For this very excellent soup take two quarts of stock prepared beforehand, as already directed. If the stock is a jelly, as will usually be the case in winter, an amount sufficient to fill a quart-measure can be diluted with a pint of water, and will then be rich enough. Add to this one small carrot, a turnip, a small parsnip, and two onions, all chopped fine; a cupful of chopped cabbage; two tablespoonfuls of barley or rice; and either six fresh tomatoes sliced, or a small can of sealed ones. Boil gently at least one hour; then add one saltspoonful each of pepper, curry-powder, and clove. If the stock has been salted properly, no more will be needed; but tasting is essential to secure just the right flavors. Boil a few minutes longer, and serve without straining.
This is an especially savory and hearty soup, and the combinations of vegetables may be varied indefinitely. A cup of chopped celery is an exceedingly nice addition, or, if this is not to be had, a teaspoonful of celery salt, or a saltspoonful of celery-seed. A lemon may also be sliced thin, and added at the last. Where tomatoes are used, a little sugar is always an improvement; in this case an even tablespoonful being sufficient. If a thicker broth is desired, one heaped tablespoonful of corn-starch or flour may be first dissolved in a little cold water; then a cup of the hot broth gradually mixed with it, and the whole added to the soup and boiled for five minutes.
CLEAR OR AMBER SOUP.
This soup needs careful attention. It may be made of beef alone, but, if desired very rich for a special dinner, requires the addition of either a chicken or a knuckle of veal. Allow, then, for the best soup, a soup-bone,—the shin of beef being most desirable,—weighing from two to three pounds; a chicken; a slice of fat ham; two onions, each stuck with three cloves; one small carrot and parsnip; one stalk of celery; one tablespoonful of salt; half a saltspoonful of pepper; and four quarts of cold water.
Cut all the meat from the beef bone in small pieces; slice the onions; fry the ham (or, if preferred, a thick slice of salt pork weighing not less than two ounces); fry the onions a bright brown in this fat; add the pieces of beef, and brown them also. Now put all the materials, bones included, into the soup-kettle; add the cold water, and let it very gradually come to a boil. Skim with the utmost care, and then boil slowly and steadily for not less than five hours, six or even seven being preferable. Strain, and set in a cold place. Next day remove the fat, and put the soup on the fire one hour before it will be wanted. Break the white and shell of an egg into a bowl; add a spoonful of cold water, and beat a moment; add a little of the hot soup, that the white may mix more thoroughly with the soup, and then pour it into the kettle. Let all boil slowly for ten minutes; then strain, either through a jelly-bag, or through a thick cloth laid in a sieve or colander. Do not stir, as this would cloud the soup; and, if not clear and sparkling, strain again. Return to the fire, and heat to boiling-point, putting a lemon cut in thin slices, and, if liked, a glass of sherry, into the tureen before serving. A poached egg, or a boiled egg from which the shell has been peeled, is often served with each plate of this soup, which must be clear to deserve its name.
Veal or chicken must be used for this soup; and the stock must always be prepared the day beforehand, having been flavored with two chopped onions and a cup of cut celery, or celery-seed and other seasoning, in the proportions already given. On the day it is to be used, heat a quart of milk; stir one tablespoonful of butter to a cream; add a heaping tablespoonful of flour or corn-starch, a saltspoonful of mace, and the same amount of white pepper. Stir into the boiling milk, and add to the soup. Let all boil a moment, and then pour into the tureen. Three eggs, beaten very light and stirred into the hot milk without boiling, make a still richer soup. The bones of cold roast chicken or turkey may be used in this way; and the broth of any meat, if perfectly clear, can serve as foundation, though veal or chicken is most delicate.
MOCK TURTLE SOUP.
A calf's head is usually taken for this soup; but a set of calf's feet and a pound of lean veal answer equally well. In either case, boil the meat in four quarts of water for five hours, reducing the amount to two quarts, and treating as stock for clear soup.
Remove all fat, and put on the fire next day, half an hour before dinner, seasoning it with a saltspoonful each of mace, powdered thyme, or sweet marjoram and clove. Melt a piece of butter the size of a walnut in a small saucepan; add a heaping tablespoonful of flour, and stir both till a bright brown. Add soup till a smooth thickening is made, and pour it into the soup-kettle. Cut about half a pound of the cold meat into small square pieces,—dice they are called,—and put into the tureen. Make forcemeat balls by chopping a large cup of meat very fine; season with a saltspoonful each of pepper and thyme; mix in the yolk of a raw egg; make into little balls the size of a hickory-nut, and fry brown in a little butter. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the tureen with (or without) a wine-glass of sherry. Pour in the soup, and serve. If egg-balls are desired, make them of the yolks of two hard-boiled eggs rubbed fine. Add the yolk of a raw egg, a tablespoonful of melted butter, a saltspoon of salt and half a one of pepper, and flour enough to make a dough which can be easily handled. Roll out; cut into little dice, and make each into a ball by rolling between the palms of the hands. Boil five minutes in the soup.
Prepare and boil as directed for stock. The broth from a boiled leg of mutton can be used, or any cheap pieces and trimmings from chops. One small turnip and an onion will give flavoring enough. On the day it is to be used, add to two quarts of broth half a cup of rice, and boil for half an hour.
Even an old fowl which is unusable in any other way makes excellent broth. Prepare as in any stock, and, when used, add a tablespoonful of rice to each quart of broth, boiling till tender. A white soup will be found the most savory mode of preparation, the plain broth with rice being best for children and invalids.
TOMATO SOUP WITHOUT MEAT.
Materials for this soup are: one large can, or twelve fresh tomatoes; one quart of boiling water; two onions; a small carrot; half a small turnip; two or three sprigs of parsley, or a stalk of celery,—all cut fine, and boiled one hour. As the water boils away, add more to it, so that the quantity may remain the same. Season with one even tablespoonful each of salt and sugar, and half a teaspoonful of pepper. Cream a tablespoonful of butter with two heaping ones of flour, and add hot soup till it will pour easily. Pour into the soup; boil all together for five minutes; then strain through a sieve, and serve with toasted crackers or bread.
HASTY TOMATO SOUP.
Simple but excellent. One large can of tomatoes and one pint of water brought to the boiling-point, and rubbed through a sieve. Return to the fire. Add half a teaspoonful of soda, and stir till it stops foaming. Season with one even tablespoonful of salt, two of sugar, one saltspoonful of cayenne. Thicken with two heaping tablespoonfuls of flour, and one of butter rubbed to a cream, with hot soup added till it pours easily. Boil a pint of milk separately, and, when ready to use, pour into the boiling tomato, and serve at once, as standing long makes the milk liable to curdle.
Two quarts of perfectly fresh oysters. Strain off the juice, and add an equal amount of water, or, if they are solid, add one pint of water, and then strain and boil. Skim carefully. Add to one quart of milk one tablespoonful of salt, and half a teaspoonful of pepper, and, if thickening is liked, use same proportions as in hasty tomato soup, and set to boil. When the milk boils, put in the oysters. The moment the edges curl a little, which will be when they have boiled one minute, they are done, and should be served at once. Longer boiling toughens and spoils them. This rule may be used also for stewed oysters, omitting the thickening; or they may be put simply into the boiling juice, with the same proportions of butter, salt, and pepper, and cooked the same length of time.
Fifty clams (hard or soft), boiled in a quart of water one hour. Take out, and chop fine. Add one quart of milk, half a teaspoonful of pepper, and one teaspoonful of salt. It will be necessary to taste, however, as some clams are salter than others. Rub one tablespoonful of butter to a cream with two of flour, and use as thickening. Add the chopped clams, and boil five minutes. If the clams are disliked, simply strain through a sieve, or cut off the hard part and use the soft only.
PURÉE, OF FISH, VEGETABLES, ETC.
One pound of fresh boiled salmon, or one small can of the sealed.
Pick out all bone and skin, and, if the canned is used, pour off every drop of oil. Shred it as fine as possible. Boil one quart of milk, seasoning with one teaspoonful of salt, and one saltspoonful each of mace and white pepper, increasing the amount slightly if more is liked. Thicken with two tablespoonfuls of flour, and one of butter rubbed to a cream, with a cup of boiling water; add thickening and salmon, and boil two minutes. Strain into the tureen through a purée sieve, rubbing as much as possible of the salmon through with a potato-masher, and serve very hot. All that will not go through can be mixed with an equal amount of cracker-crumbs or mashed potato, made into small cakes or rolls, and fried in a little butter for breakfast, or treated as croquettes, and served at dinner.
This thickened milk is the foundation for many forms of fish and vegetable purées. A pint of green pease, boiled, mashed, and added; or asparagus or spinach in the same proportions can be used. Lobster makes a purée as delicious as that of salmon. Dry the "coral" in the oven; pound it fine, and add to the milk before straining, thus giving a clear pink color. Cut all the meat and green fat into dice, and put into the tureen, pouring the hot milk upon it. Boiled cod or halibut can be used; but nothing is so nice as the salmon, either fresh or canned. For a Purée of Celery boil one pint of cut celery in water till tender; then add to boiling milk, and rub through the sieve. For Potato Purée use six large or ten medium sized potatoes, boiled and mashed fine; then stirred into the milk, and strained; a large tablespoonful of chopped parsley being put in the tureen. For a Green-Corn Soup use the milk without straining; adding a can of corn, or the corn cut from six ears of fresh boiled corn, and an even tablespoonful of sugar, and boiling ten minutes. Salsify can also be used, the combinations being numberless, and one's own taste a safe guide in making new ones.
Wash and soak over-night, in cold water, one pint of the black or turtle beans. In the morning put on the fire in three quarts of cold water, which, as it boils away, must be added to, to preserve the original quantity. Add quarter of a pound of salt pork and half a pound of lean beef; one carrot and two onions cut fine; one tablespoonful of salt; one saltspoonful of cayenne. Cover closely, and boil four or five hours. Rub through a colander, having first put in the tureen three hard-boiled eggs cut in slices, one lemon sliced thin, and half a glass of wine. This soup is often served with small sausages which have been boiled in it for ten minutes, and then skinned, and used either whole or cut in bits. Cold baked beans can also be used, in which case the meat, eggs, and wine are omitted.
One quart of dried pease, washed and soaked over-night; split pease are best. In the morning put them on the fire with six quarts of cold water; half a pound of salt pork; one even tablespoonful of salt; one saltspoonful of cayenne; and one teaspoonful of celery-seed. Fry till a bright brown three onions cut small, and add to the pease; cover closely, and boil four or five hours. Strain through a colander, and, if not perfectly smooth, return to fire, and add a thickening made of one heaping teaspoonful of flour and an even one of butter, stirred together with a little hot water and boiled five minutes. Beans can be used in precisely the same way; and both bean and pea soups are nicer served with croutons, or a thick slice of bread cut in dice, and fried brown and crisp, or simply browned in the oven, and put into the tureen at the moment of serving.
Take three large onions, slice them very thin, and then fry to a bright brown in a large spoonful of either butter or stock-fat, the latter answering equally well. When brown, add half a teacupful of flour, and stir constantly until red. Then pour in slowly one pint of boiling water, stirring steadily till it is all in. Boil and mash fine four large potatoes, and stir into one quart of boiling milk, taking care that there are no lumps. Add this to the fried onions, with one teaspoonful of salt and half a teaspoonful of white pepper. Let all boil for five minutes, and then serve with toasted or fried bread. Simple as this seems, it is one of the best of the vegetable soups, though it is made richer by the use of stock instead of water.
BROWNED FLOUR FOR SOUPS.
Put a pint of sifted flour into a perfectly clean frying-pan, and stir and turn constantly as it darkens, till the whole is an even dark brown. If scorched at all, it is ruined, and should not be used for any purpose. As a coloring for soups and gravies it is by no means as good as caramel or burned sugar.
Half a pound of brown sugar; one tablespoonful of water. Put into a frying-pan, and stir steadily over the fire till it becomes a deep dark brown in color. Then add one cup of boiling water and one teaspoonful of salt. Boil a minute longer, bottle, and keep corked. One tablespoonful will color a clear soup, and it can be used for many jellies, gravies, and sauces.
THE EASIEST WAY IN HOUSEKEEPING AND COOKING.
Adapted to Domestic Use or Study in Classes