WHO MAKES AND EATS A SOUP, THE SAME SOUP, DAILY, FOR LUNCH, HUNDREDS OF TIMES?
REID BRANSON, OF SEATTLE, THAT’S WHO.
THIS IS QUITE A STORY… AND MY PAN PAL AND FELLOW BEAN AFICIONADO, WASHINGTON POST FOOD EDITOR JOE YONAN FOUND IT AS IRRESISTIBLE AS I DID (EXPECT A POST FROM ME ABOUT HIS NEW BOOK, COOL BEANS, IN THE NEXT MONTH OR TWO).
HERE’S THE BACKSTORY. AND, WELCOME, NEW POST-WASHPO SUBSCRIBERS TO THIS SITE!
The subject line: “Lentil soup.”
The sender: Reid Branson. Someone unknown to me.
The receipt of emails from unknown senders with such subject lines are not atypical for cookbook writers in the era of Googleability. When I see one, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a compliment (“I love your Cuban Black Bean Soup!” ), a complaint (“The banana bread came out soggy.”), or a question (“Can the Potato Gratin be frozen?”)
But this email was none of those things.
“… it occurred to me that you might enjoy hearing my story: I came across your Greek Lentil and Spinach soup with Lemon recipe in the DAIRY HOLLOW HOUSE SOUP & BREAD COOKBOOK while casting about for something tasty and nutritious to take to work.
“I tried it out and liked it so much that I have been eating almost nothing else for lunch at work…for 15 years. ”
“Yep, every two weeks I cook up a batch (just did it today, in fact) and seal it in nice little glass jars and transport it to work, where it keeps me well fed and satisfied day in and day out.
“This has been true for around 800 weeks in a row. (Of course, there have been exceptions–illness, vacations, that sort of thing, but not many).
‘My co-workers think I am insane to eat the same thing every day and you might, too, but I wanted you to know how very satisfying I find this rich, fragrant soup.
“I plan to retire in a little under two years and will probably retire the soup, too. We have both had a great run, but as with all good things, the point is reached where enough is enough. However, I still have (if my calculations are correct) about 42 batches to go.
“Thanks so much for your lovely cookbook and other writings.”
I was amazed! I whooped aloud.
After I stopped whooping, based on Reid’s calculations, I made some of my own. If mine were correct, he had already made 316 or so batches! I could hardly wrap my mind around this.
I knew immediately that such an email called for six things:
1.Write Reid Branson back and tell him I had enjoyed his email at least as much as he had enjoyed the soup, though not for as long.
2. Find the recipe in question.
3. Make it again (could it really be that good?)
4. Who was Reid? Who makes and eats a recipe hundreds of times, and is kind enough to tell that recipe’s author?
5. Ask him if I might use the anecdote he’d told me, with his actual name and details, in a blog post. And finally…
6. Write said blog post, including the recipe, and share it with you.
What you are now reading is number 6 on the list above. But first, the previous numbers.
#1 and 5: WRITING REID BRANSON AND ASKING HIM IF…
You can have no idea how delighted I was by your email: it made the day I received it, and several days on either side of that day. I was amused, proud, not a little astonished, and altogether tickled. I am glad to have been eating lunch with you all these years, without even knowing it.
I am so tickled, in fact, I’d love to do a blog post about you and the soup. May I have your permission to use the note you sent me? If you prefer to stay low profile, I need not use your name, but I’d be thrilled if you wanted to participate a little further.
Would you be willing to tell me about what you do and where you work? What day every two weeks you make the soup? What is it about the soup you like so much? If you have rung any changes on it or you still enjoy it as is? And if you wanted to take a picture or two of yourself, or have a spouse or friend take them, and you wouldn’t be shy about my using them, I’d be so pleased.
But whether or not you permit me to share this marvelous story — surely beyond what any cookbook author could possibly dream! — please know you delighted me. I wish you nourishment, joy, and a happy retirement in 42 batches.
#2: FIND THE LENTIL SOUP RECIPE IN QUESTION
I got out my own splotched, kitchen-beaten copy of DAIRY HOLLOW HOUSE SOUP & BREAD. This is a book published back in, get this, 1992. It has sold nearly 500,000 copies.
And right there on page 208 was the Greek Lentil and Spinach Soup with Lemon recipe.
I looked over what I had written, an unbelievable twenty-freaking-seven years earlier. I’d said, “After years of making lentil soups of every description, I’ve finally settled on this as my number one choice.It’s brightly sparked with plenty of lemon and the spicy crunch of coriander and cumin seeds. The greens, prevalent in Mediterranean bean soups of all kinds, add both healthfulness and flavor. ”
I thought. “Oh, yeah, now I remember.”
I thought, “Yeah, that was really good.”
#3: MAKE THE LENTIL SOUP AGAIN
The Monday following the Saturday I had received Reid’s email, I did just this: made the Greek Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lemon. Goodness, it was good!
Lentil soup. Some adore it.
Take memoirist Bonnie Friedman: “… lentil soup was simmering on the wood stove, and there was buttery cornbread and a green salad with tahini dressing, and red wine… We scarfed up great hunks of bread, and plate after plate of soup, and evening shrank the room into a little glowing bowl… I knew that I was one of the privileged of the earth.”
But then, there’s the cheerfully foul-mouthed anonymous duo behind the Thug Kitchen series, Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis. “We know lentil soup is good for you, but most of it tastes like sweaty sock water. ”
I, of course, am in the former camp.
I blew on a spoonful of my own Greek Lentil and Spinach Soup, then tasted it, straight from the pot I had made after receiving Reid’s email.
Wow. It was truly fine. How, I wondered, could I have ever forgotten this one?
Yet, was it truly worthy of the extreme loyalty and devotion Reid had shown it?
I tried it on my current and congenial writing group the next night, and find out.
About this group: Twice a year I teach a 10-week, one-evening-a-week writing group, limited to twelve people, in my home. About half attend in person, the other over the Internet, via Zoom.
Occasionally I’ll have a pot of soup simmering on the stove for anyone in the group who happens to arrive hungry to dip into (I find writing, like many things, goes better when one is nourished and soothed by soup, and the class starts, after all, at 6:30 and runs through 8:30 — dinner-time. You can take the girl out of the restaurant, but you can’t take the restaurant out of the girl. I’d feel funny if there wasn’t something to eat, just in case).
That Tuesday, writing class night, I reheated the Greek Lentil and Spinach Soup with Lemon, and put a little bowl of skinny lemon wedges set out beside the pot, along with the soup-cups and spoons. I said to everyone who was present physically, bossily, “Be sure and squeeze a piece of lemon over it.”
I noticed one student, the irreverent and feisty Ms. So-Blue-in-a-Red-State Kay, wasn’t doing this. “Kay!” I said. “You have to try it with the lemon! The lemon really makes it!”
Kay put down her spoon and looked at me with uncharacteristic solemnity — this is after all a woman who has written hilariously about her young son being bitten by an insect in a tender place, as well as the leadership skills and charm of some ugly and unruly muscovy ducks.
“Crescent,” she said, “Even without the lemon, this is the best lentil soup I have ever eaten.” Then took her piece of lemon and squoze it in.
“You’re right,” she said, after her first post-lemon bite. “I didn’t think it could be, but that makes it even even better.”
She was not the only one in the group to say, “Oooh, will you send us the recipe?” Meanwhile, the Zoom-attendees moaned, jealously.
Yes, but… fifteen years, Reid? (Note: I wrote this two years before Joe did. It’s now seventeen years).
# 4: FIND OUT WHO REID IS AND…
Hello, CD! Your email has, in turn, entirely delighted me. I have loved your cookbook for years, not only the recipes, but the anecdotes and asides which make it all the more enjoyable…
I would be honored if you would like to include my email in a blog post… being identified by name (is) fine with me.
I am 62, live in Seattle, and have been working as a Registered Nurse for 28 years. The past 18 of those years my job has been in an HIV clinic in the public hospital here, Harborview Medical Center. It is rewarding and exhausting work. For five years now I have been the nursing manager of the clinic and supervise 14 nurses and Medical Assistants.
As I mentioned, I am 18 months from retirement; I will have 30 years of service.
Yes, I pretty much always make the soup on Saturdays, usually in the morning so it has time to cool before I put it into jars. Many people assume, as you did, that I freeze the soup, but I find that makes the squash in particular rather mealy.
The soup seems to keep just fine in the refrigerator for that long. I know the Health Department would not approve, but as I use a vegetable-based broth and there are therefore no meat products in it at all, I don’t worry about it too much. And, if challenged, I have the ultimate defense: I mean…15 years, right?
My wife has offered to take pictures of me. I will send those along when she has, and will also try for a picture of me at work consuming it. Note from Crescent: Thank you, Reid’s wife!
I once again thank you for your kind reply. It is not often we get a chance to connect with a person we have admired and followed for so long. I look forward to seeing the blog post and continuing to enjoy your work. Be well,
6. SHARE THE RECIPE WITH YOU
Why on earth had this simple marvel of a potage fallen out of my personal rotation, I wondered?
I made it a lot when I first happened on to it. If memory serves, its starting place was a lemony lentil soup with a boatload of olive oil, a recipe from a 1940’s spiral-bound Greek Orthodox Church community cookbook. I believe I zapped the original with chile and whole coriander seeds, cut the olive oil way the heck back, rewrote it so you could follow it even if you didn’t have a Greek grandmother in the kitchen with you, and added the butternut squash and potatoes — all while keeping the essentials: lentils, lemon, greens.
This is how recipes get “developed”, a word that usually seems a little hi-falutin to me, considering the way it typically goes, at least for me, at least where soup, the most malleable of dishes, is concerned.
But this one was so good! How had I come to have stopped making it?
But see, that’s how it goes. When you are a cookbook writer, at least the kind I am, you are almost always coming up with new things. Not entirely because you have to, but because you can’t help it. Whether it’s bumpy, warty, bitter-melon at the Farmer’s Market, brought by the Hmong growers who are now locals in Fayetteville, Arkansas, or an old weatherbeaten 1940’s Greek community cookbook, the vast world is always inviting you to eat. To cook. And, in a funny way, the world invites you — the cookbook writer — to invite others to the table.
And this is a marvelous thing. But it means you’re always doing something new.
So sometimes recipes you really, really like get set aside or fall away. Because there you are, seduced by the next ingredient or story or flavor. As much as I liked this lentil soup, and determined as I am to not let so much time go by until I make it again, I still can’t quite imagine having it for lunch over and over again for fifteen years.
But I’m glad Reid can, and did. And I’m honored. I am glad my soup invited Reid. And I’m glad he brought it back to me.
And, P.S. I am thrilled that Joe and the Washington Post brought it to so many more people. These are crazy, anxious times… but I am filled with thanks.
Greek Lentil and Spinach Soup with Lemon
serves 4 to 6 as an entree (with a big salad and good crusty sourdough whole-grain bread)
This is as good now as it is was then: brightly flavorful, easy, and, in addition to all its other virtues, vegan, gluten-free, and low-fat. I think the crunch of the coriander seeds just makes it, along with, of course, the clean zing of lemon.
While this is excellent with just plain-old co-op brown lentils, you might try it occasionally with some heirlooms. If you do not yet know Rancho Gordo, consider going over the top with one of the two lentil varieties they carry, black caviar or french-style green lentils. You might think, a lentil is a lentil, a bean is a bean, but that is because you probably haven’t tasted really fresh dried beans.
This sounds like a contradiction but is not. Each package of Rancho Gordo’s legumes are dated, so they are always uber-fresh, which means they cook up into astonishing melting creaminess (supermarket beans can be several years old, and if you happen to get a geriatric package of them, you’ll discover they never, ever soften to this blissful state).
Dated beans are the brain-child of the visionary Steve Sando, one of my favorite fellow legumaniacs. He’s made his lifework keeping many delectable heirloom bean varieties viable, meaning economically sound for those who grow them. Such a mission requires a perspective encompassing fair-trade economics, cooks’ aesthetics, and a grpunding in environmentalism; Steve has all three, plus enthusiasm. As lagniappe at the end of the recipe, I’ve posted a link to a non-soup lentil recipe from Steve.
There’s additional lagniappe, too: Reid’s comments on how he has changed the soup over the years (just a little), plus a menu suggestion, from me. This menu appeared in the headnote with the original recipe.
This kind of blows my mind: I described serving that dinner to friends (unspecified, but I can guess who was probably there) e on a “drizzly Ozark January night” took place almost 30 years ago… and it still sounds very good to me.
spray cooking oil
1 pound lentils, rinsed and picked over*
2 1/2 quarts vegetable stock or water
1 whole dried poblano pepper, hard stem broken off, or 1 fresh jalapeno, stem removed, halved
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon EACH dried basil and oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, or 1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, well-washed, stems removed, chopped
1 small to medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (you want to end up with about 2 1/2 cups diced squash)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, with leaves, sliced
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
paper-thin slices of lemon to garnish; thin wedges of lemon to pass at the table
- Spray a large, heavy, non-reactive soup pot with oil, and in it combine lentils, stock or water, chile, and aromatics. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, about 30 minutes.
- Lift lid. Add potatoes, spinach, and butternut squash, re-cover and let cook another 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.Add onion, and saute, stirring, until it starts to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the celery and garlic, sauteeing another 3 minutes, stirring often. Add this to the soup, deglazing the skillet with a little soup liquid and adding the deglaze contents back to the soup pot. Add salt and pepper; taste for seasoning.
- Just before serving, add the lemon juice and stir well. Serve hot, with a lemon slice floating atop each bowl. Pass lemon wedges at the table, so any who wish can make their portion even more lemony.
“A few years ago, when I heard of the health benefits of turmeric, I began adding a teaspoonful per batch; it adds an interesting flavor without being overwhelming and I get the benefits as well. Let’s see…what else? I once couldn’t get poblano chilis and tried chile de arbol, which I quite liked and have used ever since. I also use three of the chilis instead of one: I like it with zing. Wow, now that I look, I have left the rest of the recipe intact! Why mess with a good thing? I do prefer a red onion. I sometimes use greens (kale, chard) to substitute for part of the spinach, though I never substitute entirely. What would Greek Lentil Soup with Spinach & Lemon be without spinach?!”
Some lentil lagniappe from Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo:
Here is the link to Steve’s lentil recipe, which he describes as “a recipe you won’t want to miss”: Lentils Folded into Yogurt, Spinach, and Basil; the recipe is, in turn, from his friend Peter Miller’s book Five Ways to Cook Asparagus (And Other Recipes), (Abrams, 2018).
Steve Sando’s work with near-extinct heirloom beans and those who farm them, his cook’s understanding of the essentials of using new-crop beans for full bean-goodness, and his natural and inspiring enthusiasm in getting other cooks to embrace such beans: remarkable. And, as I was beginning this post, coincidentally my Rancho Gordo e-newsletter arrived, and there was that luscious lentil recipe, as well as this from him:
“Why Are Lentils So Wonderful? After years of indifference” (to lentils, now…), “lentils are part of my kitchen repertoire. Beans aren’t going anywhere and in fact, they’re a very different sensation. But I am smitten with how quickly lentils cook and their distinct flavor. Our black caviar and French-style lentils both are very small, which normally would mean the skin-to-flesh ratio would be off, but with these, the skin seems to melt in your mouth.”
And by the way, though for legal reasons you’ll see below each post this boilerplate,”Links may contain affiliate ads which pay the Dragon a small percentage for products ordered, all opinions are her own,” rest assured that the only percentage I am getting in promoting Steve’s glorious beans is joy in sharing a product and a company I love, love, love with you.
On March 8, 2020, The Washington Post ran a story updating the tale of Reid and the ever-loving Greek Lentil Soup. Here it is!
Nancy travers says
Confused re: ranch gordo recipe – are these pre-cooked lentils?
Crescent Dragonwagon says
Hi, Nancy — yes, in the Rancho Gordo recipe, they are pre-cooked lentils. This is stated in the ingredient list “1 cup cooked Rancho Gordo Black Caviar Lentils or Rancho Gordo French-style Lentils”.
This is a wonderful story! I’m going to get my copy of your book out right now and make that soup!
Brenda seabrooke says
I loooove lentil soup and lemons too. Can’t wait to try this recipe
Crescent Dragonwagon says
Let me know what you think, dear Brenda!
A favorite cookbook! I use it often. Now I am craving this soup. Thanks for sharing this great story and these wonderful recipes with us!
I love every recipe I’ve made from this cookbook—it’s a go-to in one house and has been for over 25 years since someone gave it to us as a wedding gift. And since then I’ve given a copy to friends when they’ve married. When a cookbook‘s pages have some spill stains (and the book just falls open naturally to one particular spot), you know it’s beloved! It reminds me of all the good meals my family has enjoyed from it over the years. Now I’m going to make some lentil soup!
Crescent Dragonwagon says
Thank you so much, Kendall. I so appreciate being part of your family’s table. I adore it when I get brought an old spill-stained copy to sign.
One day I hope to get you to autograph it for me—maybe when you are touring the Mississippi Delta.
Linda L Parnell says
I will have to do this with my butternut squash!!! Thanks for the timely post. This is an awesome read!
Crescent Dragonwagon says
When you’re not giving ’em to me, you generous thing you!
Catherine Stock says
Ok, I couldn’t wait to try this even though I had to improvise with what I could find in the pantry: sweet potato and carrots replaced butternut squash, my spices were ground, had to add dal (yellow split peas) as I didn’t have enough lentils, and only had dinner spinach. But the result was pretty yummy nonetheless. Thanks Crescent and Reid.
Crescent Dragonwagon says
You are so welcome. With the last name “Stock” one would think you’d have inherent soup mojo!
Daniel Bush says
I made the Greek Lentil Soup yesterday and it was outstanding! I followed the recipe as written with one exception: I used a couple of sweet potatoes rather than the squash. Next time (and there will be lots of next times, though probably not as many as Reid’s) I’ll give the whole spices a quick crush with a mortar and pestle.
Daniel Bush says
Hm, I wonder how this thing found my picture…
Talya Tate Boerner says
How delightful, Crescent! What a gem of a story and recipe, too.
Sabina Terre Miller says
Rediscovered your wonderful “Soup & Bread” book in order to try out the recently mentioned recipe for Greek Lentil and Spinach soup for dinner tonight. I decided to use a beef stock as the base and it was delish! Can’t wait to try out more recipes this winter.
Cammie Toloui says
Wow! Crescent I have a story about this soup too, only I had forgotten that it came from you. I was living in Oregon, making plans to travel to England to do some street photography. I asked everyone I knew if there was a couch for me to stay on or somewhere I could stay and an acquaintance said her ex-husband needed a house sitter. So he and I started emailing about dates and such, but also started talking a bit about ourselves. After a while we were writing every day and started sharing favorite recipes. I shared this very recipe with him and he sent me his ginger cookie recipe. So when I got to England, we met up for a wander around London and basically I never left. When we got married, I made a huge pot of this soup and we worked the eating of it plus his cookies into our wedding ceremony. I even printed the recipe out on little cards for people to take home. THAT’S how delicious and precious this soup is. Thanks, Crescent, for a lifetime of great recipes.
What a wonderful story! I just bought two of your cookbooks and look forward to making this delicious sounding soup, and many others.
Just want to thank you for the delightful story and recipe! I made the soup today and it’s the best lentil soup I’ve ever made… far more than the sum of its humble parts. I ground the whole spices and used homemade chicken stock because I had it on hand, but vegetable stock will happen next time. And there will be a next time. Thanks again for the nourishment of your recipes and your rich and inspiring writing.
Wow! I’m a Greek Catholic, seeking more recipes for lent. How perfect to stumble upon this!
Crescent Dragonwagon says
So delighted you found your way here. Lentils for lent!
I saw the article headline but while I was working and didn’t think much more about it. Not surprised to learn it was one of your recipes from that book. My sister bought it way back when it came out and then bought my mom and I a copy each. My mother cooked out of it for years before her death and my sister and I still cook from it regularly. The corn chowder (with and without chicken) is a family staple and a highlight during our wonderfully long fresh corn season. I can’t say we’ve made it as often as Reid has made the lentil soup though.
Crescent Dragonwagon says
NO ONE has made it as often as Reid, bless him! Listen, I am so happy that you and your sister love and use DHHS&B — and that your late mother did, too. I am trying very hard to get it reissued. Cross your fingers for me!
That would be wonderful. Hopefully Reid’s story gives your efforts a boost.
This sounds wonderful, and I loved the story. Can’t wait to try it. It is going on next week’s menu! Thanks so much for sharing.
Crescent Dragonwagon says
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, Mary. Although maybe not quite so much as Reid does!
Stumbled across the story of the 17 year straight soup just yesterday and it piqued my interest instantly, so naturally I had to make it the day after, and it’s fantastic, I was a little hesitant about the whole coriander seeds but am in complete agreement that they are a must, a very easy, inexpensive recipe with a ton of flavor, and vegan to boot, I’m thrilled to have found it. Now I’m officially on the hunt for the very elusive book to try more of these tremendous recipes. Thanks for this!
Loved reading about this. How much fun for you to know your soup is so well loved. I recently did a segment on the health benefit of lentils, along with several recipe ideas, for a local TV show. Wish I had know n of your soup then. As a result, I have an ABUNDANCE of lentils of several varieties—will certainly be making the soup this week:)
Some time ago, I gave away my copy of your vegetarian cookbook (the yellow one) to a young lady who was in the process of building her take out vegetarian lunch business A recovering addict, she was successfully turning her life around but was operating on a real shoestring. While I don’t regret gifting her with the cookbook, I do miss my copy. Guess it’s time to purchase a new one!
Have you considered using a recipe app for your blog? I’ve used 2 different ones, currently Zip Recipes. It just makes it easier for your readers. FYI
Your mom was one of my favorite children’s book authors–used her in several college classes. I’m retired now, but I have introduced her to my grands.
Currently reading, Gene Everywhere by our sweet friend, Talya Boerner. Love her! And I’m loving the book:)
Have a beautiful, delicious day.
Crescent Dragonwagon says
Thank you so much, Debbie. Wow, we are connected in so many ways! Delighted you are rich in lentils and will be interested to learn how you like this one, and glad you miss PASSIONATE VEGETARIAN. A similar thing happened with some friends who generously gave away their copy to a young couple who needed it… then found out they missed it and rebought. (I am not complaining).
On a recipe app, good to know. Will discuss with Sweetie, who does the tech side of things. It would be great organizationally, I think — need to investigate more to see if it feels compatible with the way I write recipes.
It is amazing to me that you know BOTH Charlotte’s work AND that we are mutual friends with Talya. Gene, Everywhere is on my list — I read a little of it in early draft and am so looking forward to it.
Usually people know of me in one or two realms, not quite so many. I think you have hit most of the big ones!
I failed to mention that We have been to Dairy Hollow House—years ago! ? We need to pull Talya to ES and enjoy lunch together☘️
I saw the article in the Washington Post about the nurse who ate this soup every workday for 17 years and he was a vegetarian who needed meals with enough protein.
My other half had been a vegetarian for over ten years and currently goes back and forth, stressing the need for protein.
I made this soup three days ago (tweaking it a little), adding more of what we like and cutting the salt in half.
I served it and held my breath as I am “Mikey” who eats everything and he is Mr. Fussy-Eater.
We have had this for dinner for three straight nights, and when asked What does he want for dinner he just exclaims “That soup. I want that soup – It is sooo good!”
One question though, what is the nutritional breakdown, calories, protein etc.
Thanks for a dish that is going to receive a heavy rotation.
Crescent Dragonwagon says
I am so thrilled! Thank you for letting me know, Pamela.
I am so sorry, I do not have one of the nutrition programs that runs data (though I certainly always read the data on stuff I purchase, so maybe that is hypocritical). But… I come at food more sensually than prescriptively. I have general inclinations towards healthy and nutritious, but gave never run the numbers. I periodically consider it, and your comment will make me consider it again.
Janet Hartman says
I bought a copy of your soup and bread cookbook in a Southwest Harbor bookshop in 1993 shortly before sailing home to New Jersey on my newly purchased sailboat. Simple warm meals would be essential in the still nippy spring weather.
The book remained on board that boat and the larger onc that served as my home for 6 years. It now sits on a shelf in my home in North Carolina. I’ve made your Wintery Chicken and Pasta Soup, Pumpkin and Tomato Bisque, and Cuban Black Bean Soup more times than I can count. Your book also taught me the secret of adding caraway seed to pea soup.
I’ve never made your Greek Lentil and Spinach Soup. It’s only recently that I discovered that, although I dreaded lentils as a child, I have now acquired a taste for them after trying a beef and lentil stew. I just pulled your book off the shelf to check page 208 to see what I need to make yet another of your wonderful soups.
I’ve also used some of your bread recipes. Thank you for many wonderful meals I have an will continue to enjoy!
Crescent Dragonwagon says
Oooooh, Janet! I am so tickled to know that SOUP & BREAD has sailed the sea with you! And so glad you the caraway trick spoke to you, to say nothing of the others… Hey, I’m happy to announce that the book is being reissued at the end of 2021 — a 30th anniversary edition! I’ll do an official announcement here, too. There’s a new introduction, and a section with a few chapter-by-chapter updates.
I am so pleased you took the time to tell me how much this book has meant to you, too.
Kelly Benise says
I love this story! I just bought your Soup & Bread cookbook. It arrived today and I’m so excited. Being a vegetarian myself, I weirdly can’t help but wonder what does Reid eat when he gets home for supper? What does he eat for breakfast? This story is just so cute, I can’t help wanting to know more. Maybe it could be turned into a children’s book with a farm to table theme?