Olde Tyme Recipes
Soups, Stews, Chowders and Purées
Copyright 2011 by Donald Hammond
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YEARS ago Soups were regarded as very extravagant luxuries, consuming vast quantities of meat with many expensive additions. English cooks did not understand Soup making, and would declare that at least a pound of meat per head was absolutely necessary. The result was that each guest might as well have begun his dinner by eating a whole jar of Brand's essence of beef. Isinglass was also considered necessary, as well as wine, spices, and various sauces. Even now it is not always recognized that Soup can be made easily and inexpensively, and that even in the best kinds of Soup extravagance is not necessary. But care and patience on the part of the cook is needed in the preparation of all Soups.
The art of soup making is more easily mastered than at first appears. The new cook is startled at the amazingly large number of ingredients the recipe calls for, and often is discouraged. One may, with but little expense, keep at hand what is essential for the making of a good soup. Winter vegetables — turnips, carrots, celery, and onions — may be bought in large or small quantities. The outer stalks of celery, often not suitable for serving, should be saved for soups. At seasons when celery is a luxury, the tips and roots should be saved and dried. Sweet herbs, including thyme, savory, and marjoram, are dried and put up in packages. Bay leaves, which should be used sparingly seem never to lose strength and maybe kept indefinitely. Spices, including whole cloves, allspice berries, peppercorns, and stick cinnamon, should be kept on hand. These seasonings, with the addition of salt, pepper, and parsley, are the essential flavorings for stock soups. Flour, corn-starch, arrowroot, fine tapioca, sago, pearl barley, rice, bread or eggs are added to give consistency and nourishment.