I really love soup, and mine always comes out pretty badly - once in a while I get a good one, but generally pretty disappointing.

Can anyone recommend a good book for making soup? Not necessarily a "list of recipes" type of book, more of an "understanding soup" type of book, if that makes any sense to you?

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    I don't know that such a book exists; soup, as a class, is more pragmatic than philosophical. Will be interested to see the answers you get.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jul 31, 2012 at 5:22
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    This question should be asked in the Chat, not on the main site, as it's a polling question. Jul 31, 2012 at 16:18
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    @BaffledCook questions about books, while not exactly liked, are tolerated, if the OP can specify their criteria closely enough, and there is not a large list of literature which fits them. For now, I don't see a tendency of this question turning into a list, probably because there don't seem to be many such books.
    – rumtscho
    Jul 31, 2012 at 21:23

2 Answers 2


If you check out the "Seasoned Advice Blog", @Yossarian has posted the first two parts of a three part series entitled "Three Books for Every Kitchen". In part-one he describes The New Best Recipe from Cooks Illustrated. I will direct your attention to Chapter 2: Soups. Not only will you find a rich collection of recipes, but invaluable advise on every aspect of soup making.

Part two of the series, "Ratio", also contains several lessons that will improve your soup making skills.

Not only will these two books help you with "Soups" they will enrich your overall kitchen life, in every aspect of cooking.

(note: at this point, part 3 is still pending, but I will bet it will be a winner as well)

  • The third post of the series is scheduled to appear tomorrow (we moved to an every-wednesday schedule). It doesn't have techniques advice, but it is certainly a book worth reading.
    – rumtscho
    Jul 31, 2012 at 15:55
  • @rumtscho, even if part 3 doesn't provide info related to OP's question, I'm sure it will be good. I've heard good things about "The Flavor Bible" but it hasn't made it to the top of my reading list yet.
    – Cos Callis
    Jul 31, 2012 at 17:29

This video might be useful, as it's quite generic: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/1040/making-soup

A tip sheet from Jamie Oliver: http://www.jamieshomecookingskills.com/pdfs/fact-sheets/Super%20soups.pdf

More soup tips: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2010/03/how-to-make-fabulous-soup-from-scratch-without-a-recipe.html

My own tips, some of which you can find above.

Stock is key. Make your own chicken stock whenever you have a carcass, and you will have a fantastic base for any fairly hefty soup.

Saute or roast non-leafy veggies such as celery, carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato and onion, to really bring out their sweetness and flavour.

Don't add salt until the end.

Invest in a really good blender.

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