He covers a wide range of soups, from Asparagus and Crab to Peach Buttermilk, and American classics such as New England Clam Chowder, Burgoo, and U.S. Senate Bean Soup share the spotlight with such international gems as Japanese Shabu-Shabu, Nigerian Peanut Soup, and Scottish Cock-a-Leekie Soup. After a thorough discussion of the many kinds of stocks, from Brown Stock to Dashi, Clayton includes, for those of us who are time-pressed or just plain lazy, the pros and cons of homemade versus store-bought stock, along with tricks and tips to improve the latter.
Clayton's first book, The Complete Book of Breads, won the coveted Tastemaker cookbook award and was praised by Craig Claiborne as perhaps the best book on the subject in the English language. Of Clayton's The Complete Book of Pastry, which also received a Tastemaker award, Claiborne said: One of the most important cookbooks of this year if not this decade.
With recipes that are well written and easy to follow, Clayton shows that soup making is neither time-consuming nor difficult, and in any case is well worth the effort.