This is the book I’ve always wanted to write, the book I’ve wanted all of my cookbooks to be in different ways: a mix of beautiful and useful in high order, brimming with recipes that are as deeply personal as they are tasty. It’s a book defined by its differences, rather than its similarities, to others on my shelf. It’s a book filled with equal parts health and soul, simplicity and heartiness.
I was driven to create this book – quite literally, I toiled over InDesign to make it— because I saw so clearly how to tell its story. I wanted to focus on my experience of soup that I seemed to be communicating to my members; not just the exciting flavors in the recipes, but also the emotion and energy behind them. I wanted this book to be like the club itself: quirky, artistic and full of community. The artwork in Soup Club is the product of trading my soup for poetry, photography and design with a few of my members, which felt like a soulful exchange of the highest sort.
The book I ultimately made with my community turned out to be unlike any soup book out there (for starters, it doesn’t contain a single photo of soup), met a sold-out limited print run on Kickstarter (raising over $51,000 without social media!), and was picked up to be reprinted as-is by Andrews McMeel. That book, their reprint, is coming out November 9.
Here is a link to view a sample of the first 25 pages of the book I made with my community. The reprint has a few improvements: a larger size, a few more soups, a few salads and breads. (Changes I helped to create with my dedicated editor, changes I couldn’t have done alone due to my author-publisher’s budget.)
You don’t have to take it from me, though—check out what the dame of vegetarian cooking herself, Deborah Madison, had to say about it:
I love “Soup Club” not only for the creative recipes that celebrate vegetables and the beautiful paintings of them, but especially for the story of how it came to be. Caroline Wright’s inspiring story that began with cancer and ended with community compelled me to make soup for others. What better way to thank people for their kindness. And the recipes are thoughtfully written and work well!– Deborah Madison