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Home Cooking 133

How Too Cook Everything.....Badly?

Jim Leff | Nov 29, 201312:02 PM

I rarely cook from recipes. I improvise. But I have very little experience cooking soup, and I found myself with a bunch of leeks I needed to use up. So I hit up "How to Cook Everything", figuring I'd find a no-fail recipe for leek/potato soup.

The recipe was dismayingly hollow. Basically: slice some leeks, cube some potatoes, sauté briefly then boil in broth 20 minutes. Salt and pepper. That's it.

I wasn't hopeful, but figured I'd trust Bittman. After all, sometimes simple things turn out well. So I followed the instructions, and what I got tasted like stock with some leaks and potatoes. A "zero" on my deliciometer. I slurped down a "meh" bowl, then the next day struggled through a leftover bowl, and on the third day I threw the remainder out, bored to tears and wretchedly disappointed. Red pepper flakes helped not at all.

So, I'm not asking for tweaks for making better leek/potato soup. I can find that elsewhere. What I'd like discussion of is whether this is an anomaly, or if a lot of this book is just this hollowly awful. Is there anyone out there who LOVES the book (there apparently are millions) who can assure me that this is the worst recipe in an otherwise useful work?

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