionally) but it was never bland.

  5. April 7, 2013 8:45 am

    I love spiral bound cookbooks. Big selling point for me. Too bad the soup you tried was bland.

  6. Beth F permalink
    April 7, 2013 8:49 am

    I like the spiral bound and we’re into gourmet flavors, but I’m sorry the one you tried was bland.

  7. April 7, 2013 9:09 am

    I love soup and I love using my crock pot…. anything that makes me feel more organized!

  8. April 7, 2013 10:06 am

    Soups and slow cookers… we love both! I’ve just requested this from my library.

  9. April 7, 2013 10:27 am

    I love making soup in my slow cooker but don’t think the gourmet soups are for me and my family. I do love when cookbooks are spiral bound. It’s much easier to cook when the cookbook lays flat and stays on the page you are using.

  10. April 7, 2013 11:01 am

    I have to agree with some of the others – spiral bound cookbooks may not be the prettiest, but they’re certainly easier to use! Too bad that the recipe was bland… I think soup is a tough one, as it’s a matter of personal preference about how you like to spice it (so many of my best recipes are ‘season to taste’). Thanks for sharing!

  11. April 7, 2013 11:02 am

    My husband loves to make soup (and he’s quite good at it). I’ll have to buy this for him!

  12. April 7, 2013 11:17 am

    The cookbook sounds great. Coincidentally, I just bought a slow cooker cookbook myself last week – and I rarely buy cookbooks. I am trying out some recipes this week and will post about it next week.

    We use a Pasta e Fagioli soup recipe that is my sons’ very favorite dinner! It’s stovetop, not crockpot but very easy and flavorful – I link to it and describe it in this post:


    Book By Book

  13. April 7, 2013 11:26 am

    I love to make soup.

  14. April 7, 2013 12:44 pm

    I am still searching for a tasty recipe for Pasta e Fagioli. I think the restaurants just dump whatever they had leftover to get that yummy flavor I can’t seem to match.

    • Lynn permalink
      April 7, 2013 1:44 pm

      But here’s the trick, Leslie….that’s exactly what Pasta e Fagioli is supposed to be…a place for the thrifty Italian housewife to use whatever is on hand…without wasting a thing!

  15. redladysreadingroom permalink
    April 7, 2013 12:53 pm

    I like the spiral bound cookbooks and pictures to go along with the recipes This does sound a bit too gourmet for my family as well.

  16. April 7, 2013 1:37 pm

    Those sound like some unique soup recipes, I like that.

  17. Lynn permalink
    April 7, 2013 1:43 pm

    Hi, Kathy.

    If you had added a tablespoon of salt (or more) to the soup, I think you would have had a completely different experience of the recipe. All of my recipes say “add salt to taste” rather than giving people specific amounts…this is mainly because I’d like people to add what works best for them.

    I am finding out, however, that most readers skip the introductory materials where I talk about the importance of salt (and what it does for our food and our sense of taste); and that most readers are simply not comfortable with being left to their own devices when it comes to salt. It’s not a bland recipe at all, Kathy. But it does, like most soups and stews, need a good dose of salt to bring out its flavors! If you feel inspired to try it again, adding at least a full tablespoon of salt, I’d love to hear about your experience!

    Thanks for the shout-out! Someone sent me your delightful blog post and I couldn’t resist responding, since you are not the first person who’s had this experience! Next book? I specify a given amount of salt!

    Lynn Alley

  18. April 7, 2013 2:58 pm

    It’s still soup weather here in Mass., unfortunately! We were supposed to have spring weather today, but it’s only New England spring weather (cold and very windy).

  19. April 7, 2013 3:30 pm

    Thank you. I just added another book to my wishlist. I am always looking for good recipes that don’t take a lot of prep time and can’t be ruined because hubby gets out of work late. Can’t wait to try one, or two or more of these recipes!!!

  20. April 7, 2013 4:19 pm

    We’ve never been a soup lovin’ family, but lately for some reason we’ve been craving it. Our favorite is Broccoli & Cheddar soup. I love spiral bound cookbooks, but I don’t like what some call hoity toity recipes. I like ones with everyday ingredients.

  21. April 7, 2013 6:28 pm

    I make soup in my slow cooker all of the time. I will definitely check this book out. I love hummus….hummus soup….just not sure about that one!

  22. April 7, 2013 6:34 pm

    I’ve been looking for more meatless recipes so I’m going to give this cookbook a try. Thanks for highlighting it.

  23. April 7, 2013 6:36 pm

    You had me until “gourmet” and I’m trying to figure out what would be in Pasta e Fagioli that you couldn’t find at your grocery store! I do like a cookbook with pages that lie flat, though.

  24. April 7, 2013 7:00 pm

    I got all excited about crockpots and soups, plus the added bonus of being easy on the pocket-book, but then my heart fell when i read that it was a bit gourmet. I like simple yet tasty with ingredients i recognize!! 🙂

  25. April 7, 2013 7:33 pm

    It sounds like a fancy one. I do like cookbooks that lie flat open, it’s so much more convenient.

  26. April 7, 2013 9:25 pm

    Love soups, and I’m going to try to find this book so I can have the recipe for Garnet Yam Soup with Coconut Cream and Hummus Soup with Kalamata Olives and Mint. They both sound good to me.

  27. Patty permalink
    April 7, 2013 10:10 pm

    I actually have this book but I don’t think I have used it yet…hmmmm…

  28. bookingmama permalink
    April 8, 2013 2:32 pm

    I thought this cookbook was cute and had some unique recipes.

  29. April 8, 2013 11:30 pm

    Way too gourmet for my 2 guys! I do need to find some good soup recipes though. It’s the only way to sneak veggies into Gage’s diet.

  30. April 10, 2013 11:37 pm

    I’m looking forward to trying the Hummus soup. Since we eat hummus regualarly, it should be a hit. Thanks.

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