Mollie Katzen has long been one of our favorite food writers. Her whimsy, her light-hearted approach to the kitchen emboldens the home cook. Using her instincts as an artist who is as comfortable with a paintbrush as with as a wooden spoon, Katzen gives us hand-lettered books, illustrated with the pen-and-ink drawings. Before we even start to cook, we feel at home in the kitchen.
Within that whimsical framework, however, Katzen has been one of the forces that shaped the way we eat in America. Through her classic cookbooks, The Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, vegetarian cooking took its place in mainstream thinking. Once thought of as cardboard food only eaten by slightly deranged hippies or hard-core health nuts, Katzen's voice was one of those who who argued that not only did vegetarian food taste good, it was a more natural ways of eating than opening packages of manufactured foods. The mission has been so successful that today we are amazed that anyone ever felt a package to be more comfortable than a delicious meal prepared with fresh ingredients.
To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Moosewood Cookbook, Ten Speed Press has published a special edition of Katzen's soup recipes, the first of a series of boxed books that open easel style for easy cooking. (Photos below) This is a wonderful gift book, one in which you will find some of Katzen's classic soup recipes along with a few new ones.
There are both hot and cold soups, some the basics done Katzen style, such as Cream of Asparagus, Corn Chowder and Vichyssoise as well as some more exotic such as Galician Garbanzo Soup, Curried Peanut Soup, Green Gazpacho or Arizona Pumpkin Soup.
Hats off Ms. Katzen. We hope for another thirty years of your talents, both in the artist's studio and the kitchen.