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The New York Times Bread and Soup Cookbook

By MaryAnn Miano

The New York Times Bread and Soup Cookbook is a soup and bread collection to inspire all cooks, both expert and novice. It sits among the lovely, extensive collection donated by Catherine Henning to the Colts Neck Library. The author, Yvonne Young Tarr, gives us 359 tempting soup recipes and 174 marvelous bread recipes from Europe, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Russia, the Balkans, the Orient, Mexico, the Caribbean, and right here at home in the USA, including Early American and Indian recipes.

Bread and soup are two of the most basic of culinary comfort foods. They are a simple and easy attempt at combining and cooking meat, vegetable, and grain. Bread and soup have always sustained and nourished us. The New York Times Bread and Soup Cookbook offers recipes with a gourmet touch. Consider a high crusty loaf of French bread rising while the aroma of a pot of soup, filled with savory Bouillabaisse’s steaming broth thick with mussels, clams, and bits of lobster, fill your home.

Soups and breads stand together as the mainstay of a meal.   Instead of opening a can of watery, salty, gobbledygook from the grocery store with boring white bread, you might try robust Borscht with Russian Black Bread or the delicate Scottish Cock-a-Leekie (chicken, leeks, prunes, and apricots) with Oatmeal Scones.   In this book, stretch your culinary prowess with hearty, flavorful Basque Vegetable Soup with Gougere, a rich French cheese pastry.

The book contains step-by-step directions on what you need to know for bread-baking, suggesting the tools necessary and explaining the importance of kneading.  Pictures spell out the way to form the loaves, and the chapter continues with the general how-to of bread baking.  Basic bread recipes are in abundance, and the author also provides the basics to many soup stocks.  She then goes on to chapters on Early American (including Pennsylvania Dutch) breads and soups, following through with a large swath of recipes from many other countries. There are chapters on soups served in restaurants, quick and easy soups, and even health and diet soups.

The possibility of soup and bread combination meals is as infinite as your imagination. Add salad, cheese, wine, and a dessert and your meal is complete.


1 small roasting chicken

2 ½ quarts chicken broth or water

8 white peppercorns

1 ½ teaspoons salt

2 cloves

6 leeks

6 dried prunes

6 dried apricots

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

½ cup cooked rice (optional)

Place whole chicken, together with its giblets, in a large soup kettle. Add chicken broth, peppercorns, salt, and cloves. Cover and simmer until the chicken is tender (approximately 2 hours). Turn the chicken every 30 minutes to assure even cooking. Skim off excess fat. Remove chicken, peppercorns, and cloves from the soup. Wash leeks thoroughly and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add leeks, prunes, apricots (and rice, if using), and simmer for 20 minutes. Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes, and discard the skin and bones. Return chicken meat to the kettle. Garnish with parsley.

Recipe from The New York Times Bread and Soup Cookbook, page 257.  By Yvonne Young Tarr, Publisher: Quadrangle Books, Inc., 1972.


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