This is it, the moment Houstonians look forward to all summer; the temperature is below 75!! My cold weather fantasies involve biting wind on my nose, rosy cheeks and coming home to a crackling fire. Well, it’s not quite that cold yet, but we can at least fake it by turning the thermostat up and making a big batch of soup. Soup is one of the most versatile and economical foods we can make. At the Fairbanks branch we have books that address all aspects of soup making and eating. Neil Wertheimer’s, Ultimate Soup Cookbook is a treasury of 1,000 recipes for soups, chowders, chilies & bisques; it’s the ultimate collection of comfort food recipes. If you’re fighting the battle of the post-holiday bulge checkout Judith Barrett’s, Saved by Soup . Barrett has more than 100 recipes for delicious low-fat soups. Another angle is to use soup as an ingredient, that’s where the Soup Mix Gourmet  comes in. Diane Phillips goes way beyond the ubiquitous green bean and cream of mushroom soup casserole we all see this time of year. She has over 300 recipes that use all kinds of canned and dried soups as a base. OK, so maybe the weather outside isn’t frightful, but a comforting bowl of soup is delightful in anyday.
by Gwen Bertram