Food from the Soul's Cover
Food for the Soul - From the Congregation of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church
268 Pages; Color Photographs. $27.95/Hard Cover One World/ Ballantine Books, October 2005
Reviewed for Good Cooking by Kevin Gravito

Looking through this book I realized that choosing a recipe would be hard because so many of them look so great, and there are so many to choose from. It has poultry, meat, fish and seafood dishes as well as soups and one pot meals. But I wanted to do something that would be fairly easy to make, and since it's cold out I wanted a meal that would warm me up, so I browsed through the soup chapter. I came across a Vegetable Soup that looked easy and sounded delicious. One thing that bothers me in a recipe is when all the ingredients needed are not listed before; in this case it was a minor thing such as one cup of water, but it is still is annoying. That is why it is good practice to read a recipe all the way through ahead of time, to make sure you have everything needed. That aside, the recipe was very easy to put together and the soup was surprisingly good for a small amount of ingredients.

Vegetable Soup
Recipe from the kitchen of Venia R. Davis

I learned how to prepare this soup from my mother, and it is especially good in the winter. A neighbor who used to live several floors above me would always say, "I know where and what I will be eating" whenever I would cook this soup. In fact, when she left to go to the store, she would stop at our apartment to inquire about the time dinner would be ready and ask if I needed anything from the store.

1/2 red pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 green pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 small onion, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
3 small carrots, sliced
One 28-ounce can crushed or pureed tomatoes
One 1-ounce envelope onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 pound white cabbage (1 1/2 cups),cut into small pieces
One 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables

Place the peppers, onion, celery, carrots, and tomatoes in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion soup mix, pepper, salt, if using, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook another 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add the frozen vegetables and cook until the vegetables are heated through, about 10 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8

The ABYSSINIAN BAPTIST CHURCH is the second oldest African American church in the United States and will celebrate its two hundredth anniversary in 2008. Abyssinian has members from Kenya, Jamaica, the United States, Ireland, Brazil, the Cameroon, Uganda, Ghana, the Bahamas, Cuba, Honduras, Panama, England, Egypt, South Africa, Grenada, Trinidad, Holland, Japan, and Nigeria.
Reverend Butts
THE REVEREND DR. CALVIN O. BUTTS III is pastor of The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York, and president of the SUNY College at Old Westbury. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in Philosophy from Morehouse College, a master of divinity degree in church history from Union Theological Seminary, and doctorate of ministry in church and public policy from Drew University. In addition to his professional and religious avocations, Dr. Butts is founder of the Abyssinian Development Corporation; president of the Council of Churches of the City of New York; vice-chair of the Board of Directors of United Way of New York City; chairman of the National Black Leadership Commission of AIDS; and religious co-chair for the New York Blood Center. A much sought after speaker, Dr. Butts has traveled extensively worldwide. Rev. Butts resides in New York City, is married, and has three children and two grandchildren.


Good Cooking was intrigued by this recipe! We all know about sweet potato pie and how delicious it can be, but white potatoes---never saw it before! Well Chef John V. is happy to report that it's worth making. The flavor and and texture are great! You could pass the potatoes through a ricer to prevent any lumps in the batter. Chef John added a little whipped cream and raspberry sauce as a topping, Yum!
White Potato Pie
White Potato Pie
Recipe from the kitchen of Winona A. Green

My mother, Marie LaFrances Green, made this unique and tasty white potato pie while I was growing up in Baltimore.

7 medium potatoes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
One 9-inch unbaked frozen piecrust

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Place the unpeeled potatoes in a large pot with water to cover over high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cook until the potatoes are soft. Peel the potatoes, place them in a large bowl, add the butter, and mash the potatoes. Add the sugar, eggs, nutmeg, and vanilla and mix with a handheld electric mixer until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the piecrust and bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown on top.

Makes one 9-inch pie, serves 8