Magic Soup: 100 Recipes for Health and Happiness

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9781501127137: Magic Soup: 100 Recipes for Health and Happiness

More than one hundred delicious and nutritious soups that boast a unique blend of fresh ingredients and surprising spice and flavor combinations—ideal for losing weight, detoxing, or satisfying a craving for comfort—from the former head chef of Yotam Ottolenghi’s renowned restaurant NOPI.

There is something special about soup—it has the ability to revitalize and to soothe. A really good bowl of soup puts you in a positive frame of mind and nourishes your body—and it can be the perfect way to jumpstart weight loss. In this gorgeous four-color, fully illustrated book, Nicole Pisani and Kate Adams show that soup is a recipe for health and happiness.

Magic Soup is a mouth-watering collection of more than one hundred innovative recipes for stocks and stews, hearty meals, healing bone broths, a detoxifying soup cleanse, and more. Recipes such as salmon poached in lemongrass tea, lemon chicken and mint with quinoa, and the ultimate “chicken soup for the soul” prove that soup can be a filling meal in itself. There’s drool-worthy butternut squash with caramelized pear; delicious beetroot and burrata; and a robust Swedish sailors’ soup made from beef and beer. In warmer months, cool down with watermelon gazpacho and fennel vichyssoise. And get healthy with nettle soup with flowers, a miso soup for each season, and the book’s namesake restorative magic soup of turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin, spinach, and seeds.

Whether you’re swapping a stale sandwich for a vibrant bowl of grains and greens, relaxing over a velvety blend of manuka-honeyed parsnip, cooking rib-eye pho for a feast, or nursing a cold with an Ayurvedic garlic blend—it’s always the right time for soup.

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About the Author:

Nicole Pisani has worked as head chef at Yotam Ottolenghi’s Soho restaurant NOPI and Anna Hansen’s Modern Pantry in London. Her passion is creating healthy and vibrant dishes with interesting ingredients and spice combinations. Visit

Kate Adams is a health writer and the author of The Flat Tummy Club Diet. She lost thirty-five pounds by eating recipes from Magic Soup.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


We are a chef (Nicole) and a writer (Kate), and we love soup. It takes us back to basics, to the essence of simple food for the body and soul. When you eat a really good bowl of soup, it puts you in a positive frame of mind, and you know you’re nourishing your body, too. Making soup is like therapy: it’s relaxing, creative, and generous.

For both of us, eating is emotional, and we think that’s a great thing. Food should be a source of passion, of delight. Nicole can tell how a person is feeling the moment she walks into their kitchen: whether they’re at one with their world or in need of a “kitchen cleanse” (in other words, their cupboards are cluttered with lots of delicious ingredients forgotten and left unseen and unused in the corners). We can feel it, too, when we get trapped in unhealthy eating patterns and need to make a new start. For us, the first step is usually making a fresh soup to rekindle our desire for health and happiness.

Our aim is to show that cooking at home is the simple, unscientific but real-life answer to healthy living. When you cook and eat from scratch, there’s very little that isn’t good for you in moderation; at the very least, every recipe and every meal can have a bit of magic in it. Depending on what we need and what we fancy, soup can be comforting, a quick lunchtime fix or a feast for the gods. As early as humans could build fires and make watertight pots, they made soups and stews with the ingredients they had at hand, and that tradition continues. Nicole will often make “everything left in the refrigerator” soup, her own version of hunter-gathering, or an ode to Scotland with the Hotch Potch soup. Chicken soup makes us feel better when we’re poorly, while Miso or Kitchari are the perfect start to a healthy cleanse.

Cooking gathers people together, over the stove or at the table. It’s generous and giving, and sitting and chatting is as nourishing as the food itself. There is a beautiful Latvian proverb that says “a smile is half the meal”: there are times when cooking is a way to get back to the important things in life, whether you’re taking a delicious, healthy lunch to work in a thermos or roasting a few vegetables with herbs or spices and making a simple soup for a busy week ahead.

Close your eyes and imagine everything you need for a good meal. Then make soup!

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