Restaurant owner Sophia’s at Walden writes a cookbook with her favorite recipes

Over the years, Sophia Nelms has fielded countless requests for her recipes.

The owner of Sophia’s in Walden, Township of Silver Spring, never found the time to share her favorite dishes such as pastina chicken soup, peanut butter pie and Greek sweet bread.

Now, as she nears retirement, 65-year-old Nelms has released a cookbook, “From the Kitchen at Sophia’s: Make Your Favorites at Home.”

The 108-page hardcover book sells for $50 and includes photographs and more than 60 of Nelm’s favorite recipes for salad dressings, soups, main courses, desserts and more.

Sophia Nelms, owner of Sofia’s at Walden in Silver Spring Township, has written a cookbook, “From the Kitchen at Sophia’s: Make Your Favorites at Home.” It’s available for pre-order for $50.

“The book is about putting love into food and loving my customers and my family,” Nelms said.

After her father passed away in 2021 and her mother passed away in 2020, Nelms said she didn’t want to leave her business without sharing the proceeds. The book includes stories about his parents and growing up eating around the family table.

“I just started thinking about how many people had asked for my recipes over the years. They’re just the ones I’ve accumulated over the 41 years I’ve worked,” Nelms said.

One of the most requested recipes is pastina soup, a simple dish made with chicken broth, seasoning, egg drops and small pastina pasta. Nelms first served the soup at his Broad Street Market stand early in his career.

She remembers young mothers bringing their children with bags of McDonald’s food to the market. Eventually, the children were turned to soup.

“It kind of took them out of the McDonald’s scene and into the Sophia scene,” Nelms said.

Soup is always a staple in his restaurant. Nelms said she’s not afraid to reveal secrets and acknowledges that some people will want to make the recipes, but the majority will continue to patronize her restaurant.

“That way, when I’m gone, they can get by. They can create it. It’s kind of how I saw it,” she said.

Tickets for the book signing as well as cookbook pre-orders can be purchased on the Sophia at Walden website. The book signing will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on July 17 at the restaurant at 129 Walden Way in Silver Spring Township.


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