Bookbinder Soup Recipe, Cape Cod Restaurant, Drake Hotel

Jean Oshima
2 min readJun 22, 2016



UPDATE: Sadly, Cape Cod Restaurant has permanently closed.

According to Executive Chef Leo Waldmeier at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, Cape Cod, a wonderful 80-year-old seafood restaurant at the hotel, serves an adaptation of Bookbinder Soup from Bookbinders restaurant in Philadelphia. Bookbinders’ original recipe uses turtle whereas Cape Cod uses red snapper. And it is absolutely delicious!

Here is the recipe below. Chef suggests you start with a homemade stock as in his recipe. In the amount of time it takes to make the soup you may just want to book a flight and go to Chicago and definitely stay at the Drake where you can have Bookbinder Soup and their shrimp cocktail which is the best I have ever had. And please say hello to Carlos the doorman for me. Enjoy!

Oh and don’t forget to serve the sherry on the side. It is meant to add to the soup just before eating. (As shown in photo.Yum!)


Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Soup base:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 each, chopped: carrots, celery ribs, garlic cloves

1 onion, chopped

1/2 each, chopped: red and green bell pepper
12 crushed white peppercorns

1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons each, chopped: fresh thyme, rosemary, cilantro

8 cups vegetable broth

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Salt to taste

Red snapper:

2 small onions, finely chopped

3 ribs celery, finely chopped

1 to 2 fillets (10 ounces total) red snapper

1/4 cup sherry

1. For soup base, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, garlic, onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Stir in peppercorns, bay leaf, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary and cilantro. Cook 2 minutes. Add 7 cups of the broth: heat to boil.

2. Melt butter in small saucepan; add flour and cornstarch. Cook, stirring constantly, 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in remaining 1 cup broth until roux is smooth. Add roux to soup base; cover, simmer over medium-low heat 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Strain through fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth; discard solids. Return broth to pot.

3. For snapper, heat water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery; blanch until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon; add to broth. Boil fish in same water until cooked through. Remove fish from water; flake very finely with fork. Stir snapper and sherry into soup base; heat through.



Jean Oshima

See my blog, 5 Heart Rating at I am a Wellness & Wine and Special Events Producer