Have you ever looked at something and wondered how it is made?
I do, all the time. Ridged rigatoni, a ball of twine, a violin– they’ve all captured my curiosity.
Chocolate bark is nowhere as complex as a violin, but it is still interesting to think about all of the steps required to get from this:
I own over 30 cookbooks, yet I admit that I seldom crack them open — except for this one: “What’s Cooking: SOUPS” by Carole Clements.
It’s the variety of recipes that hooked me, along with some real standouts like the Molé Soup that follows below (note: Molé, not mole as in the furry animal — that’s in a different cookbook).
I generally do my own thing in the kitchen, but when you do that, you are limited by your own experience. In other words, even if you have a pretty wide repertoire of tastes and cuisines, it is unlikely that you will be able to whip up a Senegalese dish, while at the same time having a reference point for British-style dishes and Asian and Mediterranean AND North African.
The timing was perfect to receive this book as a gift: my friend Mike knew that I was preparing weekly soups for The Village Scoop here in Hillsdale, along with several private customers. I had wanted to go as many weeks as possible without repeating any soup, and it was starting to become a challenge.