Tremendously informative and stubbornly opinionated, master chef Peterson updates his classic soup tome by stirring new recipes and more international ingredients into the pot. Before getting to the recipes, readers are treated to a detailed remedial education in ingredients, featuring Peterson's humorously fussy explanations of dried and fresh herbs. The tried-and-true leek stands alongside the trendy galangal root as a soup essential, as Peterson enlarges the intermediate cook's familiarity with international cuisines. Peterson also seeks to re-educate readers on the proper methods for composing bouquet garni, making a roux and improving the flavor of the commercial broths they will insist on buying. He wisely intersperses his suggestions for technique alongside relevant recipes, making valuable information accessible for the busy cook. The recipes are roughly organized by ingredient and include the vast range of vegetable soups in some unusual combinations (Water Chestnuts with Watercress and Sweet Potato with Chili and Lime). Other noteworthy concoctions include Spicy Brazilian Fish Soup with Coconut Milk; Shabu-Shabu; and Duck and Sherry Soup. Most of Peterson's recipes are not for the fat-phobic; whether he's extolling the virtues of heavy cream over milk and yogurt or encouraging readers to add a few pats of butter to any bowl of soup they order in a restaurant, Peterson throws caution to the wind.
September 18, 2000