Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 6

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.


41 thoughts on “Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 6

  1. I love how that chapter begins! So cute! When was the cookbook printed? What a great chapter. I always think I should make more soups. There are some soups I really don’t like, but then I have come across others that I love. So I need to remember that there are lots of options out there and get trying them!

  2. I have a soup pot on the go the entire winter – it gets left overs and bit and pieces and topped up with a soup pack every couple of weeks!

  3. I love this post because I love soup. And yes, sometimes I do eat it for breakfast! It made me run to get a well loved, well thumbed soup cookbook I have “New Covent Garden Soup Company´s Book of Soups – New, Old and Odd Recipes”. It has some amusing and interesting quotes at the start of the various sections. One of my favourites is:

    Economical Soup, from a Wartime Recipe book – Take one bean (haricot or butter), 7 pints of water, simmer for three weeks; then take out the bean and season to taste. If thick soup is preferred, leave the bean in.

    Still makes me giggle!

  4. I love soup, even in the peak of summer – it is so satisfying…Love the style of writing in that book and I absolutely love the idea of having buttered popcorn over a hearty bowl of soup…much nicer than having bread…I will have to have this for my soup topping…


  5. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I clicked over to your blog and saw this cookbook. This was my mother’s one and only cookbook. It’s a real classic and mine is in about the same shape as yours. I’m guessing the book is from the early forties during the war, which is when my mother married.

    We love soup and make it often all year long. I like to serve soup in demitasse cups for sipping as an appetizer.

    • Hi Sam, welcome and thanks for stopping by. How fun to be united by an old cookbook and how special that this was your Mom’s only one that she used. 🙂 The book was first copyrighted and printed in 1942. Here is a link to my first post in the series on the book http://wp.me/pT5Tj-Ct – I have just popped over to your blog and subscribed for your updates. Looking forward to sharing. 🙂

  6. I need to get my hands on that cookbook- I love reading about food, not just recipes, but food. Thanks so much for sharing. Those soups sound amazing and if it wasn’t a blazing 100 degrees here in Texas I would be making them pronto. Will save for the fall for sure though!

  7. Yes, this great southern land is very wet and cold at the moment! Absolutely the right time for soup lovers, we indulged in another hearty pot of pumpkin soup last night! I must admit there are some great garnishing ideas in that very special recipe book of yours, and ones I wouldn’t have thought of, always enjoy reading excerpts from that book. x

  8. Years ago I did a great deal of cooking from this book :-).I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the recipes you find in it. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • Welcome back Mary. So pleased your computers are sorted out. I am sure that I have eaten many a meal as a youngster from recipes in this book – just wish my Nana was still around to ask. 🙂

  9. Wow. I love the introduction of Soup page, and 26 pages of soup recipe means one page per soup or more than that? Wow…. It’s sunny but still windy and cold here. Soup sounds very tempting tonight….

  10. Well, with the temperature at -1C here this morning, it is certainly soup weather but I’m not sure about garnishing soup with popcorn!

  11. Wow., rhubarb & fruit…., interesting concept Mandy, there is SO much to learn from these old books & this winter I’ve found some of my old soup recipes I copied from other chefs while I was working in London & have been so enjoying them too.

    • I am so pleased you enjoyed the read with your soup. 😉 Must say the toppings is something I never do either – just been thinking so myself all these years I have served my guests “undressed” soups – will have to rectify going forward. 🙂

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