Soup: A Global History

Front Cover
Reaktion Books, Oct 15, 2010 - Cooking - 152 pages

From the restorative powers of chicken soup on a sick day to the warmth of a bowl of chowder on a wintry night, there is no food quite as comforting and emblematic of home as soup. Soup, as Janet Clarkson tells us, is the first true culinary creation of humanity, and it has made a long journey from the prehistoric cave to the kitchen table and the white linens of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Tracing its myriad reinventions through history and across the globe, Clarkson argues in Soup that it is the only truly universal dish—every culture in the world makes soup, and it is widely valued as a dish adaptable for any situation. From the swill of the poorhouse to the most delicately crafted consommé, Clarkson explores how soup got its name and describes the different roles of soup in Eastern and Western cuisine. Featuring the national soups of many countries and including an assortment of anecdotes and recipes taken from seven centuries of culinary history, Soup entertains as much as it informs, telling of how the history of the restaurant itself is intricately interwoven with the very concept of soup.

“With enthusiasm and detailed research, Clarkson’s entertaining history is a nutrient-rich meal for the mind, sure to be devoured as happily as its subject”—Publishers Weekly, on Clarkson’s Pie

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About the author (2010)

Janet Clarkson is a general practitioner and lecturer at the School of Medicine at the University of Queensland, Australia. She writes regularly on culinary history and is also the author of Pie: A Global History, published by Reaktion.

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