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SUPER SOUP SITES. Of the many thousands of food writers crowding the Internet, Pat Solley is probably the wittiest. And what she doesn't know about soup, the world's favorite winter food, just isn't worth knowing. Pat lives in Washington DC and is a world authority on soups. Her web site, Soupsong, discusses the subject in all its aspects -- soup jokes, news, songs, and literary references.
That paragraph appeared in the April 2001 issue of this e-book, and remains just as true today.

Since then, more than a million viewers have enjoyed visiting Pat Solley's widely acclaimed website.

An Austin (Texas) Chronicle internet reviewer summed it up neatly:

Pat Solley's delightfully wacky (and always tres intellectual) Web site devoted to every single tiny nuance of soup ... a must see. Pat's articles are loaded with historical esoterica, and you never know where they will lead you next. Superb recipes, as well.
In May 2002, a Washington Post staff writer, Candy Sagon, wrote an amusing story about Pat, under the heading Souper Woman - Mild-Mannered FBI Scribe by Day; Stockpot-Stirring, Recipe-Seeking, Soup Enthusiast by Night. That story, too, is well worth reading today.

The good news is that Pat has written a book, An Exaltation of Soups : The Soul-Satisfying Story of Soup, As Told in More Than 100 Recipes, which will become available on December 28 - too late for Christmas, but it would make a souper New Year gift.

Here's a preview, quoted on many booksellers' websites:

Throughout history and around the world, soup has been used to bring comfort, warmth, and good health. A bowl of soup can symbolize so much - celebrations, major life passages, and the everyday.

Inspired by Patricia Solley's website,, and organized according to function - soups to heal the sick, recover from childbirth, soothe a hangover, entice the object of your affection, and mark special occasions and holidays - An Exaltation of Soups showcases more than a hundred of the best soup recipes of all time, including:

  • Festive Wedding Soup with Meatballs from Italy.
  • Egyptian Fava Bean Soup, made to give strength to convalescents.
  • Creamy Fennel Soup with Shallots and Orange Spice from Catalonia - perfect for wooing a lover.
  • Hungarian "Night Owl" Soup, designed to chase a hangover.
  • Spicy Pumpkin and Split Pea Soup from Morocco, served to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.
  • Tanzanian Creamy Coconut-Banana Soup for Kwanzaa.

Spiced with soup riddles, soup proverbs, soup poetry, and informative sidebars about the lore and legends of soup through the ages, An Exaltation of Soups is a steaming bowl of goodness that is sure to satisfy.

About the Author: When not running the website or putting out her monthly soup newsletter, Patricia Solley is chief of Research Communications and Public Relations for the FBI. She lives in Falls Church, Virginia.

An Exaltation of Soups : The Soul-Satisfying Story of Soup, As Told in More Than 100 Recipes.
Cooking - History (CKB041000)
384 pages. Three Rivers Press 1-4000-5035-9
On sale December 28, 2004.




Story first posted December 2004

Copyright 2004

Eric Shackle

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