300 Sensational Soups: A Conversation with Local Cookbook Author Meredith Deeds
Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2011
When we were looking for new ideas to expand our Kowalski's Signature Soup line, we came across a recipe for Lasagna Soup that caught our eye. "Filled with many of the same ingredients that make lasagna a favorite dish of many, we knew we had to try it," remembers Diane Odegard, Deli Director. "When we sampled the soup, everyone loved the combination of flavors and textures, so we began producing it for our Deli soup kettles," added Odegard. "Since we don't have it available hot every day, we now package it in quart containers as well to satisfy the demands of its loyal followers."
After a little research, we realized that the recipe was actually found in a cookbook written by local cookbook author Meredith Deeds. The cookbook we are referring to is 300 Sensational Soups by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder.
"As I was developing recipes for the soup book, my son Kyle came up with the idea of turning his favorite meal, lasagna, into a soup. We ended up with a soup whose tomato broth is brimming with sausage and pasta and a swirl of gooey cheese in every bite," said Meredith. "Kyle's inspiration has become one of the most popular recipes in the book, so I'm not surprised that your customers are enjoying it," added Deeds. The book was actually chosen by Chef Sarah Molten as one of the top cookbooks of the year on Good Morning America's Top 10 list for 2008. "That endorsement definitely put our book on the radar screen and sales have been incredible," recalls Meredith.
Meredith is a transplanted Minnesotan, by way of San Diego, California, and several stops in between. One of those stops was Cleveland, Ohio, where she met her co-author Carla Snyder. "We were both teaching at a local cooking school and decided to partner on a cookbook. We worked so well together that we have since written six books," offers Deeds.
Meredith's husband, David, a college professor, accepted a position at St. Thomas University, which precipitated their move here 2 1/2 years ago. Besides 12-year-old son Kyle, the Lasagna Soup inventor, the Deeds have two other sons, Quinn (17) and Connor (16), that keep their family quite busy. "We have come to love Minnesota and have all had an easy time settling into the community. The food community here is very special, giving me the opportunity to teach locally as well as traveling around the country teaching and promoting our books," adds Deeds.
In addition to her teaching, Meredith has developed recipes for several food companies and written articles for many publications. As if that weren't enough, Deeds is looking forward to the release of her newest collaboration with Carla. It is due out the beginning of May and is titled Everyday to Entertaining. "I like to think of this book as the 'little black dress cookbook,' since the premise is to take a basic recipe, like a basic black dress, and enhance it to make it just a little more extravagant," said Deeds.
We love the premise of this new book and are looking forward to its release as well. In the meantime, look for 300 Sensational Soups, perfect for the remaining months of winter, on the book spinners at select markets (not available at Hennepin, Parkview or Lyndale). We are happy to call Meredith Deeds a Minnesotan!
Featured Recipes by Meredith Deeds
Lasagna Soup (pictured above)
Broccoli, Bacon and Cheddar Chowder
Raspberry and White Chocolate Swirl Soup with Brownie Croutons (pictured below)