Complete Book of Soups and Stews


From his travels around the world, culinary writer and expert Bernard Clayton, Jr., has put together an eclectic collection of more than 250 soup and stew recipes, adding to the clear instructions personal anecdotes and historical background. Now, in this beautiful updated hardcover edition, The Complete Book of Soups and Stews, Updated, he includes an array of favorites, as well as some delicious new additions and healthful preparation tips, that makes this a must-have in any ...

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From his travels around the world, culinary writer and expert Bernard Clayton, Jr., has put together an eclectic collection of more than 250 soup and stew recipes, adding to the clear instructions personal anecdotes and historical background. Now, in this beautiful updated hardcover edition, The Complete Book of Soups and Stews, Updated, he includes an array of favorites, as well as some delicious new additions and healthful preparation tips, that makes this a must-have in any kitchen for any season.

He covers a wide range of soups, from Asparagus and Crab to Peach Buttermilk, and American classics such as New England Clam Chowder, Burgoo, and U.S. Senate Bean Soup share the spotlight with such international gems as Japanese Shabu-Shabu, Nigerian Peanut Soup, and Scottish Cock-a-Leekie Soup. After a thorough discussion of the many kinds of stocks, from Brown Stock to Dashi, Clayton includes, for those of us who are time-pressed or just plain lazy, the pros and cons of homemade versus store-bought stock, along with tricks and tips to improve the latter.

Clayton's first book, The Complete Book of Breads, won the coveted Tastemaker cookbook award and was praised by Craig Claiborne as perhaps the best book on the subject in the English language. Of Clayton's The Complete Book of Pastry, which also received a Tastemaker award, Claiborne said: "One of the most important cookbooks of this year if not this decade."

With recipes that are well written and easy to follow, Clayton shows that soup making is neither time-consuming nor difficult, and in any case is well worth the effort.

The man Craig Clairborne calls "a genius in the kitchen" has compiled a collection of 300 soup and stew recipes from crab to shabu shabu.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"To my mind, Bernard Clayton is a genius in the kitchen. His book of soups and stews is a splendid and inspired addition to any serious home cook's library."

— Craig Claiborne

"His creative touches make the recipes special....There is much to admire."

— Marian Burros, The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743277150
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 10/3/2006
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 591,567
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Bernard Clayton Jr. began his career as a reporter and foreign correspondent; baking and cooking were his hobbies. He has been writing cookbooks for more than thirty years. When Mr. Clayton travels, he investigates historical and regional recipes, conversing with cooks and bakers around the world. He is the author of numerous cookbooks, including Bernard Clayton's Cooking Across America, The Complete Book of Pastry, and The Breads of France. He lives with his wife in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Equipment Important to Making Stocks, Soups and Stews

The batterie de cuisine of the most humble kitchen can produce the tools to make a soup. A knife...a pot...a stove. But to make the full range of stocks, soups and stews in this book calls for something more. These are suggestions for equipment to help — not absolutely necessary but definitely desirable.


It is always possible to substitute this pot for that one, or borrow one from a neighbor, but there is one tool that is essential to every kitchen — a sharp knife! One knife in particular — the French or cook's or chef's knife — is a necessity in the kitchen to transform stalks, roots and leaves into all the different shapes and sizes appropriate for soups and stews.

All knives cut but no knife cuts and chops as well as this. A French knife usually has a blade 8 to 10 inches long. Volumes have been written about this one knife, and a cook's apprentice learns early on to protect the blade with the same fierce devotion that a samurai shows for his sword. It is a cutting tool with a shape that has been honed and refined to near-perfection by generations of cooks; the French knife is to the cook what the chisel is to the sculptor — a hand instrument without which a professional or a serious amateur cook can hardly function.

The ability to use the French knife does not come overnight, however, but is acquired gradually with each onion chopped, each carrot diced, and each stalk of celery sliced.

Two kinds of steel are used in the French knife as well as other knives used in the kitchen — carbon and stainless. The carbon knives have been admired for years because they hold a keen cutting edge — but they are easily tarnished by acidic fruits and vegetables. Until recently most stainless steel blades were difficult to sharpen and they held their edges poorly. This changed in recent years with the introduction of new high-carbon stainless steel blades, especially those from Solingen, Germany. They now equal the best of carbon steel knives. I have only stainless knives in my kitchen now, and they area joy to use because they are rust- and stain-free.

The classic French knife has a triangular blade, the cutting edge turned to a gentle curve toward the tip. When selecting a French knife, make terrain the tang (the obverse end of the steel) is thick and runs the whole length of the handle and is visible on top and bottom. Wooden handles that have been impregnated with plastic can withstand frequent washings in hot water. Choose a handle that allows your fingers to grip firmly without the knuckles hitting the cutting board when dicing or slicing. Make sure that the knife you choose is comfortable for you.

The drawings illustrate the proper way to hold the knife. In the beginning it may seem easier to let the index finger rest on the top of the blade. Don't do it — it makes chopping difficult and tiring.

When guiding vegetables under the blade, do so with the knuckles of the other hand held curved against the blade to protect finger tips!

Also important to the care of a knife is a sharpening stone and a steel — a length of tapered rod to restore the edge of the knife each time before it is used.

Two other knives recommended for a kitchen in which a lot of soups are made area 4-inch paring knife and a 6'-inch utility knife.

Stock Pot

The stock pot is designed especially for its job — fall and narrow, so that the liquid bubbles up through the layers of meat, bones, vegetables and aromatics to create a rich flavorsome stock. At the same time, the narrowness Of the stock pot reduces evaporation and conserves the liquid.

A stock pot is great to have but good stock can be made almost as well in pots and kettles designed for other jobs.

If you are in the market for a stock pot, what size should you choose? Buy the largest you think you will need — and then double it. Stock pots for the home kitchen range in size from a small 4-quart pot upward to 20- and 22-quart vessels. Some of the larger ones are made with a spigot to drain oft the stock or consommé without disturbing materials floating on the top or resting on the bottom. But these pots with spigots are expensive and their use in the home kitchen probably does not warrant their cost.

I have a medium-weight black aluminum-alloy stock pot in which I made all of the stocks and consommés in the book, with a yield generally of about 6 to 8 quarts. This always gave me enough stock for the soup preparation at hand as well as a supply to freeze and use later.

If you are puzzled about the relationship of the pot size to the amount of the stock produced, keep in mind that much of the bulk is caused by the bones and vegetables that are discarded after they have given up their flavors. The stock itself is only part of the volume.

Saucepan and Sauce Pot

A saucepan is more than the small vessel in which to warm the baby's bottle. It and its larger companion, the sauce pot, are two of the most important utensils in the kitchen.

The saucepan, the smaller of the two, has a long handle with which it is moved around on the store or lifted oft. It may also have a loop handle on the other side to hold if the pan is especially heavy. The saucepan comes in a range of sizes from 2 cups to 15 quarks.

The sauce pot is identical in use but for larger quantities. It has two loop handles, rather than a long one, for lifting truly heavy loads. Sauce pots come in sizes ranging from 8 quarts to 15 gallons.

Both the saucepan and the sauce pot have tight-fitting lids.

The sauce pot is probably too large for most kitchen stoves, but it is worth considering if the guests are many and frequent.

To determine the size of the pot best for your kitchen, figure that a modest serving of soup and stew is about 1 1/2 cups per person. So, to make stew for a party of 8 would require a 4-quart pot at the very least. A 6- or 8-quart pot would give a comfortable margin.

In my kitchen I have 12- and 8-quart sauce pots with loop handles only. Next in line are the saucepans — 1 1/2, 2, 3, 4 1/2 and 6 quarks. The 4 1/2-, 6 1/2- and 12-quart models are used the most. The ones I like best are of black aluminum alloy with tinned iron handles to retard the passage of heat. Infrequently I use a copper sauce pot.

Casserole (metal)

A vessel of equal utility in the kitchen is the casserole that can be used both in the oven and on top of the stove. It is used for many dishes and comes in many sizes, shapes and materials. Some are cast iron; others are of stainless steel, aluminum, and on and on. Some are round, others are oval. Some have stubby handles while others have loop handles.

Double Boiler

The double boiler is an ideal vessel in which to cook cream soups and other mixtures at temperatures below boiling without the risk of scorching and curdling. The Pyrex glass double boiler holds only 1 1/4 quarts but allows you to see whether the water in the lower container is boiling or simmering.

Chinois or China Cap

A chinois is a metal strainer, conical in shape and size and reminiscent of the Oriental head covering of another era.

Its long, sturdy handle makes the chinois easy to hold or rest over a bowl as stocks or soups are poured through it. It comes in a range of hole and mesh sizes. Solids are pureed by pressing them through the holes with the specially designed wooden roller that usually comes with this utensil.

The chinois alone is usually sufficient to strain most stocks and soups. For a clearer liquid, cheesecloth is draped inside the chinois and the broth goes through both meshes.

An ordinary sieve is good for straining, but most have limited capacity, when stock is poured through to separate the liquid from the solids. With care, however, it can be used.

A colander, a less sophisticated piece of equipment, does a valuable job in the kitchen for washing and draining food. In a pinch, the colander can be lined with cheesecloth for more subtle straining, but it is not ideal.


While timing is not as critical in making soups and stews as it is in baking pastries or breads, it is important to go back to the stove at intervals to check progress. It is easy in making soup to go off and forget about the project because of the length of time some soups and stews are on the store. A timer will remind you that something is cooking.

My favorite is a round 60-minute timer on a cord that I wear around my heck whenever I leave the kitchen. It is made by Terraillon and sold in most gourmet cookware shops and by catalog.


Is it a simmer? Is it a hard boil? Which? To make this determination by sight comes with experience (pages 20-21) and a thermometer can be of great help in deciding which it is.

The Taylor Bi-Therm Pocket Dial Thermometer (0°F. to 220°F.) is an accurate instrument to check temperatures of liquids. It is held in the soup only momentarily and then withdrawn. It is especially helpful in determining the temperature of hot soup before it comes to a simmer.

Other Equipment

Other tools to be found in a well-equipped soup kitchen would include a food processor, a blender, food mills, slow cooker, mixer (with meat grinder), scales, ladles, wooden spoons and spatulas, slotted spoon. For the times when it is impossible to get the temperature lower without shutting oft the heat, a metal or asbestos heat diffuser placed under the pan is effective.

Perhaps a microwave oven has a place in soup-making but I am uncertain where. Of course it is excellent for thawing and heating soups and stews that have been frozen.

Copyright © 1984 by Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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Table of Contents




Equipment Important to Making Stocks, Soups and Stews

How to Prepare the Six Vegetables Most Important to Stocks, Soups and Stews

Stock: The Principal Ingredient

Homemade vs. Store-Bought

White Stock

Brown Stock

Chicken Stock

Fish Stock

Vegetable Stock

Dashi (Japanese)



A Three-Meat Stew

Greek Beef Stew

Super Bowl Sunday Stew

Steak Soup

Ragout of Oxtail

Cleat Oxtail Soup

Philadelphia Pepper Pot

Beef Stew with Sour Cream (Swedish)

Beef Stew in Red Wine, Burgundy Style


Chicken Velvet Soup

Chicken Liver Mousse Soup (Chinese)

Chicken Soup with Mushrooms

Chicken Broth (Japanese)

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Year 1783 Chicken Soup with Pasta

Chicken Soup with Stuffed Lettuce Pillows (Italian)

Delicious Chicken Noodle Soup

Smoky Chicken Soup

Avgolemono Soup (Greek)

Chicken Lemon Soup (Greek)

Clear Chicken Soup (Japanese)


Egg Drop Soup (Japanese)


Hernandez Chili con Came

Pedernales Paver Chili

"Mom" Unser's Chili

Minnie's Mild Chili

Cincinnati Chili


Fish Chowder

Bahamian Fish Chowder

Catfish Chowder

Southern Shrimp Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

Southern New England Clam Chowder

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Nora Bennett's Clam Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Nantucket Scallop Chowder

Lobster Chowder

Abalone Chowder

Curried Chicken Chowder

Chicken and Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

Parsnip Chowder


Stilton/Cheddar Cheese Soup

Brie Soup

Cold Roquefort Soup

Cream of Gouda/Edam Soup (Dutch)

Double Gloucester Cheese Soup (English)


Apple Soup Polonaise

Curried Pippin Soup

Bluenose (Blueberry) Soup

Chilled Cherry Soup

Chocolate Soup

Chilled Melon Soup

Champagne Melon Soup

True Melon Soup

Chilled Black Olive Soup

Chilled Teahouse Orange Soup

Peach Buttermilk Soup

Brandied Peach and Plum Soup

Red Raspberry Soup

Iced Fruit Soup (French)

Strawberry Wine Soup

Chilled Strawberry Soup


Barley Prosciutto Soup

Beet Soup (Finnish, Swedish)

Oatmeal Soup

Sizzling Rice Soup

Wild Rice Soup en Croûte

Rice Soup with Egg (Greek)

Barley Soup with Mushrooms and Chicken


Lamb Shank and Lima Bean Soup

Irish Stew

Scotch Broth

Lamb Soup with Egg and Lemon (Greek)

Lamb-Barley Soup

Greek Lamb Stew


Fish and Mussel Soup Normandie

Cioppino, a Seafood Stew

Clam Soup

Crab Soup

Billi Bi

Mussel and Shrimp Soup (French)

Fish Ball and Watercress Soup (Chinese)

French Oyster Soup

Stone Grabber Oyster Stew

Oyster Stew

Oyster Soup Hollandaise

Saimin (Hawaiian)

Shrimp Bisque

Turtle Soup au Sherry

Bouillabaisse Provençale


Cream of Artichoke Soup

Asparagus and Grab Soup (Vietnamese)

Avocado Soup Acapulco

Avocado Cream Soup (Mexican)

Cold Avocado Soup

Stuffed Bean Curd Soup (Chinese)

Bean Sprout Soup (Korean)

Austrian Green Bean Soup

White Bean Soup (French)

Seven Bean Soup

U.S. Senate Bean Soup

Shaker Bean Chowder

Bean and Pasta Soup (Italian)

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean and Shrimp Bisque

Feijoada (Brazilian)

Cold Green Bean Soup (Hungarian)

Sunday Soup (Cream of Bean)

Vinegar Bean Soup (German)

Borscht (Russian)

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Old-Fashioned Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup (Russian)

Old Country Cabbage and Pork Soup

Puree of Carrot Soup (French)

Cream of Carrot with Ginger (French)

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Cream of Celery Soup

Celery and Herb Soup

Cream of Cucumber (Spanish)

Indian Hominy Stew

Dandelion Soup (Italian)

Chick-Pea Soup (Spanish)

Spicy Garlic Soup (Spanish)

"Boiled Water" Soup (French)

Gazpacho Verde

Herb Soup

Leek and Potato Soup (English)

Cock-a-Leekie Soup (Scottish)

Lentil Soup

Chicken Lentil Soup (Sri Lanka)

My Texas Auntie's Lentil Soup

Cream of Lettuce Soup (German)

Miso Soup (Japanese)

Minestrone I

Minestrone II

Minestrone Peasant Style (Tuscany)

Le Alpi Minestrone

Minestrone (low sodium)

Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Cheese

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup (English)

Cream of Morel Soup

Chanterelle Mushroom Soup Under Puff Pastry (Swiss-French)

Onion Soup Les Halles (French)

Onion and Almond Soup (Spanish)

Green Onion and Forest Mushroom Soup

Harvest Cream of Onion Soup

Cream of Scallion Soup with Cheese

Scallion Soup with Noodles

Curried Parsnip Soup (English)

Peanut Soup (Nigeria)

Pea Soup with Mint (English)

Curried Green Pea Soup

Hannah Maria's Green Split Pea Soup

Green Split Pea Soup with Cheese (Italian)

Green Split Pea Soup with Wine

Cream of Split Pea Soup (Swiss)

Dhal and Vegetable Soup (Sri Lanka)

Red Pepper Soup

French Red Pepper Soup

Potato Soup (Irish)

Russian Potato Soup

Vichyssoise or Potage Parmentier

Potato and Leek Soup

Iced Cream of Pumpkin Soup

Curried Pumpkin Soup

Sour-and-Hot Soup (Chinese)

Squash Bisque, Country Style

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Spinach Soup (Norwegian)

Leek Panade (French)

Sorrel Soup (Israeli)

Tomato and Wild Rice Soup

Tomato-Dill Soup

Sweet and Spicy Tomato Soup

Iced Tomato and Basil Soup (Italian)

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup with Thyme

Tomato and Pine Nut Soup

Bacon and Tomato Soup

Turnip Stew (French)

White Turnip Soup (French)

Turnip Soup with Green Peas (French)

Vegetable Cheese Chowder with Beer

A Garden Vegetable Chowder

Mrs. London's Vegetable Soup

Doubly Rich Country Vegetable Soup

Watercress and Spring Onion Soup

Basil and Zucchini Soup

One Can Plus Five Soup

Famous Full-Meal Soups and Stews

Brunswick Stew



Seafood Gumbo

Two-Way Gumbo

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Goulash (Hungarian)

Garbure (French)

Seafood Jambalaya

Pot-au-Feu (French)

Shabu-Shabu (Japanese)

Two Breads

A Peasant Loaf

Rich Com Bread



Herbed Cheese Sauce


To Garnish

Spices, Herbs and Seasonings Important to Soups and Stews

Standard Weights and Measures



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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2000

    Soup rocks!!

    the best soup book I own. Not being a great cook, I have felt comfortable with every recipe. Easy yet complete. A good feed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2000

    The author IS a cook!

    I have been using this book for now almost 10 years and is truly the best soup book I know. Every recipe works, they are easy to follow and must have been tested over and over before adding them to the book. So many cookbooks are written by people that do not really spend time in the kitchen, this one is honest. Thank you Mr. Clayton.

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