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Archive for the ‘soup recipes’ Category

I’m tickled pink (and red, green, yellow and blue) to welcome newly published author, faster-than-lightning reader, This Kid Reviews Books blogger and budding philanthropist Erik Weibel to Alphabet Soup today!

Eleven-year-old Erik is beloved in the kidlitosphere (he started blogging when he was just nine!), and continues to impress everyone with his consistently incisive and candid book reviews and irrepressible enthusiasm for reading and writing.

He worked on his new chapter book, THE ADVENTURES OF TOMATO AND PEA – Book 1: A Bad Idea, for 3 years (i.e., 1/4 of his life). It is the first in a planned trilogy featuring tiny aliens called Smidges from the planet Oarg, and is notable for its cast of colorful, quirky characters, lively narrative with hilarious rapid-fire dialogue, vivid descriptions, and enduring themes (friendship, cooperation, courage, the triumph of good over evil).

In Book 1, super crime-stopper Tomato, his techno-savvy sidekick Pea, and two other Smidges find themselves tricked, then trapped aboard the rocket ship S.S. Poofy with the evil Wintergreen and his unsavory cohorts. After they crash-land on planet EAR-TH, they must all learn to work together to ensure their survival and find a way to return home to Oarg.

Erik displays remarkable writing chops in this fun, quick read, and it’s exciting to see someone so young accomplish so much.

Yet one question remains:

Can this boy cook? :)

After all, he did include a character named Skew in the story, Tomato and Pea’s yellow friend who is a good, resourceful cook. Erik has said there’s a bit of him in each of his characters, and that he loves to cook. You can see why I had to investigate. :) :) :)

And so, my hungry readers –

*drumroll*

for the first time on any blog anywhere –

*trumpet flourish*

Erik the Great Weibel dishes about food in The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, his plans to take over the world, his personal food preferences, and then (*drool*) cooks up two mouthwatering, out of this world, Smidge-approved recipes with his alien friends (including notes and tips). Intergalactic Yum!!

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All autumn long, I’ve been harboring a big love for Sophie’s Squash (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013), Pat Zietlow Miller’s heartwarming debut picture book illustrated to perfection by Anne Wilsdorf.

I had my eye on it well before its official release date back in August, marveling like everyone else when it proceeded to rack up *starred review* after *starred review* (Booklist, PW, SLJ, Kirkus), my excitement steadily building until I finally held a copy in my hands and devoured every word. Oh my, oh yes! No wonder! Every accolade this book has received is so well deserved.

One bright fall day, Sophie chose a squash at the farmers’ market.

Her parents planned to serve it for supper, but Sophie had other ideas.

These ideas included naming her squash Bernice, holding her, bouncing her on her knee, tucking her into bed and taking her everywhere. Ever the steadfast friend, Sophie refuses her mother’s gentle prodding to cook Bernice and rejects her father’s attempts to pacify her with a new toy to take Bernice’s place.

But as time goes on, Bernice develops splotchy “freckles,” so Sophie decides to act on a farmer’s advice to keep Bernice healthy. She tucks her into “a bed of soft soil”, then waits out a wistful winter, hoping Bernice is okay. Come Spring, with all the snow melted, Bernice magically re-emerges, soon gifting Sophie with two wonderful surprises, as only the best of friends can do.

All art © 2013 Anne Wilsdorf

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Cornelius found Rosalyn Carter’s recipe for Peanut Soup in this book.

I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t serve up an extra special peanut butter recipe this month. With winter nipping at our heels and holiday stress rearing its ugly head, only one thing will do: SOUP! Hearty, comforting peanut soup!

(photo of King’s Arms Tavern via history.org)

King’s Arms Tavern Cream of Peanut Soup

I had my first bowl of peanut soup at King’s Arms Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg back in the early 80′s. For our first Christmas in Virginia, it was positively magical savoring spoonfuls of rich creamy broth in a firelit 18th century dining room. I remember thinking it was odd to have soup made from peanuts, then being pleasantly surprised at the marvelous flavor.

I just learned this Southern favorite probably wouldn’t have been on the menu back in the 18th century. Peanut soups, mushes and stews were likely part of the slave diet, but peanuts would not gain national acceptance as something more than animal feed or simple fare until after the Civil War. Still, Jefferson did raise peanuts at Monticello, and Washington liked peanut soup enough to eat it daily as a first course.

Cornelius found the King’s Arms Tavern Cream of Peanut Soup recipe in this book.

The earliest peanut soups prepared in this country were probably more stew-like; slave recipes may have been styled after tomato-based soups popular in central Africa or a Sudanese soup made with lamb bones, garlic and rice. Sarah Rutledge’s version (Carolina Housewife, 1847) included oysters.

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#21 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2012.

Lace up your skates and make way: Heidi Bee Roemer is here!

There’s nothing like having a party guest gleefully glide into your kitchen with a big smile, a cool poem, and a pot of soup! And this girl knows how to party!

Heidi’s critically acclaimed debut picture book, Come to My Party (Henry Holt, 2004), is a jubilant montage of rollicky-fun shape poems, with words curving and careening and wiggling and drifting and see-sawing across the pages –  a perfect reflection of Heidi herself, who’s a nature-lovin’, rock climbin’, kick boxin’ children’s author always on the move. Zip, Pump, Fly!  I’m giddy with excitement that Heidi decided to come to our party today!

She’s brought an ice skating poem that proves she’s just as agile and graceful on the page as she is in the rink. She was also the perfect person to co-edit an upcoming sports-themed poetry anthology. But I’ll let her tell you more about that project after serving up her poem.

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“Little is nobler than presiding over a kettle of homemade soup.” ~ Marty Martindale, food writer and bon vivant

As you can see if you peek behind Chef Paddington through the dining room window, we recently had some proper snow, something that always happens in these parts during the third week of January.

I couldn’t have ordered more perfect weather for making the vegetable soup that’s included in Melissa Iwai’s charming picture book, Soup Day, a recipe I’d been wanting to try ever since I reviewed the book last year. Of course one doesn’t have to wait for snow to make soup, but in this case it deepened my connection to this sweet story of a mother and daughter in the kitchen.

The recipe is designed with simplicity, common ingredients, and child participation in mind. As the story suggests, asking hungry munchkins to help select colorful veggies at the grocers and later allowing them (with an adult’s guiding hand) to slice the soft ingredients like mushroom and zucchini, enables them to master new skills and develop a sense of pride. Melissa admits this is how she got her son Jamie to eat mushrooms!

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