Thursday, May 24, 2012

What I've Been Reading: 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker

On a recent trip to the library to pick up my holds, I discovered that 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley was waiting for me.  I had requested it awhile back and was eager to review her suggestions.  The cover looked so promising, and then I dived in.

Maybe it's just me, but I didn't give one single recipe a try.  Simple is probably not an adjective I would use to describe her suggestions.  Slow cookers are usually easy, but if the ingredient list exceeds 5 or 7 items I would omit the word easy.  Maybe if it were the dead of winter these would be more appealing, some sound interesting:

  • chickpea soup arrabbiata;
  • countrywild rice soup; and 
  • cuban black bean and sweet potato soup.
One did catch my attention for summer time, although "soup" seems like an odd name.  The recipe is listed as Swedish Rhubarb Raspberry Soup, however, the description attributes it to norwegians.  Little details like that, especially in recipes, bother me.  If the plants in my backyard are indeed confirmed as rhubarb by a friend who is visiting this weekend (they look like it to me, but I want a second opinion from a gardener before feeding them to my family), I'll be giving it a try.

All in all, I'm glad this was a free library read.  Interesting, but certainly not one for my bookshelf.


  1. Not related to this post but a big part of frugal living nonetheless.

    I am surprised that you have not posted about the frugality of breastfeeding. What with two of your own small children I would have thought I would have found at least one post on the topic being it is ultra frugal as well as most nutritious and healthy for both the babe and mother. Not to mention the many, many other benefits of breastfeeding your babe from birth until you are both ready to move away. After all what is indeed intended by nature almost always ends up being frugal.

    1. Thanks for posting a comment, and your question is a good one. The simple answer is that I try and write about frugal things I have experience with. While I have two young children, our attempts at breast feeding were a horrific failure. Without solid firsthand knowledge of the subject, I never gave much thought to writing about the benefits. This is true of other frugal habits, such as canning vegetables. Thanks for reading.

    2. The biggest frugal element to breastfeeding is the purported health benefits. The scientific case for these benefits isn't solid yet.

      Setting aside the possible health benefits, if someone gave up a great job or cherished activity to accommodate breastfeeding, that would not be frugal. The cost difference for formula vs. breastfeeding is trivial in the developed world.

      For someone who wants to breastfeed, it seems like a wonderful frugal choice. You get something you want, it may have health benefits, and if it's not displacing paid work it saves a little money compared to formula.

      I know you're speaking metaphorically, but I reject even the metaphor of nature being self-aware, having a plan, or being intrinsically better than human creations. I do see what you're saying about our being adapted for breastfeeding and not being adapted for formula. I also wonder if we're adapted for the male parent to physically dominate the female parent. I don't claim that we are adapted that way, but if it turned out to be true it would be an element of nature we should reject.