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Monday, Nov. 19, 2012

Soup’s On Gets a Second Life as a Cookbook

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As the owner of Soup’s On in the Third Ward for nearly a decade, Mary Krimmer took a lot of requests, often from customers with special dietary needs or ideas for breakfast soups or brussels sprout soups or other creations. Since retiring from the soup shop last year, she’s still taking requests, this time from customers seeking out some of her more unique recipes, so this year she compiled some of them into her first book, Soup's On: Café to Cookbook.

“I guess this was my way of thanking my loyal customers,” Krimmer says. “I didn’t want to intimidate people who have never made a soup before by doing the bible of 150-plus soups, so this book doesn’t have traditional recipes like chicken noodle or cheesy broccoli. Instead it focuses on more specialized, handcrafted soups. It has vegan, vegetarian and, of course, carnivorous soups for the meat eaters. Most of my soups are gluten-free because, as I suggest in the book, you add your pasta or grain before you serve it after cooking it in a separate kettle.”

Another suggestion: Since many soups require a good deal of prep, Krimmer recommends doing most of the dicing the day before. “That way it doesn’t feel like you’re spending all day in the kitchen when you’re making the soup,” she says.

On sale at a number of local businesses, including People’s Books, Wild Flour bakeries in Bay View and East Troy, C. Adam’s Bakery in the Milwaukee Public Market, Moda Salon and East Side Ovens, the self-published book also includes stories about the inspiration behind some of the soups. It’s already sold well enough that Krimmer is considering a follow-up, which she’d compile from recipes requested through Facebook.

Even without the restaurant to tend to, Krimmer is in no danger of becoming rusty in the kitchen.

“I have a large family, with 17 grandkids, eight children and their spouses, so I’m usually making a soup,” she says. “My husband is a photographer and we have a photo group that meets at his studio once a month, so I prepare something for that. I’m definitely still cooking.”