Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 6
With the low temperatures in the southern hemisphere at the moment I thought it apt to share a portion of the Soups chapter.
The chapter starts:
“The Mock Turtle sang for Alice a song that makes sense, as well as famous nonsense:
‘Beautiful soup, so rich and green!
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the Evenin, beautiful Soup!’
Beautiful soup indeed, whether it’s romantic consommé, transparent and sparkling, or a bisque swimming with cream and the riches of the sea. We might extend the praise to include not only soup of the evening, but soup at noon, although few Americans will follow the lead of the French premier who liked onion soup for breakfast.
Soup is a cosmopolitan dish with a long history. Many centuries ago European peasants were living on one-dish meals of meat and vegetables cooked together; resourceful fishermen’s wives made chowder and bouillabaisse from that share of the catch spared for home consumption and gypsy cooks threw into the soup pot whatever the passing countryside had to offer. These hearty soups of peasant origin – minestrone, oxtail, petite marmite are, like stews, a meal in themselves.
Thin clear soups, so light and savoury that they give edge to appetite, were devised to precede elaborate formal meals. They have come into common use only with the wider extension of luxuries in modern times. Jellied consommé, since it requires refrigeration, is an even more recent addition to the popular menu. Cold fruit soups are, so far, foreign novelties not yet at home in all sections of this country.
Since their purpose is different, thin soups can never replace chowders, stew and other soups of substance. Thick or thin, each in its own time and place is a beautiful soup.”
The chapter has 26 pages of recipes for all kinds of soup including rhubarb and fruit juice soup.
No soup should be served naked so there was a comprehensive list of garnishes.
“The thin clear soups take to dressing up better than the thick hearty ones, but a dash of paprika or some finely chopped parsley will improve almost any soup.
Clear Soup Garnishes: A thin slice of lemon sprinkled with parsley; a few slices of stuffed olive or slivers of cucumber pickle; cooked vegetables such as thinly sliced mushrooms, tiny slivers of carrots, asparagus tips; shredded salted almonds; macaroni or noodles in fancy shapes.
Jellied Soup Garnishes: Chopped olives; slivers of pickle or relish; sieved hard-cooked egg; chopped water cress, mint or parsley; slices of lemon.
Cream Soup Garnishes: Croutons; cereal croutons; egg dumplings; diced cooked vegetables; pimiento strips; shredded salted almonds; crisp cooked diced bacon; grated cheese; butteed popcorn; salted whipped cream or rosy cream.
Hearty Soups: Buttered popcorn; slices of smoked sausage or frankfurters; crisp cooked diced bacon.”
There are also recipes for Clear Soup Garnishes – choux puffs, cracker-crumb dumplings, egg dumplings, forcemeat balls, marrow balls, royal custard, threaded egg as well as whipped cream and rosy cream.