I hate spending time reading about the plot of a book on review sites - just tell me, Did you like it or not?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Soup Night on Stanton Street

Soup Night on Stanton Street: 99 Recipes for Finding Community in a Bowl of Soup

288 pages

Expected publication: Oct. 22, 2013 by Storey Publishing 

As a rule, I am not a gushy person, but I am going to gush about this cookbook/giver-of-hope to society.
If you don’t know your neighbors and don’t care to, please don’t read this book – you might just grow a heart and start to feel neighborly. If you like your neighbors and/or want to get to know them better, this is the perfect facilitator.
Humans live in groups for a reason – to help each other, to fill that basic need for human interaction. Only recently have people become hermits – glued to their computers and gaming systems. No human contact needed.
Is this healthy? No.
Soup Night on Stanton Street provides a recipe to counteract this isolationism. Before I picked this ARC up to review, I had no idea what Soup Night specifically was. It’s basically one night a month that a neighborhood gets together and bonds over delicious soups. What a simple idea, but it provides bounteous returns.
And it’s a neighborhood trend popping up around the nation. It gives one a sense of belonging, community and love. Soup Night, per se, is not an original idea, but it’s one that’s making a comeback. We do it in my church every 2nd Sunday. But we call it a Linger Longer, and it’s a pure potluck. We don’t specify soup only. We get to visit and chat with each other and build stronger ties. Because of this monthly get-together, we are quite a close congregation – no one feels alone.
I’m not going to go into all the great positive things that come from Soup Night (there are too many to list here!) – buy the beautifully designed book and read about them. It’s totally worth it.  Be aware, you’re going to get a bit of positive social history along with your cookbook. Happily, the writing is great, so it’s actually fun to read others’ stories. They flesh out the book and give depth to the recipes.
Speaking of the recipes – which come from Soup Night groups all over the country – they look delectable and totally doable, for novice to expert. Besides a wonderful seasonal collection of soups, bisques, chowders, etc., there are breads, desserts, cookies, salads, garnishes, and a slew of other soup “accompaniments.”
And for the beginning cook, the book also explains different cooking techniques – like how to make a roux, for example.
Feel inspired? Step-by-step directions in Chapter 6 tell you exactly how to start your own community Soup Night, complete with checklists and advice from organizers from across the country.
This cookbook not only gives my stomach cause to rejoice, but it also gives me hope in people. Soup Night will nurture your body and soul. 
Thank you NetGalley and Storey Publishing for allowing me to review this ARC.

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