Zuppe: Soups from the Kitchen of the American Academy in Rome, The Rome Sustainable Food Project

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Press: Little Bookroom; Main edition (April 3, 2012)
Publication Date:2012-4
Author Name:Talbott, Mona; Schlechter, Annie;


Much more than a collection of remarkable soups, Mona Talbott’s Zuppe is also a wise and gentle tutorial on the “the beauty and delicious rewards of frugality” and how the humblest foods can be the most profoundly satisfying. 
In addition to 50 recipes, Talbott shares approaches and techniques that can change the way a cook thinks about economy, improvisation, and using all the flavors and nutrients inherent in each ingredient.A Chez Panisse graduate, Talbott was chosen by Alice Waters to be Executive Chef of the innovative Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome.
There, while cooking for the Academy’s creative community of scholars, historians, artists, archaeologists, and architects, Talbott perfected a repertoire of dishes made from local, seasonal, organic ingredients.
Central to the menu are soups.Inspired by the traditions of cucina povera, the so-called “cuisine of the poor” that has been the source of so many brilliant Italian dishes, Talbott’s recipes waste nothing, employ the concept of arrangiarsi (“making do”), and skillfully transform leftovers.
And, in another nod to the wisdom and economy of traditional kitchens, she also points out which soups can easily be made into one-dish meals with the addition of a single ingredient such as a poached egg, a piece of grilled toast, or even clams.
Organized seasonally, Zuppe also serves as a practical guide to using the bounty of farmers markets throughout the year.

About the Author

Mona Talbott was chosen by Alice Waters to be the Executive Chef of the Rome Sustainable Food Project in 2006. 
Talbott is a mentor to many cooks starting their careers and is a respected teacher, author, and chef.
Her first food-related job was working in large reforestation camps in Canada.
After culinary school she was hired by Alice Waters to work at Chez Panisse.
She later worked at Eli Zabar's Vinegar Factory and E.A.T.
stores in New York and consulted for Hillary Clinton at her home in Chappaqua, New York.
In 1999, Talbott began working as a chef for photographer Annie Leibovitz, and in 2004, was hired by Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project to design a children's after-school gardening and cooking program.
In 2009, she was selected to be in COCO: 10 World-leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs.
She has written articles and recipes for The New York Times, Saveur, and Organic Style.Annie Schlechter has been working as a photographer since 1998.
She spent from September 2009 to June 2010 living at the American Academy in Rome.
Her clients include The World of Interiors, House Beautiful, The New York Times Magazine, Real Simple, W magazine, Travel & Leisure, and many more.


Cookbooks, Food & Wine,Main Courses & Side Dishes,Soups & Stews,Entertaining & Holidays,Seasonal,Italian Cooking

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Comment List (Total:16)

  •     IT'S SOUP/ZUPPE! WHAT ELSE COUNTS.It has been a mainstay on my menus since I was ten....in 1930!any KIND of soup.This book has it all.
  •     Fabulous. Even if you never cook a recipe, it's delightful to read. There are lots of tips for new cooks and reminders for the more experienced. Beautiful photos too and I love the small size.I've only made on of the soups so far and will try many others.
  •     Nicely written- love the small compact size of these books. I made the ribolitta (yummy) and the tomato soup and both were easy to prepare and tasty.
  •     Received as a 2012 holiday gift and have made three of the soups to date.The soups have been pleasant, but not remarkable.
  •     This has been a terrific book. Have made several tasty, nutritious and unusual soups. Really flavorful dinners.
  •     This is the best soup cookbook, and the smallest, in my collection. Whether you follow the recipes or just get ideas, you'll get lots of inspiration from this little book.
  •     Small but packed with great soup recipes - all healthy ones. So many of these make a full meal in a bowl.
  •     I discovered this gem of a cookbook at a friend's house over a long cold weekend in the snow, could not put it down, and made one of the bean and kale soups that first night.
  •     What a delightful little cookbook. It's springtime in California....the farm market was brimming with fresh artichokes, peas,asparagus,and fava beans, so we tried several of her seasonal spring soups. Truly delicious and well-worth the effort. I doubled all the recipes so we have a freezer full of wonderful fresh home-made soups. The recipes are easy to follow and the soups are fresh, tasty, and filling. 5 stars from a home cook.
  •     Great soup book
  •     excellent book,well written
  •     This is my favorite series of cookbooks: simple Italian recipes made with fresh ingredients. Everything I've made so far is easy and delicious.
  •     At first, I was surprised that the American Academy in Rome would assume that Italians might need their help in preserving time-honored food traditions. This is a subject Italians are famously passionate about. After reading (and cooking from) "Zuppe," a wonderful collection of soups (whose sale benefits the Rome Sustainable Food Project), I understand better what's up. The student-chefs at the American Academy have put together an extraordinary collection of soup ("zuppe") recipes, their patronage -- under the auspices of legendary chef Alice Waters -- offered as a way to show gratitude to their hosts.I've always believed that soup could be part of the answer to some of the problems closer to home, as budgets shrink and people begin to show the damaging effects of a national diet that fails to nourish in any sense. Trendy and precious, the ongoing coverage of high-end specialty food and restaurants is not the answer. Rather, I agree with chef Michael Ruhlman that the world is simply better when we cook at home. Soups -- traditionally based on vegetables and grains, or meat products that would be otherwise thrown away -- is an extremely cost-effective way to put lots of flavor and satisfaction on your table every night.Few of us would go as far to reclaim otherwise wasted ingredients as they do in the kitchen of the American Academy, where fennel tops, usually cut from the fennel bulb and thrown away, are used in a amazingly flavorful potato and fennel soup. This is a demonstration of "cucina povera," a reference to a possibly impoverished kitchen, but also used as a kind of compliment to signal that a thrifty cook has been at work.That the students come up with their own versions of soups based on the ingredients at hand is no departure from their devotion to conservation, nor is it an insult to the traditional recipe. This is "arrangiarsi," the concept of using whatever you have, and is exactly what makes Italian cooking the best in the world.If you've never made soup, this would be a great place to start. "Zuppe" is a lovely book, and every recipe has a bonus, a little cooking lesson incorporating the small steps and traditions that build flavor and preserve nutrition. With beautiful photography by Annie Schlechter and a format divided by seasons (they don't exactly correspond to our seasons, so look through them all), Find other cookbook reviews and food stories and photos at [...].
  •     This is a great book series - a great read too - hope to get the whole set
  •     The book seemed like a good idea. The writer had a pedigree from Alice Waters kitchen . So the expectation was high in terms of the content.

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