Cookbooks are a plenty; but ones that thoroughly entertain you while teaching you a few cool recipes are a rarity – add to it the fact that all the recipes have an essence of utterly joyous festivity to them and you get a complete stunner. Such is Carla Hall’s Soul Food, a recently released cookbook by the star chef who focuses on authentic African-American cuisine with her own unique touch.
Photo credits: Georgia’s Restaurant
What is soul food | A beautiful paradox, the delectable cuisine of soul food comes from one of the darkest chapters of human history. It was shaped by African slaves who worked on South American plantations. Left with only leftovers and meager portions from their owners, the slaves fashioned dishes from whatever little they had and over time it came to be recognized as soul food. It has elements of both South American and African cooking styles.
Photo credits: Revel Systems
Who is Carla | Carla Hall is a celebrated chef and co-host of The Chew, an Emmy Award-winning show. Extensive travel experience through Europe combined with a childhood in Nashville, a hub of soul food, make her recipes the perfect blend of many worlds. Ms. Hall brings together her love for food, culture and people in her cookbooks and that’s what makes them distinctively enjoyable to read. She is the author of another two widely successful books: Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World and Cooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs You.
If, like Carla, you too love culture and history, you will love reading this very sensitively written cookbook that tells the story of the origins of soul food from Africa, Caribbean and South America. All of these stories are beautifully woven with recipes and demonstrated by a collection of spellbinding photographs.
Photo credits: Carla Hall
The happy recipes | Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration has 145 of Carla’s original recipes, each of them perfect for a celebration. You will have as much fun reading and cooking them as you will savouring the results with your loved ones. Also, soul food has a pronounced presence of vegetables and eggs, so vegetarians will have plenty of recipes to choose from. Some of the book’s happy recipes include:
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Lemon-Pepper Millet
- Deviled Eggs
- Poured Caramel Cake
- Hot Water Cornbread
- Chunky Tomato Soup with Roasted Okra Rounds
- Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Hot Sauce Vinaigrette
Photo credits: NPR
If you got to learn to cook, learn it from someone who knows how to live – and Carla Hall is certainly one person who does. Get home this exquisite book that promises to add value to your life – inside the kitchen and outside of it. In Carla’s voice, “Cook with Love. Live with Joy.”