Reinfeld, an award-winning author and chef, has written a new cookbook especially for vegan soup lovers. This is the fourth book in his
30-Minute Vegan series. The meals can be made within thirty minutes and served as a main course, a side dish, or a dessert.
The author’s style of cooking, Vegan Fusion, means the reader will discover dishes from different culinary traditions around the world. He encourages the use of local organic ingredients when possible (and includes a seasonal growing chart in the book). The book begins with recipes for soup stock (vegetable, mushroom, Dashi, Tamari) and segues into vegetable soups, soups with grains and legumes, creamy soups, and raw soups. Part six is about garnishes and sides. Soups that can be enjoyed in the winter (heavier soups) appear after the lighter soups (soups for the summer).
Reinfeld lists 41 specialty ingredients that appear in his recipes, but he says “Please do not be intimidated if you cannot stock up on all of them as there is usually a way to substitute with what you do have on hand.” Throughout the book, Chef’s Tips and Tricks are included in sidebars beside or after the recipe. I was pleased to see there were some recipes I could make with basic, easy to find ingredients, but many recipes included lengthy lists of ingredients. To make these recipes in under thirty minutes, the cook will have to have the stocks pre-made and the vegetables pre-chopped. Each recipe ends with suggestions for variations.
There is a conversion chart in the back of the book as well as an appendix of preparation basics (i.e. toasting spices, nuts and seeds), a natural sweeteners chart, and information about vegan lifestyles. There is an extensive bibliography (books and websites) for those readers looking for additional vegan resources. Unfortunately, this book only has eight color photographs of the recipes, and they are located in the middle of the book. This does keep the price at around twenty dollars, but photographs are what make a cookbook appealing, especially in this case where a picture would really show off the beauty of a recipe like Spicy Strawberry Soup or Bavarian Asparagus Soup with Hazelnuts.