Owner of Sophia’s at Walden restaurant writes cookbook with favorite recipes

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

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

Now, as she nears retirement, the 65-year-old Nelms has published 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, entrees, desserts and more.

Sofia's at Walden

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 all about putting love into the food and loving my customers and my family,” Nelms said.

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

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

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

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

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

The soup is still a staple at her restaurant. Nelms said she’s not worried about giving away secrets and recognizes some people will want to make the recipes but the majority will continue to patronize her restaurant.

“This way when I’m not there anymore they can make it. They can create it. That’s kind of the way I looked at it,” she said.

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


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