Saturday, October 20, 2012

COOKBOOK REVIEW: Autumn by Susan Branch

Published 2004 by Little, Brown and Company
No longer available in print.

I apologize for writing such a rave review for a cookbook that's no longer in print. I honestly had no idea it was out of print until I wrote this post up and went in search of some links to book sellers. You can buy the cookbook through used book sellers on amazon and I'm sure at other sites as well, but it's very expensive. Of course, you can always try looking for it at your local library. :)

I have had this lovely cookbook on my shelves for so many years now and while I often pull it off the shelf to read it, I have never actually prepared any of the recipes. Until now. Inspired by the Cookbook Challenge hosted by Cynni who blogs at She Likes Bento, I pledged to cook 5 or more recipes from cookbooks I own but rarely, if ever, use and Autumn by Susan Branch was one of them.

First things first, this cookbook--like all of Susan Branch's work--is a piece of art in itself. The cookbook is 100% hand drawn. Every single word and image--it's beautiful. Inside, you will find not only mouthwatering recipes that showcase the foods of autumn, but gorgeous drawings of food, nature, and home that will ignite your love for this beautiful season. Scattered throughout nearly every page are also fun, thought provoking and heart warming quotes. The author even includes entertaining, gardening, home decorating, craft and gift ideas. There's creative inspiration on every page!

Once I decided to cook from this cookbook, I bookmarked some recipes I wanted to try and let me tell you there were a lot! I decided my first recipe should be a simple one for which I already had the ingredients on hand. I chose Butternut Shotglass Soup. I realize butternut squash soup recipes are a dime a dozen, and this one is a pretty basic one at that. But it is oh so good. It's made with a butternut squash, an onion, a couple of carrots and potatoes that are simmered in some chicken or vegetable broth. The vegetables are then spiced with curry powder, a dash of ginger and nutmeg and seasoned with salt & pepper before being pureed to a velvety texture. The flavor is wonderful and the presentation is extra-special. Imagine serving shot glasses of this warm, comforting soup to your family and friends at the table, around a cozy fire or in front of the tv on a chilly evening. Really cute.
Butternut Shotglass Soup
from Autumn by Susan Branch
I'm so happy that I finally cooked something from this cookbook that I've treasured reading for so many years. Other recipes from this cookbook that are on my list to try are Red Pear, Black Grape, Spiced Pecan Salad, Pear Salsa, Tomato Soup, Iowa Corn Bread, Chicken in Cream Sauce over Happy Rice, Orange Spiced Harvest Stew, Pear Tatin, Indian Pudding and Pumpkin Latte. In fact, I'm going to go make that Pumpkin Latte right now!

For a peak at the inside of this cookbook, visit the cookbook's amazon page HERE.

I give Autumn by Susan Branch 5 out of 5 stars. 


Do you have any cookbooks on your shelf from which you've never cooked? 

What's your favorite soup? 


  1. I love the old-fashioned look of this cookbook. I think it must be a lot of fun to look through, and sounds like the recipes are good, too! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I've loved Susan's work for decades! This post makes me so happy. The soup looks yummy, perfect Autumn treat. I don't have this particular cookbook, just the Christmas one. All her books are beautiful keepsakes even if you never make any of the recipes. Can't beat the handlettering and drawings and watercolors.

    Do you follow her blog? It's gorgeous!! She has lots of stuff for sale at her website too.

  3. Oh that shot of the cookbook looks sooooo pretty. I remember her books but I don't think I own any. And thanks to Jama, I now know she has a blog!

    I love that cute idea of serving in shot glasses.

  4. Susan Branch's cookbooks are works of art. I own both Christmas and Heart of the Home, but haven't looked at either in ages. That's going to change this afternoon...

  5. I just love such cookbooks and have kept many of them - they become heirlooms in their own right

  6. I had already seen this picture on twitter and it looks so pretty. Both the food and the book. Thanks for sharing such a lovely dish and book with us :)

  7. The recipes sound lovely, and I'd like to see the drawings, what a shame it's out of print!

  8. The book sounds as though it has many lovely recipes. I have a baking cookbook I've never used a recipe from. You are inspiring me to look through it! *g* I wonder if my library has your cookbook.......
    Hope you're having a delightful weekend!

  9. I do have one cookbook I've never cooked from - I should get on that. I keep thinking I'll pull it out and make a special occasion cake or something.

  10. This sounds like a great cookbook. have a lovely weekend.

  11. Wow! the book looks awesome on the inside!!!
    Too bad the book is out of print :/
    And yay for the recipe turning out to be so good :D

  12. I love the Susan Branch cookbooks. I have made a few recipes, I have the other seasons as well. The soup looks delicious, love it in the shot glasses. I have a ton of books I haven't cooked from, but I love reading and collecting them.

  13. That's a beautiful cookbook.

    I'm not a huge fan of soups, but this fall I've been enjoying starchy soups like that Butternut -- looks yummy!

  14. I love the cover. I honestly think I have a soup book by this author. I'll have to check it out. Shot glass soup looks delicious.

  15. Yum, butternut squash soup :) Was it liquid enough to sip from the shot glasses though? I love a good cookbook with pretty photos or illustrations, some books really need that finishing touch!

  16. *drools*

    I have a lot of Julia Child's books and I've only looked at half of them >_< lol.

    Favorite soup is still chicken noodle soup in tie with seaweed egg drop soup and corn egg drop soup. Yummm...

    I love soup. Can't wait to see more of your cooking!

  17. Too Fond , This book IS a lot of fun to look through.. I often leave it on the coffee table in the family room during the fall just for that purpose.

    jama, I'm so glad you enjoyed seeing this post on Susan Branch's Autumn. I have several of her books--including her Baby Books for both my girls. Talk about sweet and charming! Do you have the Summer book? That one's fabulous!

    I don't follow her blog but I did visit the other day after I wrote up this post. It's SO pretty.

    Beth F , yay, another one familiar with her books! They're so enjoyable.

    JoAnn , You know Susan Branch's books, too?! How fun! I have Autumn, Summer, Christmas, Heart of the Home, Vineyard Seasons, Girlfriends, xxx, xxx and TWO Baby Books. One for each of my daughters, of course. You can say I was a HUGE fan for a while in the 90s.

    Patty, That's a good point about the cookbooks becoming heirlooms. Maybe I'll pass mine to a granddaughter some day. What a sweet thought, don't you think? :)

    Uniflame, I should thank YOU for hosting this challenge. I finally cooked from this one!

    Joanna, The drawings are SO lovely! Did you click on the link in my post for the "Look Inside" version on amazon? You can at least see several pages there.

  18. Brandy, Oh please do share what you cook from your unused cookbooks. It would be fun!

    Cecelia, You should! Link it up with Cynni on her challenge post and then post it for weekend cooking! It would be great fun to see what you choose.

    Carole , This cookbook brings me a lot of joy. :)

    and speaking of joy... ;)
    Joy, I used to not be crazy about soups, too. Up until a couple of years ago. Now I'm obsessed!

    Peaceful Reader, Oh, I'd be curious if you have a soup book by Susan Branch. I thought I had all of her books! lol!

    Chinoiseries, The butternut soup was actually NOT thin enough to drink from the shot glasses, but nothing a bit of water whisked in wouldn't fix!

    little alys, Oh a fan of Julia Child are you? I love those soups, too!

  19. How Nice! I just happened upon your site, Christine, and found this sweet review and all these wonderful comments from your followers! Thank you ... so happy you liked the soup and the shot glasses, they really are fun and you can serve them to a big party too, on a tray, as an appetizer. Makes collecting shot glasses when you travel a fun thing to do! Be sure, do not fail, to put the Pumpkin Cheesecake (p97) on your list of things to make! I would not want you to miss the accolades that this brings!! Happy November to you and yours . . . thank you again, this was a nice surprise for me this morning! xo Susan

  20. Hi Susan!
    What a delight to receive this comment from you! Trying not to gush here, but I've been a big fan of yours for many years. I'm pretty sure I have all of your books. My favorites are Summer, Autumn, Christmas and Baby Love.

    How could I have missed Pumpkin Cheesecake on my list! My daughter and I LOVE pumpkin cheesecake. So much that it could be a problem for my waistline. I'll have to make sure I make it when we're expecting company. ;)

    Thank you so much for visiting and for the joy you bring to me and my home all year long through your books. Wishing you a wonderful season as well. xo Christine :)


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