I’m very excited to start doing cookbook reviews here at From A Chef’s Kitchen! My first choice for review is Soul Food Love, Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family by bestselling author Alice Randall and her daughter, poet Caroline Randall Williams.
Having lived in Wisconsin for a good part of my life, I had very little exposure to Southern-style cuisine and certainly little exposure to what could be referred to as “soul food” when I moved to the Memphis area 20 years ago. The first time I had a request for greens, black-eyed peas and cornbread from a client, I panicked. I didn’t know the first thing about this style of cooking, but I did some research, did my best and my client was very happy.
I chose this book because since then, I’ve enjoyed learning more about Southern and “soul” food and it’s through food that I feel we can best understand another’s culture.
The recipes in Soul Food Love actually don’t start until page 80. The first part of the book is about their family and rich culinary heritage.
The recipes are categorized as follows: Sips & Bites, Soups, Main Dishes, Sides & Salads, Desserts, Crowns and For a Crowd. All are self-explanatory, however, “crowns” are what their family call the “tall, and often round dishes, they present to their most cherished guests to signify their preciousness.”
The recipes all look straightforward and without complicated techniques. The Cold Cucumber Soup is a must-make this summer! The African Chickpea Soup, Peanut Chicken Stew and Sweet Potato, Kale and Blackeyed Pea Soup are must-makes when the weather turns chilly again. I prepared the Red and Black Bean Burgers for a client and they were quite tasty.
The photography is by one of my photography idols–Penny De Los Santos–and they’re all gorgeous!
Overall, I’d give it four stars (****).
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.