Food Timeline FAQs: soups & stews.....Have questions? Ask!
Food historians tell us the history of soup is probably as old as the history of cooking. The act of combining various ingredients in a large pot to create a nutritious, filling, easily digested, simple to make/serve food was inevitable. This made it the perfect choice for both sedentary and travelling cultures, rich and poor, healthy people and invalids. Soup (and stews, pottages, porridges, gruels, etc.) evolved according to local ingredients and tastes. New England chowder, Spanish gazpacho, Russian borscht, Italian minestrone, French onion, Chinese won ton and Campbell's tomato...are all variations on the same theme.
Soups were easily digested and were prescribed for invalids since ancient times. The modern restaurant industry is said to be based on soup. Restoratifs (wheron the word "restaurant" comes) were the first items served in public restaurants in 18th century Paris. Broth [Pot-au-feu], bouillion, and consomme entered here. Classic French cuisine generated many of the soups we know today.
Advancements in science enabled soups to take many forms...portable, canned, dehydrated, microwave-ready. "Pocket soup" was carried by colonial travellers, as it could easily be reconstituted with a little hot water. Canned and dehydrated soups were available in the 19th century. These supplied the military, covered wagon trains, cowboy chuck wagons, and the home pantry. Advances in science also permitted the adjustment of nutrients to fit specific dietary needs (low salt, high fiber, etc.).
"Cereals, roasted to make them digestible and then ground and moistened or diluted with water to make a paste, either thick or thin, did not become gruel or porridge until people had the idea and means of cooking them. They may initially have been cooked by hot stones in receptacles of natural substances, and then in utensils which could go straight over the fire. Soup, in fact, derives from sop or sup, meaning the sliced of bread on which broth was poured. Until bread was invented, the only kind of thick soup was a concoction of grains, or of plants and meat cooked in a pot. Gruel or porridge was thus a basic food, a staple from of nourishment, and long held that place in Western countries, for in practice bread was a luxury eaten only in towns. A thick porridge of some kind is still the staple food of many peoples, and it is not always made of cereals, but may consist of other starch foods: legumes, chestnuts or root vegetables."
---Food in History, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 177)
"Soup...This category included liquid foods for invalids, such as beaten egg, barley and emmer gruel...and the water from boiling pulses, vegetables or other foods...soups or purees made from vegetables or fruits...broth made with meal of legumes or cereals with added animal fat...and soup in the usual modern English sense, based on meat and vetetables...Medicinal spices and herbs might be added to these various soups, especially if they were intended for invalids as part of a prescribed diet."
---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 307)
"Soups. General Observations. The culinary preparations included in this section are of fairly recent origin in their present form, dating from only the early part of the 19th century. Soups of the old classical kitchen were in fact complete dishes in themselves and contained, apart from the liquid content and its vegetable garnish, a wide variety of meat, poultry, game and fish. It is only the liquid part of these classical dishes which has retained the name of soup. Examples of old style of soup which still survive are the Flemish Hochepot, the Spanish Oilles and the French Petite Marmite...On this point as on many others, culinary art owes much to Careme...."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, A. Escoffier, first translation of Le Guide Culinaire  by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 1979 (p. 65)
[NOTE: Escoffier's notes regarding soup classification and serving are also contained in this book.]
- Soup Through the Ages: A Culinary History with Period Recipes/Victora R. Rumble...BEST source for researchers and foodies.
- Soup: A Global History/Janet Clarkson...general overview
- An Exaltation of Soups/Satricia Solley...history headnotes, fun facts & recipes
Cold soup. Really?
Yes! In most countries, cuisines and periods; for starters, dessert or holiday fare. We Americans are not collective fans but we are intrigued. Especially when the heat is on outside. Think: Vichyssoise, Gazpacho & fruit soups.
"Reams have been written about the worth of good hot soup. And we're inclined to agree with much of this praise. But, in this book, cold soup is the 'in' thing. The idea may be so strange to a number of us and so different from the bracing stimuli of hot soup, it might be necessary to adjust our mental taste reflexes to the delicacy, the soothing quiet effect of chilled soup. We haven't been able to pinpoint who made the first cold soup, nor where, but notable examples of this refreshment are to be found in many countries. And contrary to what you might think at first, just about as many are from cold lands as from the tropics or sun countries. Russia makes a meaty hot borsch, but their chilled beet borsch is much more popular and more of a classic. The Danes dote on chilled buttermilk soups, and all Scandinavians and Finns as well enjoy their cold fruit soups as a first course or dessert. Around the Mediterranean, the Greeks make a chilled lemon soup called Avgolemono that looks and tastes like chilled sunshine. The ways to make Spain's iced salad-soup, Gazpacho, are without number...Yogurt, buttermilk and interesing herbs and spices such as mint, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, etc., enhance cool soups of the Middle East. Tropical countries all over use their lush produce to make exotic cold soups of avocado, coconut, melon, strange vegetables and fish of all kinds. Perhaps the all-time favorite cold soup is our own American-made original Creme Vichyssoise Glacee creatd by the late Chef Louis Diat at the New York Ritz. It was named for his hometown, Vichy, France, and was, of course, simply an elegant version of a popular French county potage made of leeks and potatoes. In like manner, we've found that many of the lovely shellfish bisques, the creamy vegetable and chicken soups so beloved by the great chers, are equally good, or better, served cold. They seem more delicate, and refresh in a quiet, serene sort of way."
---Serve it Cold!: A Cookbook of Delcious Cold Dishes, June Crosby and Ruth Conrad Bateman [Gramercy Publishing Company: New York] 1968 (p. 41-42)
[NOTE: This book offers recipes for Bloody Mary Soup, Jellied Cucumber Soup, Snappy Jellied Madrilene, Jellied Mushroom Consomme, Consome Imperial, Belmar Hotel's Gazpacho [Mazatalan, Mexico], Gazpacho Grenada, Hungarian Tomato Soup, Lobster Buttermilk Bisque, Buttermilk Borsch, Iranian Cucumber Mast, Watercress Yogurt Soup, Avocado Madrilene, Vichyssoise Glacee, One-Of-Each Singhalese, Cubumber Taerragon Soup, Coconut Curry Soup, Coconut Milk, Latin Pumpkin Soup, Iced Avocado, Shrmip Cucumber Bisque, Iced Avocado Clam Soup, Cold Crab Soup, Pink Strawberry Soup [recipe for the Rainbow Room, NYC Rockefeller Center], Blueberry Wine Soup, & Peaches 'N' Cream Soup. Happy to scan/share recipes.]
"With the first breath of really warm weather, the cook starts thinking about new and wonderful cold soups. The refereshing chill and tang of these as a first course or as a 'starter' is a wonderful nudge to one's appetite. The main thing to remember is that cold soup must be really cold, just as hot soup must be really hot, to be good. No betwixt-and-between stuff here. Have the plates or bouillon cups chilled too. The beading of moisture that usually forms on the cups adds to the illusion of coolness. A quick way to get soup very cold is to pour it into the ice tray of the refrigerator. Watch it carefully from time to time so that it does not freeze. When it is just at the point of forming ice crystals, or in the case of jellied soup, has just jellied, take out the tray, and let it stand in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve the soup in cups or plates. Soups chilled in this way are really cold and also do not have the chance to absorb the odors of other foods in the refrigerator while in the lukewarm stage. Almost any soup that is good hot is good cold, with the exception of mixed vegetable soups and broths with barley or rice. Black bean soup, with a slice of lemon and some sherry added, is wonderful chilled. So is borstch, topped with a dab of sour cream. Add a pinch of curry powder to cold cream of asparagus soup, and you'll have an unusual and interesting flavor. Cold potato soup, made with a little extra sour cream and a good sprinkling of chopped chives, makes that aristocrat of cold soup, the Vichyssoise, sit up and take notice."
---The Soup Book, Louis P. DeGouy, facsimile 1949 edition [Dover Publications:New York] 1974 (p. 73)
Why the word "soup?"
"The etymological idea underlying the word soup is that of soaking. It goes back to an unrecorded post-classical Latin verb suppare soak', which was borrowed from the same prehistoric German root (sup-) as produced in English sup and supper. From it was derived the noun suppa, which passed into Old French as soupe. This meant both piece of bread soaked in liquid' and, by extension, broth poured onto bread.' It was the latter strand of the meaning that entered English in the seventeenth century. Until the arrival of the term soup, such food had been termed broth or pottage. It was customarily served with the meat or vegetable dishes with which it had been made, and (as the dreivation of soup suggest) was poured over sops of bread or toast (the ancestors of modern croutons). But coincident with the introduction of the world soup, it began to be fashionable to serve the liquid broth on its own, and in the early eighteenth century it was assuming its present-day role as a first course."
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 316)
"Our modern word "soup" derives from the Old French word sope and soupe. The French word was used in England in the in the form of sop at the end of the Middle Ages and, fortunately, has remained in the English language in its original form and with much its original sense. We say "fortunately" because it is clear that nowadays a "sop" is not a "soup." The distinction is important. When cooks in the Middle Ages spoke of "soup," what they and the people for whom they were cooking really understood was a dish comprising primarily a piece of bread or toast soaked in a liquid or over which a liquid had been poured. The bread or toast was an important, even vital, part of this dish. It was a means by which a diner could counsume the liquid efficiently by sopping it up. The bread or toast was, in effect, an alternative to using a spoon...Soups were important in the medieval diet, but the dish that the cook prepared was often a sop that consisted of both nutritious liquid and the means to eat it. The meal at the end of a normal day was always the lighter of the two meals of the day, and the sop appears to have had an important place in it. In fact it was precisely because of the normal inclusion of a sop in this end-of-the-day meal that it became called "souper" or "supper."
---Early French Cookery, D. Eleanor Scully & Terence Scully [University of Michigan Press:Ann Arbor] 1995 (p. 102)
"Soup. The most general of the terms which apply to liquid savory dishes...Similar terms in other languages include the Italian zuppa, the German Suppe, Danish suppe, etc. Of the various categories of the dish which may be eaten, soup can certainly be counted among the most basic...Its role...as an appetizing first course should be viewed against the historical background, in which soups with solids in them were a meal in themselves for poorer people, especially in rural areas..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 735)
[NOTE: This book has separate historical entries on several popular soups. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]
Why do we "eat" rather than "drink" soup?
Etiquette experts tell us we "eat," rather than "drink" soup because it is considered part of the meal. Additionally, in most cultures soup is consumed with a spoon rather than sipped from the container. Consistency (clear broth, chunky chicken vegetable, creamy cold cucumber), preparation (puree, reduction, simmer, dried), and ingredients (meat, vegetable, strarch, dairy, fruit) do no factor into this particular equation.
"The liquid element in a meal is either placed first and "eaten" as a soup, with a spoon, or it is poured over the solids as sauces, gravies, creams, or syrups. The accompanying drink is kept separate, standing outside the meal: literally standing in a high glass, and literally outside, beyond the cutlery fence bounding the "place."...We...carry the liquid in our beer and wineglasses directly to our mouths." ---The Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguin Books:New York] 1991 (P. 242)
You can study these by examining current and historic cuisine-specific cookbooks. Here you will find popular/traditional recipes. Some of these books also contain historic notes. Books concentrating on specific eras/countries (classical Greece, Medieval Europe, 19th century Russia, etc.) are good for background. Reay Tannahill's Food in History is an excellent place to learn about the prehistoric origins of cooking. If you are a culinary student check your school's library. It most likely has the books you need to complete this assignment. If you need help identifying books written on a specific place/time we can provide you with titles. Your librarian can arrange to obtain them for you. Sorry, we do not find a comprehensive book covering the history of all soups in all places through time.
Specific soup types
Looking for a case study? We recommend Andrew F. Smith's Souper Tomatoes. This informative book tracks the origin and evolution of tomato soup. It also includes historic recipes.
SoupSong is a culinary delight of facts, fiction, and trivia.
Stock, broth & bouillon
The difference and connection between stock, broth, bouillon, and consomme is complicated. It helps sometimes to start with definitions:
"Stock. Etymologically, stock is simply something one keeps a stock of for use. Nowadays usually conveniently conjured up by adding water to a commercial preparation (the term stock cube is not recorded until as recently as the 1960s; American English still prefers the more refined-sounding bouillon cube, which dates from the 1930s), stock is traditionaly the product of a pot kept constantly simmering on the hob, to which odds and ends of meat, bones vegetables, etc. are added from time to time to keep up a continuous stock for flavoury broth as a basis for soups, stews, sauces, etc...In practice, few households or restaurants have the sort of constantly available source of low heat necessary for this perpetually self-renewing stockpot, and most stock is made afresh in individual batches as needed."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 325)
"1. Mushroom stock. Get the worst of your mushrooms, wash them carefully with their skin and stems on, without removing anything. Boil them in a pot with good blouillon; as they boil, put in a bouquet of herbs, an onion stuck with whole cloves and a few bits of roast meat, everything well seasoned with salt. After it has all boiled well, put it through a strainer; put it into a pot to use it as you need it. This can be used in all sorts of ragouts, even pottages, and often it can be used in place of mutton stock. 2. Beef or Mutton Stock. Cook your meat, whether beef or mutton, a little less than half. PRick it with a knife and pressit in a press if you have one becasue that will be much more effective. When the meat is pressed and the juice is extracted, get a spoonful of bood bouillon and baste hyour meat wtih it, and again extract as much juice as you can to make up what you need. Put it into a pot with a little salt. Mix the juice of a lemon into it when you are ready to use it."
---La Varenne's Cookery, A Modern English Translation and Commentary by Terence Scully, The French Cook, Chapter XXI, "Mushroom, Beeef or Mutton Stocks which can be used in many sauces and ragout preparations," [Prospect Books:Devon] 2006 (p. 226)
"General stock, or Grand Bouillon, is the principle of all the soups and sauces which follow; it is used instead of water, to which it is much to be preferred. General Stock is made with legs of beef, knuckles of veal, and any fresh meat trimmings and bones. Cut all the meat from the bones; break them; and put them, together with the meat, in a stock-pot, with about 2 1/2 pints of cold water to each pound of bones and meat; and add a little salt, and put on the fire to boil; skim carefully; and put in some carrots, onions, and leeks; simmer for five hours; strain the Stock through a broth napkin, into a basin, and keep it in a cold palce, till wanted."
---The Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, Translated from the Fench and Adapated for English Use by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, and Marston:London] 1869 (p. 226)
"Stock is the bassis of all meat sauces, soups, and purees. It is really the juice of meat extracted by long and gentle simmering, and in making it, should be remembered that the object to be aimed at is to draw the goodness out of the materials into the liquor. It may be prepared in various ways, richly and expensively, or economically, and recipes for all modes are given in this work. All general stock, or stock which is to be used for miscellaneous purposes, should be simply made, that is, all flavoring ingredients should be omitted entirely until its use is decided upon. The stock will then keep longer than it would do if vegetables, herbs, and spices were boiled in it, besides which the flavouring can be adapted to its special purpose. To ensure its keeping, stock should be boiled and skimmed every day in summer, and every other day in winter. The pan and the lid used in making it should be scrupulously clean. A tinned iron pan is the best for the purpose. Those who need to practise economy will do well to procure a digester, which is a kind of stock-pot made with the object of retaining the goodness of the materials, and preventing its escape in steam. When ready, stock should be poured into an earthenware pan, and left uncovered until it is cold. It should on no account be allowed to cool in a metal pan. Before being used, every particle of fat which has settled on the surface should be removed, and the liquor should be poured off free from sediment. A few years ago it was customary for cooks to make stock with fresh meat only, the rule being a pound of meat to a pint of stock. Altered prices have necessitated the adoption of more economical methods, and now excellent stock is constantly made with the bones and trimmings of meat and poultry, with the addition or not of a little fresh meat, or a portion of Liebig's Extract of Meat. In a house where meat is regularly used, a good cook will never be without a little stock. Broken remnants of all kinds will find their way to the stock-pot, and will not be thrown away untily, by gentle stewing, they have been made to yield to the utmost whatever of fresh meat is used it is better for being freshly killed. The liquor is which fresh meat has been boiled should always be used as stock."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875? (p. 924-5)
[NOTE: This book contains general notes on the prinicples of stock as well as several recipes.]
Pickled, Potted, and Canned/Sue Shepard "Concentrates" (p. 175-184)
"Etymologically, broth is that which has been brewed'; the word comes ultimately from the same prehistoric Germanic source as modern English brew. From earliest times it was used for the liquid in which something is boiled', and the something' could be vegetable as well as animal...By the seventeenth century it was becoming largely restricted to the liquid in which meat is boiled', and more particularly to a thin soup made from this with the addition of vegetables, cereal grains, etc. (the term Scotch broth dates from at least the early eighteenth century)...The proverb "Too many cooks spoil the broth' is first recorded in Sir Balthazar Gerbier's Three Chief Principals of Magnificent Building, 1665."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 44)
"Broth. A term which usually means the liquid in which meat has been cooked or a simple soup based thereon. It is a close equivalent to the French bouillon and the Italian brodo, but difference between the evolution of cookery in English-speaking countries and those of the cuisines which use other languages have give it...a flavour of its own. The word comes from a root which means simply to brew, without specifying the presence of meat, and there are early examples of broths made with just vegetables...However, for several centuries, broth has usually implied meat. It has also been prominent in invalid cookery...It could be said that broth occupies an intermediate position between stock and soup. A broth (e.g. chicken broth) can be eaten as is, whereas a stock (e.g. chicken stock) would normally be consumed only as an ingredient in something more complex. A soup, on the other hand, would usually be less simple, more finished', than a broth."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 108-9)
ABOUT COURT BOUILLON
"Court bouillon. A court bouillon (in French literally short bouillon') is a light stock used mainly for poaching fish or shellfish in. It is made from water and the usual mixture of stock vegetables (onions, carrots, celery) and herbs, with the optional addition of white wine or (particularly for freshwater fish) vinegar. The term has been used in English texts since the early eighteenth century, but Eliza Acton in her Modern Cookery (1845) made it clear that cooking with court bouillon was still far from an everyday event: court bouillon--a preparation of vegetables and wine, in which (in expensive cookery) fish is boiled.'"
---An A to Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 92-3)
"Court buillon. A flavored liquid intended for the cooking of eggs, vegetables, or seafood, and in use in France and elsewhere for many centuries. In modern times its use is reserved almost exclusively for seafood, especially fish..In early Englsih cookery books the term is ofent spelled strange ways, e.g. courbolion (May, 1685). However, there was little difference between early English recipes and early French ones. La Varenne...gave several recipes for fish cooked in a court bouillon...Stobart (1980) points out that: "Meats and vegetables are less often cooked court-bouillon for an obvious reason. A court-bouillon is prepared in advance by boiling the flavouring ingredients before the food it put in to cook. This is necessary with fish, and shell fish, as they spend only a short time in the cooking liquid. But the meats and vegetables, which take longer to cook, the flavouring materials can usually be boiled while the food is cooking.""
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 220)
Ude's recipe, 1828
Take three carrots, four onions, six shallots, and two roots of parsley, which pick and wash. Mince them. Put a small lump of butter into a stew-pan, with the above roots, and fry them till they begin to get brown. Moisten next with two bottles of red wine, a bottle of water, a handful of salt, some whole pepper-corns, and a bunch of parsley and green onions, seasoned with thyme, bay leaves, sweet basil, cloves, &c. Let the whole stew for an hour, and then strain it through a sieve, to use as occasion may require. If you should have no wine, put In some vinegar. The court-bouillon is better after having served sevearal times than on the first day. It is a famous thing for stewing fish."
---The French Cook, Louis Eustache Ude,  facsimile Englished reprint [Arco:New York]1978 (p. 257)
Related recipe? Beef tea & consomme.
Soup or stew?
What is the difference between soup and stew? On the most basic level there is no absolute difference. Like ancient pottage, both soup and stew descend from economical, easy, healthy, forgiving, and locally sourced family feeds. Throughout time, these two interrelated menu items converge and diverge. Modern American cultural context does, however, separate soup from stew quite simply. The test is not in the ingredients or method, but which course it is served. Soup is starter/accompaniment; stew is main course.
Soup, in some contexts, variously became regarded as haute cuisine (consomme, vichyssoise), healthful restoratifs (18th century French Restaurants & Jewish grandmother chicken soup), and economical family fare (commercial vegetable beef, tomato). Soup can be served as first course (classic menu), lunch (paired with sandwich or salad) and dessert (fruit soup). It can be served hot (most) or cold (gazpacho, cucumber). Either way, the stock reigns supreme.
Stew is generally appreciated in larger chunks as main course, always served warm. Slow cooking renders tough cuts of meat delicious. The fact "stew" was a verb before it was a noun means much. Deliberate slow cooking with minimal moisture produces amazing results. Stew is generally regarded as community feed ( Brunswick Stew, Kentucky Burgoo & Booya) or family fare; not eligible for haute cuisine.
The best way to compare definitions of two terms is take them from the same source. It is interesting to note Escoffier does not attempt to define the differences. If you're examining the differences within a specific culture/cuisine/period context, compare soup and stew recipes offered in cookbooks serving your target period. Menus confirm meal placement.
 The Master Dictionary of Food & Cookery, Henry Smith [Philosophical Library:New York]
"Soup as a food consists of water in which meat, fish, poultry, game, vegetables or even fruits are stewed, to extract all the food value with the least possible loss of vitamins and flavour. Cereals and thickening agents are sometimes added to give body."---(p. 225)
"Stew...is nothing more or less than simmering foods in the smallest possible quantity of liquid. The meat, poultry or game and liquid are served together as a 'stew,'...Stewing has many advantages from the nutritive and economic standpoints."---(p. 230)
 The New Food Lover's Companion, Sharon Tyler Herbst [Barrons Eduational Series:New York] , 3rd edition
"Soup. Theoretically, a soup can be made in any combination or vegetables, meat or fish cooked in a liquid. it may be thick (like Gumbo), thin (such as a Consomme), smooth (like a Bisque) or chunky (Chowder or Bouillabaisse). Though most soups are hot, some like Vichyssoise and Fruit Soups are served cold...The can be served as a first course or as a meal, in which case they're usually accompanied by a sandwich or salad."---(p. 581)
"Stew. Any dish that is prepared by stewing. The term is most often applied to dishes that combine meat, vegetables and a thick soup-like broth resulting from a combination of the stewing liquid and the natural juices of the food being processed."---(p. 596)
 Encyclopedia of Food Culture, Solomon H. Katz, editor-in-Chief [Thomson Gale:New York] Volume 3
"Soup. A soup is a broth that is infused with flavor. It may be think and crystal clear like a consomme, voluptuously smooth and creamy like a creamed soup, or so chunky with meat, fish, grains, and/or vegetables it is just this side of stew. A soup may be the first of several courses, intended just to whet the appetite; it may be one of many dishes served at the same time; or it may be a hearty meal in a bowl. The bottom line is that in order to be soup, it must be enough of a liquid preparation that eventually one gets around to sipping it, or eating it with a spoon."---(p. 297)
"Stew. A stew had been described as an assortment of foods cooked in liquid within a container with a lid. Stews are usually made from several ingredients and may be named for the most important of these, for example, beef stew; for its point of origin, for its point of origin, as in Irish stew; or for the pot in which it is cooked, as in Rumanian ghivexi, named for the Turkish guvec, an earthenware pot in which the stew is cooked. The word "stew" is said to have come from the old French word estuir, meaning to enclose."...Stews are commonly regarded as 'comfort' foods, everyday dishes served to family or close friends in an intimate setting, rather than as fare in more public settings or at special occasions."---(p. 341-342)
Dry soup mix & California dip
Soup mix, as we Americans know it today, descends from portable soups consumed by explorers, soldiers, and travelers for hundreds of years. Rehydration is a simple and economical way to serve hot nourishment when standard recipes are not possible.
A survey of historic American newspaper articles and food history sources confirm dried soup mixes were introduced to the general consumer in the 1930s. The market blossomed in the 1940s, when several companies agressively promoted a variety of flavors to busy housewives. The hook? Convenience (quick, easy), economics (mixes were inexpensive) and versatility (mixes could be used to create sauces for casseroles, gravies for meats/vegetables, and dips for snacks). Of all these products, the most famous is Lipton's Onion Soup Mix. Why? In the early 1950s a recipe for California Dip, combining this product with sour cream, caught the attention of the American palate. This classic dip is still beloved by many today.
Dry soup mixes
"A new branch in the food industry has spring up rapidly since the start of the year and is beginning to contribute some funds to advertising. It is the soup mix business and at the rate companies are entering the field there will be at least a dozen contenders by the end of the year. The Thomas J. Lipton Company appeared to have started the parade earlier this year with numerous test campaigns on Contintental Noodle Soup mix in newspapers. Since that time General Mills, with its Betty Crocker noodle soup mix, Skinner and Eddy Corporation with its Minute Man vegetable, noodle and chicken flavor rice soup mixes and Dainty Food Manufacturers, Inc., a Kraft Cheese affiliate, with its Dainty noodle soup mix, have all entered the lists. These three companies are all using newspapers and radio to test comapigns in various cities."
---"Advertising News and Notes," New York Times, June 10, 1941 (p. 39)
"Manufacturers of dehydrated soups have formed an organization sponsored by the Grocery Manufactures of America to handle the industry's problems and have elected L.J. Gumpert, director of sales of B.T. Baggitt, Inc., as chairman. The group will be known as the Soup Mix Manufacturers. Mr. Gumpert said sales in the industry have jumped from 0,000 in 1939 to an estimated ,000,000 for this year."
---"Heads New Association of Soup Dehydrators," New York Times, April 22, 1943 (p. 35)
How much did these early soups cost? These prices were advertised by Gimbel's Department Store, New York Times, November 7, 1943 (p. 23)
"Dainty Onion soup mix, 4 portions, .10
Lipton's noodle soup mix, .08
Lipton's pea soup mix, .09
Lipton's black bean soup mix, .09
How good were these early products & how were they received?
USA commercial dry soup mix reviewed by Consumer Reports 1963 & 1978 says it all.
"Americans, while giving lip service to the truism that there's nothing-like-a-plate-of-old-fashioned-home-made-soup, annually consume countless platefuls of the ready-made kind. The every-simmering pot of soup stock long since has gone from the kitchen, put to rout first by the convenience of canned soups and now by the even greater handiness of dry-mix soups, which are making their mark on the market. Light and compact, dry-mix soups take up less pantry space than cans and are easier to tote home from the store or out to a campsite. But how do they really compare with the home-made soups of memory? With canned condensed soups? With each other? To answer these simple though subjective questions, CU chose a number of staff members who demonstrated in tryouts that they could reproduce their soup judgements; that is, when given a series of unidentified soups to taste and describe, they gave a similar flavor description each time they tasted a particular soup. These individuals, none of whom could be considered a gourmet, served as panelists to examine the soups prepared from the mixes, and to describe, independently of each other, the taste odor, and texture characteristics, noting particularly any brand-distinguishing features. The test covered six leading brands of dried soups--Campbell's, Red Kettle, Goodman's Knorr, Lipton, Mrs. Grass, and Wyler's--in the most popular flavors, chicken noodle, beef noodle, onion, and green pea. The panel also tasted Campbell's canned soups in the same four flavors. In each case the tasters did not know either the type or the brand they were sampling. The verdict, briefly, was: First, none of the soups tasted as good to the panelists as the home-made soups they knew or remembered. Second, the tasters preferred dry-mix-noodle and onion soups to the canned versions, mainly because the noodles and onions were firmer and the onions also crisper. An third, different brands of dry-mix soups seemed to cater to different tastes. Generally speaking, the panel described Campbell's Red Kettle and Lipton soups as having 'a true flavor.' The Knorr soups were described as heavily spiced and well garnished, a quasi-European impression emphasized in recent advertising for this American-made version of a famous old Swiss line. A fourth brand, Wyler's, was judged relatively weak in flavor, with bouillon-like overtones...The dry soups, but the way, were found as easy to prepare as the canned condensed type, although the lump of soup stock in Wyler's chicken noodle mixed dispersed rather slowly and had to be broken up with a mixing spoon. Most brands are conveniently packaged in pouches containing the makings of two to five portions, depending on the brand and your own idea of portion size. Campbell's Red Kettle comes two small cans to the box. Except in the green pea mixes tested, the packaged ingredients were not distributed uniformly enough to permit preparation of only part of a package. In general, you can expect to pay less per serving of dry-mix soups than of canned condensed. For example, an eight-ounce serving of chicken noodle soup from a dry-mix may cost from 2 1/2 cents for the Wyler's to 6 1/2 cents for Campbell's Red Kettle or Knorr, against 7 1/2 cents for canned condensed Campbell's Chicken Noodle. Be careful reading the ingredients, which (as informed consumers know) are listed on food labels in order of their proportion by weight in the package, will indicate that dry-mix soups are by no means the bargains their package advertising often makes them out to be. Take the beef and chicken soup mixes. package pictures often play up the meat content...but every brand of chicken or beef noodle mix except Campbell's Red Kettle listed more salt than meat in the mix. The minimum amount of chicken in any product called chicken soup, when sold in interstate commerce, is set by the Poultry Inspection Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When the mixes tested by CU were packed, this agency required a minimum of 2% chicken meat as a preparation of the dry mix. A typical 1 1/2-ounce packet of chicken soul thus could contain as little as .03 ounce of dried chicken; a single serving, as little as .01 ounce. As of last March, and after much haggling, this definition of chicken soup was changed so that the 2% chicken-meat minimum applied to the reconstituted, ready-to-serve soup rather than to the dry mix. This boosted the legal minimum of chicken meat in a typical s erving all the way up to about .04 ounce. It may be that some consumers are content with chicken as a flavor, and don't expect to find much of the bird itself; it is true that no type of chicken soup is known to offer chicken meat on any substantial scale. Still, .04 ounce is down to a pretty fine scale. And there remains the question of what to call the mixes which offer less than that or even no chicken meat at all. Since these products are not considered poultry products, the Food and Drug Administration has jurisdiction over them; it is currently pondering phrases like 'noodle soup mix, chicken flavored' or 'imitation chicken flavor' or 'soup flavored with chicken fat.' CU suggests 'mock chicken soup' or perhaps 'chicanery soup.' Because even standards like those for chicken meat in chicken soup are as yet entirely lacking for other dry-mix soups, vigilance by the consumer is especially important for these products. Complaints to the FDA...about beef soup without beef, ham soup without ham, bacon soup without bacon, may help bring the day when consumers can trust the big print on the labels of a great many more prepared foods than now merit that confidence."
---Consumer Reports, May 1963 (p. 225-226)
[NOTE: ratings of "acceptable" soups, by flavor, offer brief descriptions of flavor, texture and price. They are not ranked best--worst.]
"Consider homemade chicken soup. It contains chicken, vegetables, and rice or noodles. As the soup cooks, flavors and nutrients form those ingredients are released into the broth. The soup tastes good. And while it won't cure a cold or anything else, it is an ideal fluid replacement when you're sick. Now consider the dehydrated soups tested for this report. Judging from their labels, the soups' vitamin content is practically nil. A principal seasoning is salt, which most Americans need less of, not more of. The soups' flavor, which wasn't especially good, was usually helped long with generous doses of monosodium glutamate (MSG), a chemical compound that contains sodium and causes unpleasant symptoms in some people. And there's evidence that some dried soups are manufactured with less than tender, loving care. But dried soup mix is certainly convenient. If you can stew a pot of water on the range, you can fix a dried soup. With a regular mix, you just add powder to the water and cook. With an instant mix, you add hot water to the powder in a cup and drink. We tested 43 regular and instant mixes --chicken soup (the most popular variety), beef soup, and a variety of vegetable soups, including tomato. You won't find a list of nutrients on the labels of these powders. There'd be precious little to put on such a list. According to published figures, thiamin is the most plentiful important nutrient in Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup. One serving's thiamin content equals some 7 percent of the RDA [Recommended Daily Allowance] for a woman. Other nutrients listed in the Lipton soup ranged from 0.4 to 3.9 percent of the RDA. Standard sources show other dried soup mixes are similarly low in nutrients. What about protein? We checked to see. Most of the soups come in six- or eight ounce portions. Of those soups, all but one provided less than four grams of protein per portion...The exception is Lipton Cup-A-Soup Green Pea, which provided 5.4 grams. Four of the soups come in 15-ounce portions and consist mostly of needles. Thanks mainly to the noodles, those four provide about eight to nine grams of protein per portion--a good contribution to a person' daily protein need. While low in vitamins and minerals, the dried soups are higher in carbohydrates--or sugars and refined starches--than soup should be. Most of the ingredient labels indicate one or more (usually more) of the following sugars: corn sweeteners, sugar, dextrose, and lactose. In addition, most of the soups list one or more of the following starches: potato starch, corn starch, modified food starch, wheat starch, and various flours. All those added sugars and starches have little nutritional value. We analyzed for sucrose, or common table sugar. Some soups contained no sucrose. Most were fairly low in sucrose. The tomato soups were higher than the other products, containing 2 1/2 to 6 grams--about a teaspoon--per serving. Calories per portion were usually fairly low. The soups in six- and eight-ounce portions generally provided form 30 to 80 calories. The 15-ounce 'noodle' soups provided 320 calories or so--about what you'd get with a bowl of noodles. What's in the soups, aside from dehydrated chicken, beef, vegetables, or noodles? The ingredients list on a typical dried soup reads a bit like the index to a chemistry textbook. We could have analyzed for months to determine how much of what is in each dried soup. We didn't. Instead, we've given a guide to dried-soup additives...and analyzed only for sodium and monosodium glutamate. Our taste experts judged that saltiness was the major flavor characteristic of the tested soups. Salt is approximately 40 percent sodium. Most of the soups contained between 700 and 900 milligrams of sodium per portion. A few were somewhat lower. And 12 were astonishingly high--about 1040 to 1630 milligrams per portion. With those, you get about one-half to three-quarters teaspoon of salt per serving...Monosodium glutamate is used in dried soups as a flavor enhancer. many people can ingest MSG without experiencing side effects. But some individual experience what's been called the 'Chinese restaurant syndrome,' which consists of a variety of uncomfortable, temporary symptoms, including a burning sensation throughout the body, upper chest pain, facial pressure, and headache. All the tested dried soups but Kroger Cup-of-Soup Cream Style Chicken Flavor list MSG as an ingredient. And our analysis of the Kroger showed it contained glutamic acid, the main component of MSG. Most of the soups contained between 500 and 800 milligrams of MSG per portion. Some contained less. And some contained more than 1000 milligrams per portion. The soup with the highest amount, Wyler's Chicken Flavored Rice, had about one-quarter teaspoon per six-ounce portion...How does this conglomeration of dried foods and chemicals taste after you've drowned its sorrows in hot water? We asked our sensory consultants to taste the stuff. None of the regular dried soups was judged better than Good; note of the instants was judged better than Fair. Unlike good homemade soups (such as CU's chicken soup...the dried soups contained few natural flavors, aromas, and textures. Some had artificial and 'off' flavors. Most tasted very salty...Recommendations: Dried soup mixes don't have much to recommend them. Even the best of the tested soups didn't taste like a good homemade soup. Most were high in sodium and MSG...As an alternative to the dried soups, you might heat up a canned soul. Pour sensory consultants tried a canned chicken noodle soup, a vegetable beef soup, and a tomato soup. All tasted a bit better than the dried soups. Canned soups in general should also contain more nutrients than dried soups. But, if the three soups we analyzed are any yardstick, canned soups (per manufacture's suggested portion) contain as much sodium as the worst of the dried soups and only a bit less MSG than the run of the dried soups. If you want nutritious soup that tastes good, try making your own. In the box below we give a recipe for CU's chicken soup. It costs about the same per portions as a dried soup. It's not exactly a convenience food. But once you cook it, you can freeze what you don't eat. If you sometimes have dried soup because it's convenient, try making it with skim milk or nonfat dry milk; the soup will baster better and be more nutritious, too. As for choosing among the tested soups, you're on your own. You can choose one rated Good over one rated Fair, but that still leaves you with so-so taste, low nutrition, sodium, and MSG. We calculated each soup's cost per serving using the serving size designated by the manufacturer. The regular soups were usually cheaper.Most of them cost from 6 to 10 cents per serving; the instants usually cost from 13 to 15 cents. The Maruchan instants, at 57 cents per serving, and the Nissin instants, at 58 cents, give you about 2 1/2 times the soup for about three or four times the price of the other instants.
NOW THIS IS SOUP!
As an alternative to dried soup, why not make your own? To get you started, here's our recipe for a hearty chicken stock (see any cookbook) which takes some time to prepare.
1 tablespoon chicken fat skimmed from homemade chicken stock
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 ounces uncooked dark-meat chicken, cut up
1 medium carrot, diced
1 large celery stalk with leaves, diced
1 very large scallion (green onion), diced
4 cups homemade chicken stock
1/4 cup egg noodles, broken up
1/2 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Melt the chicken fat in a large pot. Add garlic. Saute. Add the chicken. Stir the mixture occasionally as you dice the carrot, celery, and scallion. Add the vegetables to the pot. Saute a few minutes to soak up any remaining fat. Add stock. Bring to boil. Add noodles. Boil five to seven minutes until noodles are al dente. Add parsley, salt, and pepper just before serving. The soup tastes much better when the chicken meat that does into it is dark meat. Our recipe makes about eight six- ounce cups of soup and costs from 7 cents to 14 cents per portion. Our calculations showed that CU's chicken soup provided more protein than most of the tested chicken soups--5 grams per six-ounce cup of soup, or about 10 percent of a woman's RDA./ It contained a lot less sodium--about 185 milligrams per portion. And it contains no MSG or additives like those in the dried chicken soups. CU staffers who tried our homemade chicken soup thought it tasted just great. One staffer praised its 'good chicken flavor.' Another loved it because the vegetables 'were nice and firm.' Still another enjoyed it because it was 'nicely full of stuff.'"
---Consumer Reports, November 1978 (p. 615-119) [NOTES: (1) Products were grouped by regular and instant. (2) Ratings compared overall sensory, cost per serving, serving size, calories, protein, sucrose, MSG & sodium. (3) No personal credit is given for CU's chicken soup recipe.]
Combinations of onions and sour cream have been enjoyed by Northern European peoples for centuries. This 20th century dip was the brainchild of a visionary housewife who took dry soup mix to the next level.
"This may not be "the mother of all dips," but it is surely America's most beloved. The Lipton Company, whos dry onion soup mix is the basis of California Dip, doesn't claim to have invented it. That distinction belongs to an anyonymous California cook, who blended sour cream with the soup mix back in 1954--two years after it hit the market. Word of the new dip spread through Los Angeles faster than a canyon fire, newspapers printed the recipe, onion soup mix sales soared, and Lipton executives, a continent away in New Jersey, were ecstatic. They tracked down the recipe, perfected it, and beginning in 1958, printed it on every box of Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix."
---American Century Cook Book, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 24)
"For your next cocktail parity or TV treat try mixng package Onion Soup mix (just as it comes from the package) together with one pint of sour cream, as a 'dip' for crackers or potato chips. The tasty combination, called appropriately 'California Dip' because it originated on the West Coast, is wonderful, and a cinch to prepare. Refrigerate until ready to use. Time involved: split second."
---"Quick Snack Dip," North Adams Transcript [MA], February 17, 1955 (p. 11)
"Imagination and ingenuity go hand-in-hand when you are planning a party menu. And the canapes you serve to whet guests' appetites should be given free reign on both counts. Here is a delightful development in the 'dunk and dip' department that will have the crowd pleasing their crackers for more. It is an original hors d'oeuvres that combines a package of onion soup mix and a pint of sour cream, both available at the corner grocery store. And it takes but a minute to mix--happy news for the harried hostess! She can either mix it up at the last minute or make it a bit before the party and then tuck it away in the refrigerator. This mixture should be kept chilled until you use it. To make a sizeable bowl of this delicacy called "California Dip," stir a package of onion soup mix, just as it comes from the package, into a pint of commercial sour cream and blend thoroughly. Place the bowl in the center of a big round wooden platter and surround it with a piquant variety of cheese crackers, corn chips, melba toast and potato chips. Give it a gay garnish or snipped parsley for looks and serve with a flourish. This basic recipe can also be varied by blending a three-ounce package of cream cheese thoroughly with the onion soup mix and half-pint of sour cream. The subtle blend of flavors and creamy consistency make this dip a delightful beginning to the rest of the menu. Try it once and see how it adds to your laurels as a hostess.
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 pint commercial sour cream
Stir Lipton Onion Soup Mix just as it comes from the package into sour cream and blend thoroughly. Use as a dip for potato chips, corn chips, crackers or melba toast. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 pint commercial sour cream
3 oz. package cream cheese
Allow cream cheese to soften. Stir in Lipton Onion Soup Mix (just as it comes from the package) and sour cream, then blend well. Use as a spread for crackers, melba toast, or your favorite wafers."
---"Onion Soup Aids Party-Hostess," Pittsburgh Courier, April 23, 1955 (p. A10)
Similar Nabisco's Animal Crackers, Campbell's Alphabet Soup is an iconic American children's food product. Neither company "invented" these items, they capitalized on existing popular foods it using savvy marketing and economical production. Competing companies (Heinz also made an alphabet soup) are long forgotten. Before we had canned alphabet soup, we had alphabet-shaped pasta (aka alphabet pastes) that were marketed specifically to American consumers as a novelty soup additive. Then, as now, spelling out words with soup pasta was fun for all ages. Our survey of historic newspapers confirms some parents declared their children brilliant because they were "soup spelling" at very early ages. The term "Alphabet Soup" also has another meaning in the American Lexicon. During the New Deal Era (FDR) new federal programs were springing up at an amazing pace. These programs were known by their acronyms. Newspaper reporters and political commentators regularly referred to this phenomenon as Alphabet Soup politics. The attribution was not a favorable one. Linguist Barry Popik's notes are comprehensive and interesting.
"Alphabet soup" is a noodle soup with alphabet-shaped noodles. The soup is cited in print since the 1880s and 1890s.
The New Deal legislation of the 1930s resulted in many new government agencies, such as the TVA, CCC, WPA, FDIC, SEC, and NRA. These lettered agencies were called "alphabet soup" in 1933. The FBI, CIA, NSA and other agencies are still sometimes called "alphabet soup" agencies. (Oxford English Dictionary) alphabet soup, a clear soup containing pieces of paste or biscuit shaped like letters of the alphabet. 1907 Black Cat June 15 Alphabet soup—that thin, clear soup, with little noodle or cracker letters in it.
2 October 1880, Colorado Springs (CO) Daily Gazette, pg. 4, col. 5 ad: Marge Fil’s Macaroni, one pound boxes. Pates (Pastes?—ed.) and Alphabets for Soup.
8 October 1884, Freeborn County Standard (Albert Lee, MN), pg. 13, col. 5: Alphabet Soup. From the Rochester Post Express. At a fashionable resort near Rochester too much French on the bill of fare started and spoiled a first-class romance recently. (...) She noticed that the young lady dawdled an unconscionable time over the soup with the French designation, and she noticed also that she (the duenne) never received the same kind of soup that was served to her charge. Suspicion was aroused. Could it be that Miss Ida’s soup was made of some potent love charm? SHe would watch. SHe took occasion to mover her chair to Ida’s side and made a discovery that almost paralyzed her virgin heart. THe little particles in Ida’s soup were letters of the alphabet, and on the very first day she read this sentence: S-w-e-e-t, A-l-f-o-n-s-e l-o-v-e-s t-h-e-e-; and this: "I-t-a-l-y- a-w-a-i-t-s h-e-r q-u-e-e-n."
SOURCE: Barry Popik, includes an impressive list of historic newspaper citings & notes.
Contemporary cookbooks hail this creamy soup as the "national" soup of Greece. Similar recipes, in both soup and sauce forms, are also found in contemporary Turkish and Arab cuisine. Culinary combinations of egg and lemon are not native to the region, as evidenced in ancient texts. This suggests avgolemono was introduced at a later date. Food historians trace the origins to southern Europe, suggesting the dish traveled to Greece with Sephardic Jews.
"The really Greek sauces can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The number is led off by the well-known Egg-lemon sauce which might be called the National sauce."
---And the Greeks: A Book of Hellenic Recipes, Allan Ross MacDougall [Near East Foundation:New York] 1942 (p. 8)
Middle Eastern connections
"Avgolemono literally 'egg-lemon' the Greek name of a characteristic E. Mediterranean sauce. The name in Arabic (tarbiya) and Turkish (terbiye) literally means 'treatment; improvement'. Avgolemono may be used either as a sauce for fish, lamb, or vegetables (particularly artichoke) or as a flavouring in various casserole dishes and soups (which it also thickens)."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 42)
Southern European flavors
"An egg and lemon sauce may sound more Greek than Spanish but it is, in fact, a tradtiional sauce from the Canary Islands and goes back hundreds of years."
---The Foods and Wines of Spain, Penelope Casas [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1982 (p. 268)
"Greece's long connection with the Venetian Republic accounts for some of the culinary influences that appear Italian. But it does seem that the Venetians learned a thing or two from Greece. For example, the Venetian manzo alla greca derives from the Greek original as seen in (besides the name) the basic avgolemono, or lemon and egg yolk sauce. This sauce was popular in Venice and was also used in another preparation known as bolito alla cortigiana...However, at least one scholar believes the influence on both Greek and Venetian dishes may come much later, from French cuisine, because of the use of eggs in the sauce, derived from French-style compound sauces."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 232)
Sephardic Jewish connection
"Avgolemono. This egg and lemon combination is a Greek favorite sauce and soup. But it is also considered a cornerstone of Sephardic cooking. Claudia Roden's fascinating book on Jewish food has several recipes for this as a sauce, and she suggests that it was probably Portuguese or Spanish in origin. Made like a custard, it is similar in flavor to a hollandaise, but much lighter and fresher in the absense of large amounts of butter."
---Modern Middle Eastern Food: artichoke to za'atar, Greg Malouf and Lucy Malouf [Univeristy of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2008 (p. 173)
[NOTE: Book of Jewish Food/Claudia Roden 1997]
"Atrustada (Cold Egg-and-Lemon Sauce)...This sharp, refreshing sauce is one of the cornerstones of Sephardi cooking. It is generally known as Greek and Turkish, but it also appears in old Judeo-Spanish and Portuguese recipes. It is served with fish or brains or with boiled or steamed vegetables." (p. 247) "Pishkado kon Agristada (Fish with Egg-and-lemon Sauce)...Also called 'pishkado kon uevo e limon,' this is one of the most characteristic Sephardi ways of cooking fish. The sauce is known to us all as Greek and Turkish, but it also appears in early Iberian communities in countries such as England, Holland, and Denmark--where the Ottoman and Greek influence was hardly felt. The earliest Jewish cookbook published in England, in 1846, which had mostly Portuguese dishes, is full of egg-and-lemon sauces. The one for fish was adopted by the Eastern European immigrants, and 'halibut with egg-and-lemon sauce' is one of the most common Friday-night dishes in Britain today. If I have to name one city that was famous for this specialty, it is Salonika. There, it was a Saturday dish to be eaten cold. Any kind of white fish can be sued--sole, haddock, cod, halibut, swordfish." (p. 338)
---The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York, Claudia Roden [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1996
"Soupa de huevos y limon [Egg-lemon soup. Salonika. This soup is traditionally served after the fast of Yom Kippur."
---Cookbook of the Jews of Greece, Nicholas Stavroulakis [Cadmus Press:Port Jefferson NY] 1986 (p. 153)
"Lemon Sauce. If you want to make lemon sauce make almond milk of peeled almonds with chicken broth. Cook it in a good pot with ground spices, ginger and saffron, and a lot of white sugar and lemon juice. And let it boil a lot. If you want to put in a better ground substance, you can put in a chicken wing that is well minced, strongly enought so that it is not noticeable. This sauce should be colored, and it should be served with roasted or boiled chickens, and it should have penty of sugar and lemon juice, so that each of the flavors attracts the other. And flavor it with salt, spices, verjuice, and sweetening."
---The Book of Sent Sovi: Medieval Recipes from Catalonia, edited by Joan Santanach, translated by Robin M. Vobelzang [Barcino-Tamesis:Woodbridge Suffolk] 2008 (p. 51)
"Egg Sauce: A Fine White Sauce for Boiled Chickens, Turkeys, or White Fricassees. Beat up the yolks of four eggs with the juice of a fine lemon, a tea-spoonful of flour, and a little cold water, mix well together, and set it on the fire to thicken, stirring it to prevent curdling. This sauce will be found excellent, if not superior, in many cases where Englsih cooks use melted butter. If capers are substituted for the lemon juice, this sauce will be found excellent for boiled lamb or mutton."
---, Edited by a Lady (Judith Montefiore), facsimlile 1846 edition, introduced by Chiam Raphael [NightinGale Books:New yoRK] 1983 (p. 19) [NOTE: The introduction of this book confirms Sephardic culinary influence on the recipes.]
1/3 cup of rice
1 quart chicken broth or bouillon
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper.
Wash the rice in two or three waters and drain. Add slowly to the boiling broth and cook for 45 minutes, or until the rice is very soft. Whisk the egg-yolk and add the lemon juice to it, beating them well. Pour in gradually a cup of the hot broth while stirring the egg mixture constantly. This, then, pour into the boiling soup and stir well for a few seconds. Take from the stove and serve immediately. Serves four."
---And the Greeks: A Book of Hellenic Recipes, Allan Ross MacDougall [Near East Foundation:New York] 1942 (p. 5-6)
"Egg-and-Lemon Sauce (Avgholemono)
Juice of one lemon, strained
Beat the eggs slightly. Add lemon juice. Beat well. Then pour into sauce a tablespoon of the boiling stew juice (or the juice of the fish, if the sauce is intended for a fish dish). Do it gradually, beating constantly. This is done to prevent sauce from curdling. Pour sauce over the boiling stew or fish and remove from fire at once."
---And the Greeks: A Book of Hellenic Recipes, Allan Ross MacDougall [Near East Foundation:New York] 1942 (p. 8)
The best known of all Greek soups.
To 2 pints of strained chicken broth, add 2 oz rice and boil in the broth until well cooked. In a basin beat up 2 eggs and the juice of a lemon. Add a little boiling broth to the eggs in the basin, spoon by spoon, stirring all the time. Add this to the rest of the broth and stir for a few minutes over a very slow fire."
---Mediterranean Food, Elizabeth David [Penguin Books:New York] revised edition 1955 (p. 17)
"Soupa de huevos y limon. Egg-lemon soup
1 3 lb chicken
Juice of 2-3 lemons
1 cup rice
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon flour
Salt and pepper
Clean and wash the chicken well. Put it into a large stewing pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove the scum and fat on the surface. Cover the pot tightly and cook for about one hour, or until tender. Them remove the chicken form the stock, put in a large serving dish, sprinkle with lemon juice, and set aside while you make the soup. The chicken may follow as a second course or be saved for another purpose. Bring the stock to a low boil, add the rice, and cook until tender. While the rice is cooking, beat the egg yolks with a teaspoon flour until creamy. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper and put in the top of a double boiler. Cook over barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Still stirring, slowly add tablespoons of the stock until a very thin sauce is formed. Remove from the heat. Beat the egg whites until fluffy and fold them into the sauce. Cool for a few minutes and then add to the stock pot. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with additional lemon wedges. Serves 4."
---Cookbook of the Jews of Greece, Nicholas Stavroulakis [Cadmus Press:Port Jefferson NY] 1986 (p. 153)
[NOTE: This book also offers are recipe for Poyo en slatsa blanko (Chicken in egg-lemon sauce) from Salonika (p. 70)
Compare with Italian Stracciatelle & Zanzarelli soups.
Bigos is considered by some to be Poland's "national dish." Dating back in print and practice for hundreds of years, this dish evolved according to time and place. Each family had its own special recipe. This gently stewed layered compostiton features foods of the people: cabbage (fresh or sauerkraut), leftover meat (sausage, beef cubes), and root vegetables (onions, turnips). Holiday variations incorporate middle eastern fruits (dates, raisins, prunes). Contemporary recipes sometimes embrace tomatoes (paste, diced). This dish is known in other countries by different names.
"Mikolaj Rej did not mention bigos specifically in any of his writings during the sixteenth century, so the dish must have assumed its more familiar name and form within the past three hundred years. Bigos was initially composed of mixed game, which by definition was food reserved for the nobility. It has evolved over time into a more egalitarian preparation, since many Poles make it today, although rarely with game. It is even available in most Polish pubs and bistros. Some Polish etymological material has suggested that the word bigos is...from the German Bleiguss. This is not a food, but something associated with a custom: pouring molten lead into cold water on New Year's Day. The resulting strangely shaped flakes of metal are then studied to predict the future. This etymology is doubtless erroneous, although bigos was probably a modification of a medieval German dish. The archaic German verb becken (to cut up or chop and equivalent to the old English verb bray) would offer a more promising possibility. So would Beifuss, which appears in old German as biboz, bivuoz, and other variations. Beifuss is a term for mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), a popular medieval condiment for meats. In any case, we do know what bigos is in medieval terms, since it is made with leftovers and was originally structured in layers. It is similar to the cabbage-and-meat mixture known as choucroute alsacienne, although the ingredients in that preparation are not chopped up into small pieces, which may be one of the keys to the origin of bigos. Perhaps it is rather more like another Alsatian dish, pote boulangere (Baeckoffe), which descends from the medieval compostium (meaning a mixture). This braised layered dish made with cabbage, leftover meats, and fruit is known as Gumbistopel in parts of Bas-Rhin and Switzerland. It is traditionally made in many parts of southern German and Austria, where it still survives under numerous dialect designations. it is also indigenous to the old Saxon cookery of Transylvania and has thus evolved into many variant forms in Hungarian cookery. It would be tempting to point toward a Hungarian avenue for the introduction of bigos into Poland, given the flow of other culinary ideas from that part of Europe. But it is also true that Hedwig of Andechs-Meran (d. 1243), later known in Poland as Saint Hedwig of Silesia, would have been perfectly at home with this dish during her thirteenth-century youth in the Bavarian monastery at Kitzingen. The medieval origins of bigos are oddly alluded to in a most un-medieval source: the Paradok molodym khozajkam (A Gift to Young Housewives), a nineteenth-century Russian cookbook. The author, Elena Molokhovets, never explained where she found her recipe for Polish bigos, but her procedure for making it involved the older, the more medieval technique of layering the ingredients in line with the structure of a compositum. The significant part is at the beginning of her recipe, where she layers the bacon and cabbage. This step was technically unnecessary because she could have chopped them just as easily. She was evidently remaining faithful to an older recipe format, yet she was obliged to stew the dish because she was preparing it on a cookstove. The layering aspect is the connecting element, and in the Middle Ages this initial step was easily performed in an oven or braised under coals. The medieval Polish kitchen was supplied with a number of utensils that could be used to accomplish this--in fact the whole dish could be prepared this way. The most typical implement was a three-legged dutch oven made of earthenware. Such a pot (missing its lid) was excavated from a thirteenth-century site in Warsaw' Old Town, although the archaeological report misidentified it as a patelnia (skillet). If the rest of Molokhovets's ingredients had also been added in layers the result would still be bigos. In fact, if the recipe for cabbage compositum with mushrooms...is combined with the chicken baked with prunes..., the mixture would remind most Poles of bigos. What separates the modern Polish dish from its medieval roots is the subtle alteration in structure and procedure that took place as the recipe shifted from hearth to stove cookery. While bigos is stewed today, it is not sloppy with liquid because the stewing is intended to cook it down. In any case, the preparation should be thick like Sicilian caponata, which is why Poles today serve it as an hers d'oeuvre on toast or bread before a formal meal."
---Food and Drink in Medieval Poland, Maria Dembinska, revised and adapted by William Woys Weaver, translated by Magdalena Thomas [University of Pennsylvania Press:Philadelphia PA] 1999 (p. 20-22)
"In the treasury of Old Polish culinary recipes bigos is one of the most precious jewels. Its traditions go back far into the past and the future predicts further long-lasting popularity for this dish. In older days bigos, stored in wooden casks or great stoneware pots, was a necessary component of a well-equipped pantry. Reheating the bogs many times only adds to the flavor and aroma. Thus an unexpected guest could be served bigos, or it was eaten on hunting expeditions, when it was heated in a kettle hung over an open fire. A cask of bigos was taken 'for the road', since it was part of the classical Old Polish traveling food supply. It was also served during carnival, at Easter feasts and on many other occasions. The tastiest bigos was made during Christmas and Easter, as there was a great variety of meat and game on hand, and these make up the essence of bigos. We fin many good words about this dish in Old Polish literature...Bigos is a composition not only complex, but also with a great many variants. In each Old Polish kitchen it was made in a different way, in accordance with home traditions. Thus, there was hunting bigos, Lithuanian bigos, rascal's bigos and others, made with sauerkraut, with sauerkraut and fresh cabbage and with fresh cabbage only. Take 3 lbs. sauerkraut of fresh cabbage for 2 lbs. various beats (kielbasa or ham should prevail). Equal parts of sauerkraut and fresh cabbage may also be taken. Some, however, take 3 lbs. assorted meats for 2 lbs. cabbage (sour or fresh) and no one has said anything against these generous Old Polish proportions, especially since this practice appears to be rare today. The assorted meats should consist of the following, cut into cubes: port roast, roast beef, joint of pork cooked in vegetables, a piece of roast duck and sliced kielbasa (better: various kinds of sausages if possible, along with lean cooked ham cut into cubes). The addition of roast game raises the flavour of bigos considerably, but without game it will be just as excellent. Sauces from roast meats are also added to the bigos. The sauerkraut can be chopped and fresh cabbage can be thinly sliced and scalded with boiling water before cooking. Cook the cabbage over low heat in a small amount of water (better: in the stock from cooked kielbasa). If only fresh cabbage is used, add 1 1/2 lbs. sour apples, peeled and finely chopped, towards the end of cooking. Apples are also added to sauerkraut, but in a smaller amount (4 large sour apples). Separately, cook at least 2 oz. dried mushrooms. Slice the cooked mushrooms thinly and add to the cabbage and heat along with the stock. now add 2 large, finely chopped onions lightly browned in lard or butter. If a richer bigos is preferred, fry the onions in 2-4 oz. lard. While the bigos is simmering, add 20 prunes (stoned), cut into strips. The prunes may be substituted by 1-2 tablespoons well fried plum butter. Season the bigos with salt, pepper and, if desired, with a little sugar. It should be sharper in taste. Finally, add 1/2-2/3 cup dry red wine or Madeira. After adding all the ingredients cook the bigos over low heat for 40 minutes (careful: stir often, as it tends to burn). Next day, reheat the bigos. It is tastiest and 'mature' after the third reheating. Some add a roux of flour lightly browned in fat, which makes the bigos thicker, But if the bigos is well cooked, in our opinion, this addition is unnecessary. The bigos may also be seasoned with a tablespoon of thick tomato paste. Old Polish cuisine does not make use of this because it was not known then. But we strongly recommend the addition of tomato paste. Cook the bigos in an enameled or cast-iron enameled pot, but never in an aluminum one. Serve it very hot. Whole-wheat (or white) bread is served separately, along with a glass of chilled vodka (Wyborowa, Rye or Zubrowka), which improves digestion."
---Old Polish Traditions: In the Kitchen and at the Table, Maria Lemnis & Henryk Vitry [Hippocrene Books:New York] 1996 (p. 230-233)
Elena Molokhovet's recipe, circa 1861
"655. Hunter's stew form leftover beef with sauerkraut (Bigos iz ostavshejsja zharenoj govjadiny, s kisloju kapustoju) Line a saucepan with 1/4 lb or more pork fat, add 3 glasses squeezed out, slighly soured cabbage [i.e. sauerkraut], and top with another 1/4 lb pork fat or bacon. Pour on bouillon, cover with a lid, and stew. When the sauerkraut has half cooked, remove pork fat and cut it into small cubes together with the pork skin, Mix with the cooked beef, game, etc., cut up in the same manner. Stir the cubed meat and pork fat into the sauerkraut, sprinkle with pepper, and add 1/2 spoon flour fried until golden with 1 spoon butter and a finely chopped onion. Stew, covered, until the sauerkraut browns slightly, stirring often with a spoon to prevent the sauerkraut from burning. When the sauce boils away, everything may be turned out onto a platter. Pour butter fried with finely pounded rusks over the sauerkraut and mixed meats, bake, and serve for breakfast or for dinner before the bouillon."
---Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' A Gift to Young Housewives, originally published in Russia 1861, translated and introduced by Joyce Toomre [Indiana University Press:Bloomington IN] 1992, 1998 (p. 217-208)
According to legend, Billy Bi (billibi, bilibi, billy b, billy by) was invented in 1925 at a swanky hotel by a first class chef. It was popular from the get-go. Why then, we wonder, is it omitted from the venerable Larousse Gastronomique in 1938 and 1961? Our survey of historical newspapers suggests Billy Bi surfaces in USA print circa 1961. This is three years after Manduit's book on Maxim's history was published. The promotion of French Cuisine, Kennedy Style made the timing perfect. The oldest recipe we find was developed by Pierre Franey, in conjunction with Craig Claiborne, both connected with The New York Times. Of course, Billy Bi was not "invented." It evolved from creamy French fish soups and classic mussel dishes. Think: Mussel Bisque and Moules Mariniere. The name of this dish strikes us as a play on bouillabaisse but that's not how the story goes.
What is Billy Bi?
"Billy by is made of mussels cooked in white wine with onions, parsley, celery, and fish stock. The soup is served hot or ice-cold with fresh cream, the mussels and grated Parmesan cheese being served separately."
---Larousse Gastronomique, New American edition of the World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, edited by Jenifer Harvey Lang [Crown Publishers:New York] 1988 (p. 97)
[NOTE: There is no entry for this dish in LG 1938 or 1961.]
"Billi-bi. A soup made from mussels, cream, and seasonings. Under the name 'mouclade' it is a well-known soup of of Normandy, where the mussels are left in the final preparation; in a true billi-bi they are removed before straining the soup. Billi-bi (sometimes spelled 'Billy By') is a popular soup in American restaurants but its origins are French."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 28)
Why the name?
Food historians generally agree on the "inventing" chef. They disagree on the person it was named for. Nor is there a concensus on the "definative" spelling of this dish.
"Billy by or bilibi. A mussel soup said to have been created by Barthe, the chef of Maxim's, for a regular customer called Billy, who adored mussels....Other souces claim that billy by was invented in Normandy, after the Normandy landings, when a farewell dinner was given to an American officer called Bill. So it was called 'Billy, bye bye', which degenerated to 'billy by'."
---Larousse Gastronomique, New American edition of the World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, edited by Jenifer Harvey Lang [Crown Publishers:New York] 1988 (p. 97)
"... I have recorded its history, which is essentially French-American. The story goes that a wealthy American named William B. Leeds lived off and on, in Paris and that his favorite restaunt was Maxime's, conceivable the most celebrated restaurant in the city. The menu listed a cream of mussel soup, and this was his choice on almost every visit. Leeds was a reat favorite of the owner and as a result of his passion for the soup it was dubbed billi-bi, a version, of course, of Billy B."
---"Billi-bi: A rich, fast and festive soup," Pierre Franey, Chicago Tribune, December 15, 1983 (p. N_C11)
"Some have claimed that the soup was named after William Bateman Leeds, Sr. (1861-1908), president of the American Tin Plate Company, at Maxim's restaurant in Paris. But Jean Mauduit in his book Maxim's, Soixante Ans de Plaisir et d'Histoire (1958), wrote, 'The recipe was created by chef [Louis] Barthe to please an old regular customer who nourished an exclusive passion for mussels; the success of the dish was so great that they named it, as an honor, with the dimiuntive and the initial of the customer's name, even though he was not really the creator [my translation]. Mauduit gives the man's name as William Brand. The management of Maxim's, however, says that Barthe created the dish for Brand ('an American client of Maxim's') in 1925, but not at Maxim's; instead Barthe created the dish at Ciro's restaurant in Deauville."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 28)
[NOTE: We own a copy of Manduit's book. Original recipe reference (en Francais) here.]
"As for the steaming hot Potage Billy-bi...it was originated in 1925 by a former Maxim's chef, Louis Barthe. He then was in the kitchen at Ciro's, a restaurant in Deauville, France, known for a mussels dish with a particularly succulent juice. A good customer, William Brand, invited some American friends to Ciro's one day. Known the French way of using fingers and a double shell for scooping out and eating mussels would be strange from his guests, he requested that the juice [combined with heavy cream and white wine] be served without mussels. It was such a s success, each guest returned separately and ordered Potage Billy Brand. It was placed on the enu as Potage Billy B. And Billy-bi or Billy-by, as it is also now written, has since become a classic of the French culinary tradition."
---"Front Views & Profiles: Table Talk' Kay Loring, Chicago Tribune, August 18, 1967 (p. B9)
...Steam 3 pounds of mussels, first carefully scrubbed and rinsed in several changes of cold water, in one cup of white wine, to which have been added 1 medium-sized finely chopped onion; 1/4 cup of green celery leaves, chopped; 1/2 medium-sized green pepper, finely chopped; and a bouquet garni, composed of 1 large bay leaf, 6 sprigs of fresh parsley, and a sprig of thyme, tied with kitchen thread. Do not salt or pepper as yet.When all the mussels are open, strain them through a colander, remove the meat from the shell, and place in a cieve, rubbing this through while easing the rubbing with the twice-strained broth. Transfer this to a saucepan, bring to a boil, and season to taste with a very little salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a few grains each of cayenne and nutmeg, and boil once. Again strain through a fine cloth into a clean saucepan to ensure that no sand is left in the broth. Bring to a boil, then stir in 2 cups of scalded thin cream, or undiluted evaporated milk, and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the fire, and stir in 3 fresh egg yolks beaten with 3 tablespoons of sherry or Madeira wine, beating briskly while pouring. Serve in hot soup plates, each garnished with mussel custard made like Clam Custard Garnish...substituting mussels for clams."
---The Soup Book, Louis P. DeGouy, facsimile 1949 edition [Dover Publications:New York] 1974 (p. 198-199)
"Le Pottage Billy By, Maxim's/Jean Mauduit
2 pounds mussels
2 shallots, coarsley chopped
2 sprigs parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 cups heavy cream
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten.
1. Scrub the mussels well to remove all exterior sand and dirt. Place them in a large kettle with the shallots, onions, parsley, salt, black pepper, cayenne, wine, butter, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and birng to a boil. Simmer five to ten minutes, or until the mussels have opeend. Discard any mussels that do not open.
2. Strain the liquid through a double thickness of cheesecloth. Reserve the mussels for another use or remove them from the shells and use them as a garnish for the soup.
3. Bring the liquid in the saucepan to a boil and add the cream. Return to the boil and remove form the heat. Add the beaten egg yolk and return to the heat long enough for the soup to thicken slightly. Do not boil. Serve hot or cold.
Yield: Four servings.
Note: This dish may be enriched, if desired, by stirring two tablespoons of hollandaise sauce into the soup before it is served."
---"Food News: The Poor Man's Oyster," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, November 22, 1961 (p. 22)
[NOTE: This exact recipe is published in the New York Times Cookbook, Craig Claiborne, 1961. Mr. Claiborne headnotes thusly: "This may well be the most elegant and delicious soup ever created. It may be served hot or cold. This is the recipe of Pierre Franey, one of the nation's greatest chefs." (p. 77)]
"Bilibi soup Potage bilibi
for eight people
1 pound fish heads
1 bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, parsley)
3 quarts mussels
1 stalk celery
2 cups white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
Put the fish heads in a kettle containing 6 cups of cold water, salt, and the bouquet garni. (If fish heads are not available, buy a pound of unboned fish.--Ed.). Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes. Drain the broth through a fine stariner and reserve. Meanwhile, scrub and scrape the mussels. Peel the onion and wash the celery and cut them into small pieces. Put the mussels in a pan with the vegetables and cook them over a high heat until the mussels open. Pour the mussel broth through a fine stariner and remove the shells from the mussels. Combine the fish broth, the mussel broth, and the white wine. Boil down to half its original quantity. Strain again. Remove form the heat and add the cream and the mussels. Season to taste and serve very hot or cold."
---La Cuisine de France, Mapie, the Countess de Toulouse-Lautrec, edited and translated by Charlotte Turgeon [Orion Press:New York] 1964 (p. 50)
"Billi-Bi (6b to 8 servings)
Mussels Cream Soup
2 quarts mussels
1 cup dry white wine
5 or 6 sprigs parlsey
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 pint milk
6 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1. Steam mussles in skillet with wine, parsley, bay leaves and garlic. Cover skillet and place over hot fire until mussels start to open. Strain the mussels, saving the cooking stock, and let stand awhile.
2. Trim and discard horny beard from mussels.
3. Transfer staock into a saucepan very gently, retaining only the clear portion and discarding the sediment. Add the mussels and the milk; bring to the boiling point. Pour in egg yolks, cream and butter. Heat but do not let boil."
---The White House Chef Cookbook, Rene Verdon [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY 1967 (p. 52)
"Billi-bi au safran
(Mussels in saffron cream)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped onion
1/2 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 tablespoon stem saffron (optional)
1 1/2 quarts mussels, well scrubbed
Hot pepper sauce to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups whipping cream
Salt to taste if desired
Freshly ground pepper to taste.
1. Heat butter in a deep saucepean of kettle and add the shallots onion, cgarlic and saffron. Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes and add the mussels.
2. Add hot pepper sauce, parsley and wine. Cover and cook until the mussels open, 5 minutes or longer.
3. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Do not strain the soup. The mussels may be left in the whole shell, but it is preferable if one shell is removed and they are served in th soup on the half shell. Serve the soup piping hot with Parmesan cheese bread."
------"Billi-bi: A rich, fast and festive soup," Pierre Franey, Chicago Tribune, December 15, 1983 (p. N_C11)
[NOTES: (1) The only other print reference we find pairing Parmesan cheese with this dish is LG 1988. (2) Recipe for Parmesan Cheese Bread accompanies this recipe.]
Bisque first surfaces in the 17th century. Culinary evidence confirms early bisque recipes did indeed include pulverized shells of the featured crustacean. Bisque descended from pottage, a thick soupy mixture often consistent with puree. Most early recipes call for "crayfish," which denotes what we Americans currently know as "rock lobster." Notes here.
"Bisque is a thick rich soup, usually containing crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs, and crayfish. The word was originally borrowed into English from French as bisk in the mid-seventeenth century, at which time it still retained an early application, since lost, to soup made from poultry or game birds, particularly pigeons'. It is not clear where the word came from, although some have linked it with the Spanish province of Biscay."
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 29-30)
"Bisque. A rich soup of creamy consistency, especially of crayfish or lobster. An earlier use, for soups of game birds, has fallen into disusetude. Wine and/or cognac often enter into the recipes. When the word was first adopted from the French language, it came over as bisk', and it thus appears in The Accomplisht Cook of Robert May (1685). His recipes, incidentally, illustrate the wider use of the term in his time. He gives two recipes for Bisk of Carp, both involving many ingredients and having plenty of solid matter in them. And his Bisk of Eggs sound even more surprising to modern ears."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidison [Oxford University Press:Oxfod] 1999 (p. 77)
"Bisque...A seasoned shellfish puree flavoured with white wine, Cognac and double (heavy) cream, used as the basis of a soup. The flesh of the main ingredient (crayfish, lobster or crab) is diced as for salpicon and used as a garnish. The shells are also used to make the initial puree. The word 'bique' has been in use for centuries and suggests a connection with the Spanish provice of Vizcaya, which lends its name to the Bay of Biscay. Bisque was originally used to decribe a highly spiced dish of boiled meat or game. Subsequently, bisques were made using pigeons or quails and garnished with crayfish or cheese croutes. It was not until the 17th century that crayfish became the principal ingredient of this dish, which soon after was also prepared with other types of shellfish. The word is now used imprecisely for several pink pureed soups."
---Larousse Gatronomique, Completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 115-6)
Bisque recipes through time
Get squab, after they have been cleaned and trussed up--which you do by making a hole in the bottom of their belly with a knife and sticking their legs into it. Blanch them--that is, put them into a pot with boiling water or bouillon from the pot with your best bouillon. Be very careful not to let it darket. Dry your bread and simmer it in the dove bouillon; then set it out after it is well seasoned with salt, pepper and cloves. Garnish it with the doves, and with cockscombs, veal sweetbreads, mushrooms, mutton stock, then pistachios. Serve. Garnish the firm of the platter with slices of lemon."
---La Varenne's Cookery: The French Cook, The French Pastry Cook, The French Confectioner, modern translation and commentary by Terence Scully [Prospect Books:Devon] 2006 (p. 134-135)
[NOTE: "The modern bisque is a thick soup made from pureed shellfish. In La Varenne's day poultry and game birds could be prepared in a bisque, that being merely a dish of boiled fowl on sops...Escoffier wrote that they 'are not very highly esteemed by gourmets, and that is more particularly to be regretted, since when the birds are of excellent quality, they are worthy of the best tables." (p. 134)]
"Potage of Crawfish.
Cleanse your Crawfish, and seeth them with wine and vinegar, salt and pepper. After they are sod, pick the feet and taile, and fry them with very fresh butter and a little parsley. Then take the bodies of your Crawfishes, and stamp them in a mortar with an onion, hard eggs, and crums of a loaf. Set them in stoving with some good herb broth or some other; if you will use pease porridge it must be very clear. After it is boiled, strain all together; after it is strianed set it before the fire. Then take some butter with a little minced parsley and fry it; then put into your broth well seasoned, and stove it with your dry crusts, covered with a dish or a plate. Put also on your bread a little of a hash of Carp, and juice of Mushrums; fill up your dish, and garnish it with your feet and tails lf Crawfish, with Pomegranate and juice ot Lemon, and serve."
---The French Cook, Francois Pierre, La Varenne, translated into English in 1653 by I.D.G., with an introduction by Philip and Mary Hyman [Southover Press:East Sussex] 2001 (p. 121-2)
"Crayfish Soup, or Bisque
Put 40 crayfish in a stewpan, with:
1 bottle Sauterene,
1 sliced onion
1 sliced carrot,
5 sprigs of parsley,
1 small pinch of cayenne pepper;
1 small sprig of thyme,
1 bay leaf,
1/2 oz. Of salt,
1 pinch of pepper
Boil for ten minutes; tossing the crayfish to cook them evenly; when done, take off the tails; free them of shell, and reserve them, to add to the soup. Put by the shells and the claws, to make the crayfish butter. Put the insides of the crayfish in the liquor in which they have been boiled; add 2 quarts of consomme, and 2 French rolls, previously cut in slices and dried in the oven, without being coloured; put the stewpan on the fire, and simmer for one hour; then pass the whole through a tammy-cloth, and pour the soup into another stewpan; stir over the fire till boiling takes place, and simmer for ten minutes; Prepare some crayfish butter in the following manner:-- Put the shells and claws of the crayfish in a mortar; pound them well; add 1/4 lb. Of butter, and, when well mixed together put in a closed bain-marie placed in a stewpan half full of boiling water; boil thus for one hour; then press the butter through a broth napkin into a basin of cold water; when the butter is set, take it off the water; drain, and dry it with a cloth, and pass it through a fine hair sieve add a fourth part of the butter to 1/4 lb. Of Whiting Forcemat and, with it, form some quenelles of the size of a pea; poach them in some boiling broth; drain, and put them in a soup tureen, together with the trimmed crayfish tails. Boil up the soup; skim; and thicken it with the remaining crayfish butter; pour it in the soup tureen; and serve."
"Crayfish Soup, or Bisque, au Maigre
Prepare 40 crayfish, as in the preceding recipe; remove the tails; pick, and put them by to add to the soup; Put all the shells and the bodies of the crayfish in a mortar; pound them well; put them in a stewpan with 3 quarts of Fish Consomme; boil for half an hour, and strain throguh a broth napkin; trim the tails; put them in the soup tureen with some Fish Forecemat Quenelles, made as above; pour the soup over them; and serve.
"Crayfish Soup with Cream
Put 40 crayfish in a stewpan; boil them with:
1 pint of consomme,
10 sprigs of parsely,
1 middle-sized sliced carrot,
2 middle-sized onions cut in slices;
Boil for ten minutes,--tossing the crayfish occasionally; when done, remove the tails; pick them, and put them by; Pound the bodies, claws, and shells in a mortar; put them in a stewpan, with 5 pints Chicken Consomme; boil; and simer for one hour; Make a roux in a stewpan, with 1/2 lb.of butter, and 1/4 lb. Of flour; stir over the fire for five minutes; Strain the consomme from the pounded crayfish; add it to the roux in the stewpan; stir on the fire for twenty minutes; add 1 pint of double cream, 1/2 pint at a time; and, when the soup is sufficently reduced, strain it through a tammy cloth, into a bain-marie-pan to keep warm; Five minutes before serving, boil up the soup, and add another 1/2 pint of double cream; put the crayfish tails in the soup tureen; pour the soup over; and serve."
---Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated from the French and adapted for English use by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, and Marson:London] 1869 (p. 249-250)
Bisque of Lobsters/Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving, Mary Henderson
665. Bisque or Coulis d'Ecrevisses--Bisque or Cullis of Crayfish
30 small crayfish, approximately 40 g (1 1/2 oz) each
For the Mirepoix:
50 g (2 oz) carrots
50 g (2 oz) onions
50 g (2 oz) butter
1 sprig thyme
3 parsley stalks
1 small tbs flamed brandy
2 dl (7 fl oz or 7/8 U.S.cup) white sugar
For the Thickening and Moistening:
120-150 g (4-5 oz) rice
1 1/2 litres (2 5/8 pt or 6 1/2 U.S. cups) White Bouillon
1 dl (3 1/2 lf oz or 1/2 U.S. cup) cream
150 g (5 oz) butter.
1) Cut the carrots, onions and parsley stalks into very small dice and cook to a light brown in the butter together with the thyme and the bayleaf. Wash the crayfish, remove the tails then cook the crayfish with the Mirepoix until they turn red. Season with 12 g (1/3 oz) salt and a little milled pepper, sprinkle with the brandy and the wine and allow to cook gently to reduce. Add 1 « dl (9 lf oz or 1 1/8 U.S. cups) White Bouillon and allow to cook gently for 10 minutes.
2) Cook the rice in 7 « dl (1 1/3 pt or 3 1/4 U.S. cups) of the White Bouillon.
3) Shell the crayfish and reserve all the tails and ten of the heads.
4) Finely pound the remainder of the shells, add the rice and its cooking liquid together with the cooking liquid from the crayfish.
Pass through a fine sieve ad dilute this puree with 5 dl (18 fl oz or 1 1/4 U.S. cups) White Bouillon. Bring to the boil, pass through a fine strainer and keep in the Bain-marie.
Finish the soup before serving with 150 g (5 oz) butter and 1 dl (3 « fl oz or « U.S. cup) cream; correct the seasoning and add a little Cayenne.
Garnish: Cut the reserved crayfish tails in dice and add to the soup. Serve separately the ten crayfish heads which have been trimmed, cleaned and filled with a fish and cream forcemeat and cooled at the last moment."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, A. Escoffier, originally published in 1903, translated by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley:New York] 1979 (p. 88)
"668. Bisque or Cullis of Lobster.
Repace the crayfish with 1 kg (2 2/4 lb) small live lobsters cut into sections. Saute with the Mirepoix and proceed in exactly the same way as for Bisque of Crayfish using rice for thickening. Garnish: Small dices of the reserved loster meat."
---ibid (p. 89)
Borscht is soup made mostly from beets. It is/was a specialty of eastern European/Russian cuisine, primarily of the poorer people (beets were cheap). The soup dates at least to Medieval times.
"Borchch. A beetroot soup which can be served either hot or cold. It is essentially a dish of E. Europe, this region being taken to include Russia, Lithuania, Poland (where the name is barzcz) and, most important, the Ukraine. Ukranians count it as their national soup and firmly believe that it originated there. They are almost certainly right, especially if...one can properly apply to such questions the principle followed by botanists: that the place where the largest number of natural variations is recorded is probably the place of origin of a species. There are more kinds of borshch in the Ukraine than anywhere else; these include the versions of Kiev, Poltava, Odessa, and L'vov. Borshch, which is also counted as a specialty of Ashkenazi Jewish cookery, can be made with a wide range of vegetables. However, the essential ingredient is beetroot, giving the soup its characteristic red colour. Sour cream is usually added on top, just before serving..."
---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 89)
"Beet soup or barszcz (commonly Germanized in the United States as borscht) never appeared on the royal table during the reign of the Jagiellonian kings, nor was it consumed by the royal servants. Furthermore, it was not even made from beets in its original form, but from the European cow parsnip--also called barszcz in Polish--that grows on damp ground. Its roots were collected in May for stewing with meat, the shoots and young leaves were cooked as greens, and the unopened flow penduncles were eaten as a vegetable or added to soups and pottages. Szymon Syrennius discussed this plant in his herbal and further stated that soups made with it were highly valued in Poland, Lithuania, and Russia. During the Middle Ages it was prepared in soup by itself or was cooked in chicken stock with such additions as egg yolks, cream, or millet meal. The dry leaves exude a sweet substance that was used to create sweet-sour flavors, especially when used with vinegar. The adaptation of cow parsnips to Polish cookery appears to have come from Lithuania. Another wild plant called "water" barszcz...belongs to a related species...and was also used to make a similar soup, although it was considered best when cooked with meat...But where does this leave the beet soup we know today? Mikolaj Rej mentioned a "broth from pickled beets" in the sixteenth century, but it was not known in all parts of Poland. The evolution of barszcz into a recipe using sour beets is of much later date than most Poles would suspect. In fact, the well-known barszcz bialoruski (beet soup with meat,cabbage, eggs, and sour cream) did not arrive in Poland from Russia until the nineteenth century."
---Food and Drink in Medieval Poland: Rediscovering a Cuisine of the Past, Maria Dembinska, revised and adapted by William Woys Weaver, translated by Magdalena Thomas [University of Pennsylvania Press:Philadelphia] 1999 (p. 127-128)
19th century Russian recipes
"31. Ukranian borshch (Borshch malorossijskij)
Perepare bouillon #1 from 3 lbs of fatty beef or fresh pork, or from beef with smoked ham. Omit the root vegetables, but add a bay leaf and allspice. Strain the bouillon. An hour before serving add a little fresh cabbage, cut into pieces. Cook, stirring in beet brine or grain kvass to taste or about 2 spoons vinegar. Meanwhile thoroughly wash and boil 5 red beets, but do not peel or cut them; that is, boil them separately in water without scraping. Remove them when tender, peel, and grate. Stir 1 spoon of flour into the beets, add them to the bouillon with some salt, and bring to a boil twice. Put parsley in a soup tureen (some people add the juice of a grated raw beet) and pour in the hot borshch. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with black pepper, if desired, and serve with the sliced beef, pork, or ham; or with fried sausages, meatballs, or mushroom buns. The borshch may also be served with fried buckwheat kasha, pancake pie with beef stuffing, or plain pancakes."
---Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' A Gift to Young Housewives (originally published in 1861) translated and introduced by Joyce Toomre [Indiana University Press:Bloomington] 1992 (p. 131)
"119a. Meatless borshch with sour cream (Borshch bez mjasa so smetanoju)
Prepare a bouillon from root vegetables and dried boletus mushrooms [Boletus edulis]. Strain the bouillon. Bake 2 lbs of beets, peel them, and finely grate. Place the beets in a stewpan, cover with the vegetable bouillon, pour in beet brine, boiled separately, and sour cream, and heat until the soup is very hot. Add salt, black pepper, greens, and finely shredded mushrooms. Serve with fried buckwheat groats.
INGREDIENTS: 1 parsley root, 1 leek, 2 celery roots, 2 onions, 10-15 allsocie, 2-3 bay leaves, 5-6 black peppercorns, parsely and dill, 2 lbs beets, beet brine, 1/8 lb dried boeltus mushrooms, 1 or 2 glasses sour cream."
---ibid (p. 144-5)
"2739. Borshch from fried beets (Borshch iz zharenoj svekly)
Peel and shred 5 large beets. Grease a large skillet with sunflower or mustard seed oil and heat the pan. Add the beets, moisten them with 3 spoons vinegar, and fry, stirring. Sprinkle on 1 spoon flour, mix, and conitnue frying until the beets are almost cooked while adding root vegetables bouillon by the spoonful. Transfer the beets to [a pan of] strained bouillon and cook until done. To serve, season with greens and 2-3 shredded small mushrooms.
INGREDIENTS: 5 large beets, 3 spoons vinegar, 1-2 spoons oil, 2 carrots, 2 onions, 2-3 small mushrooms, 1 spoon flour, 1/2 parsley root, 1/2 celery root, 1/2 leek, bay leaves, allspice, greens."
---ibid (p. 549-50)
[NOTE: This is listed in the category of "Oil-based fast day soups."]
"Beet...The name is from the Latin 'beta', which in Middle English became 'bete'.
---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 27)
"Beet. All of today's beets are descended from a wild forebear whose green tops doubltess nourished our own prehistoric forebears. Indeed, the first cultivated beets were apparently tended only for their leaves (eaten like spinach), and it was not until the early Christian era that their roots became appreciated..."
---The Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas, editors [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 1999 Volume Two (p. 1730-1)
"Beetroot...of four useful forms of the versatile plant 'Beta vulgaris'. The two which provide vegetables for human consumption...All these cultivated forms are descended from the sea beet, 'Beta maritima', a wild seashore plant growing around the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of Europe and North Africa. This has only a small root, but its leaves and stems are sometimes eaten. Early Greek writers such as Theophrastus referred to the cultivation of this plant. By about 300BC there were varieties with edible roots....until well after medieval times, beet roots remained long and relatively thin. Ther first mention of a swollen root seems to have been in a botanical work of the 1550s and which is recognized as the prototype of the modern beetroot, the 'Beta Roman' of Daleschamp, dates back only to 1587...In Britain the common beets were originally all light in color. The red beet, when introduced in the 17th century, was described by Gerard  with some enthusiasm... It soon found its way into the recipe books..."
---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 70)
Related recipes? Harvard Beets, Borscht & Chocolate Beet Cake.
"Amanthus tricolor--Chinese spinach, Hinn choy, Bayam, Callaloo, Sag. Leaves are eaten raw, boiled steamed stir-fried, or used in soups, stews, curries, frittatas, omelettes, pastas, sauces, etc. Types with very large leaves can be used for wrapping like grape leaves. The crisp interior of large stems makes a tasty cooked vegetable. An excellent hot weather substitute for spinach. Cultivated."
---Cornucopia II: A Source Book of Edible Plants, Stephen Facciola [Kampong Publications:Vista CA] 1998 (p. 241)
[NOTE: Entry fro Amaranthus mangostnaus refers the reader to Amanthus tricolor.]
"Callaloo is a Caribbean term applied both to a variety of edible greens, and to a soup made from them. The principal recipient of the name seems to be the leaves of the taro plant, but callaloo can also be spinach or various members of the cabbage family. As for the soup, its principal traditional ingredients apart from the greens are bacon or pig's tail, crab meat, okra, and coconut milk. It is widely made in the Caribbean, although it is commonly regarded as a Trinidadian specialty. The word, which first turns up in English in the mid-eighteenth century, is of unknown origin."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 53)
[NOTE: What is taro?]
"Callaloo...The name of a soup made in many islands of the Caribbean, callaloo is also the name of the large, wide, green, leaves that go into it. One of these greens is amaranth...-either "Suriname amaranth"...or "Chinese spinach"...The other kind of green is the leaves of dasheen or taro...and in some places "sagaloo"--the leaves resemble spinach or sorrel and are cooked as a vegetable dish."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth f. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume 2 (p. 1743)
Callaloo recipes are prime examples of "Old World" (salt pork, spinach, bacon, cabbage) foods reinventing themselves in the "New World." One of the most popular soups of the Caribbean (including St. Lucia) is callaloo. This mix of callaloo leaves, salt pork and spices is interpreted differently by each island.
"Callaloo (also known as calalou) is served in a variety of guises throughout the Caribbean. Every island's recipe, however, includes the leaves of the taro (dacheen) plant, also called callaloo. Callaloo soup can be made with pork, chicken, crabmeat, okra, pumpkin, yams, yuca, plantains, coconut milk, and whatever else is in the kitchen. Sometimes it's pureed and sometimes its not."
---A Taste of the Tropics, Jay Solomon [Crossing Press:Freedon MA] 1991 (p. 30)
[NOTE: Recipe follows.]
This is callaloo again as interpreted by the island of St. Lucia, called Loo-sha by its inhabitants. It can be seen, green and pretty, from the south of Martinique. Though the island changed hands 14 times between Britain and France, there seems little French, or indeed British, influence in the recipe.
1 pound callaloo leaves or spinach, Chinese spinach, or Swiss chard
12 small okras
4-ounce slice corned beef
4-ounce piece of salt pork
1/2 pound crab meat
2 or 3 sprigs parsley
1 stalk celery, with leaves, chopped
4 scallions, chopped, using green and white parts
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh hot red pepper, left whole (optional)
If using callaloo leaves, cut into 1-inch lengths, wash and drain thoroughly, and blanch for 2 or 3 minutes by immersing in boiling water. Put the greens into a large saucepan or soup kettle with the okras, beef and salt pork left whole, crab meat, seasonings, using a generous amount of pepper, and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the meats are tender and the soup quite thick. Slice the meat and put some into each soup bowl. Serve in rimmed soup plates. Serves 6."
---The Complete Cook of Caribbean Cooking, Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz [M. Evans and Company:New York] 1973 (p. 61)
Another popular regional soup? Pepperpot.
Chicken corn soup (PA Dutch)
Our survey of PA Dutch cookbooks and American food history texts confirms the popularity of Chicken Corn Soup among Pennsylvania Dutch peoples. It appears to be a favorite during large summertime community dinners. There are several corn soup variations featuring different ingredients. Corn can be (green) fresh or (Shaker) dried. History texts confirm Native Americans (Eastern Woodland/Iroquois) enjoyed soups made with both fresh and dried corn. Presumably, the Pennsylvania Dutch borrowed from Native traditions to create a product similar to "Old World" traditions. Noodles/dumplings are signature components of German/Central European soup cuisine.
What is the difference between corn soup & corn chowder? Dairy.
"Corn soups and chowders also exploit the double blessing of green corn as both vegetable and thickener. The simplest green-corn soup was furnished by the Westminster Presbyterian Church Ladies of Minneapolis in Valuable Recipes (1877): "Two quarts of milk, ten ears of corn scraped down, season highly.' Today the same formula of liquid, scraped corn and seasoning appears in the sophisticated bowls of Alice Waters's Chez Panisse as 'corn soup with garlic butter,' or of Stephan Pyle's South Street Cafe as 'grilled corn soup with ancho chile and cilantro creams.' As for chowders, corn appears in an astonishing number of them, including seafood and shellfish chowders of New England and the chile and tomato chowders of the Southwest."
---The Story of Corn, Betty Fussell [North Point Press:New York] 1992 (p. 188)
[NOTE: this book presents the best discussion of Native/Early American corn use, including drying methods and fresh uses.]
"The Shakers shared with the Plain Dutch a belief in separateness from the world, in pacifism and piety, and in hard work. But their chief kinship likes in their attitudes toward food, in which both were ahead of their times...And in Shaker dried corn, esteemed a delicacy by the Pennsylvania Dutch, their memory is still alive. Made by baking fresh kernels in the sun for five days or in an oven for two, the dried corn is soaked in lukewarm water for twelve hours, then salted and simmered, and served with butter and cream. Pennsylvania Dutch housewives, many of whom make Shaker dried corn each fall, also believe that ti is better than fresh corn for making fritters, puddings, and the great stand-by, chicken corn soup."
---American Heritage Cookbook [American Heritage:New York] 1964 (p. 167)
[NOTE: Companion Menus and Recipes volume offers a recipe for "Chicken Corn Soup," with this headnote: "Chicken Corn Soup was a favorite in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where it was often served on picnics during the summer." (p. 425)]
"I first had chicken and corn soup when visiting a Midwest farm as a youngster, but many people think one must go to the source to taste the real flavor of this all-American pottage. Chicken and corn soup as made in Pennsylvania is a thick combination of pungent buts of simmered chicken with kernels from freshly picked corn and egg noodles rolled out while the saffron-flavored broth is brewing; it brings tourists from far and near to Lancaster County and other parts of Pennsylvania Dutch country for church suppers and outdoor food festivals."
---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, 2nd edition [Vintage Books:New York] 1981 (p. 86)
William Woys Weaver, authority on PA Dutch/Philadelphia foodways, offers these elucidating observations:
"Chickens Stewed With New Corn. Lea's recipe (p. 29) offers two variations of the same thing: a chicken-corn pot pie and a chicken-corn soup with dumplings. Both of these dishes are white adaptations of similar Native American stews. The Delaware Indians, whose historic homeland included parts of Maryland, and a highly developed stew cookery. Their earthenware cooking pots...were particularly well suited for stew making; and according to archaeology, the traditional 'hornets' nest' shape of these pots was developed perhaps a thousand years ago, but with many subsequent refinements in neck and rim design and decoration. Many eighteenth-century journals, such as those for David Brainerd and John Bartram, make special mention of Delaware stews combining green corn and some type of meat. Instead of chicken, however, the Indians generally used a mixture of fish and eel, dog, opossum, or the meat of some other small game. The natural sweetness of new corn provided a rich contrast to the meat. And like the Pennsylvania Dutch, the Indians also added a variety of dumplings, some made with cornmeal and nut paste, others with corn and beans tied up in small bundles, using the husks in place of dough. It is significant that in the Quaker counties in the immediate vicinity of Philadelphia, were a more homogenous 'English' cookery prevailed, chicken-corn soup was not widely consumed and therefore cannot be associated with the Anglo-Quaker element. John Witthoft and Bonita Freeman-Witthoft have pointed out in their survey of Delaware (Lenape) Indian harvest foods that many dishes like chicken-corn soup came into Anglo-American diet through the middle group, in this case through the Pennsylvania Dutch. Ye aside from the European substitution of chicken, the dish remains remarkably similar to its pre-Columbian Ancestor."
---Domestic Cookery, Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, facsimile 1853 edition, with notes by William Woys Weaver [Stackpole Books:Mechanicsburg PA] revised edition, 2004 (p. 322-323) [NOTE: Lea's recipe follows, 1853.]
Native American connection
"Parched Green Corn Soup.
Green corn, when nearly ripe, is gathered, roasted on the cob before the fire, or on top of the stove, then shelled, dried over the stove, or in the sun, in an evaporating basket...then put away in a bag or barrel for future use. Grain prepared in this manner is called...'dried parched corn.' To cook, place a quantity of the corn in a kettle, and boiling water and boil for half an hour, drain, add fresh water, then some kind of meat. Boil for an hour and season with salt. Another way of seasoning is to sweeten."
---Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation, F.W. Waugh, facsimile 1916 edition [University Press of the Pacific:Honolulu HI] 2003 (p. 96)
"Green Corn Soup.
Green corn is husked and shelled from the cob with the bands. A fire is made outside. When a good bed of coals has been obtained, the embers are packed down level. The corn thrown on top and stirred with a stick, the coals being pulled over the corn a little. When the latter is sufficiently cooked, the ashes and fire are pulled away, the corn put into a coarse hominy basket, and the ashes and coals sifted out, after which it is washed with cold water, and boiled in a kettle with meat and beans. Salt is added, also pepper, if desired, although the latter is not much used."
---ibid (p. 97)
"Dried Corn Soup. When not required for immediate use, the baked corn just described [corn cake] is broken up into small pieces, dried in the sun or over the stove and stored away for future reference. This makes an excellent soup, or 'pudding,' when soaked a little, then boiled and seasoned."
---ibid (p. 98)
Pennsylvania Dutch recipes
"Chicken Stewed with New Corn.
Cut up the chickens as for pies; season them well; have green corn cut off the cob; put a layer of chicken at the bottom of a stew pan, and a layer of corn, and so til you fill all in; sprinkle in salt, pepper and parsley, and put a piece of butter in; cover it with water, and put on a crust, with slits cut in it; let it boil an hour; when done, lay the crust in a deep dish; dip out the chicken and corn, and put it on the crust; stir in the gravy a thickening of milk and flour; when this boils up, pour it in with the corn and chicken. Chicken and corn boiled together in a pot, make very nice soup, with dumplings."
---Domestic Cookery, Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, facsimile 1853 edition, with notes by William Woys Weaver [Stackpole Books:Mechanicsburg PA] revised edition, 2004 (p. 29)
"Green Corn Soup,", Buckeye Cookery, Wilcox [Note: recipe name does not mention chicken but the ingredients/method are strikingly similar to PA Dutch dish.
"Chicken Corn Soup Lunch. This Saturday evening at the Farmer's Hotel, Tenth and Cumberland Streets."
---display ad, Lebanon Daily News [PA], August 4, 1887 (p. 4) [NOTE: no recipe included.]
"13. Dutch Chicken Corn Soup
Boil chicken until tender, remove bones and shred meat; make a smooth dough of one egg and one and one-half cups of flour; roll out and cut into dice; score and cut off the corn from six ears; put all into the chicken broth and boil together till corn is soft. Serve with popcorn floating on the soup." ---Pennsylvania Dutch Cookery, J. George Frederick, facsimile 1935 edition originally published by Business Bourse:New York [Favorite Recipes Press:Louisville KY] 1965 (p. 28)
"19. Milk Corn Soup.
Peel and shred a quarter of a cabbage, and add 2 tomatoes. Cover with water and cook until tender. Take six ears of corn, slit the kernels and scrape (whole brains are not desirable and grated is too fine.) In another vessel heat 1 quart of milk, 1/4 pound of butter, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, salt. When hot, add to the other mixture. Cook up slowly, (it burns easily). The add butter balls made with 3/4 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon butter--water to soften, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and a bit of salt. Toss bits of dough into flour, drop into hot soup for ten minutes, slowly cooking. Add 2 hard boiled eggs, parsley and serve with popcorn floating on it."
---ibid (p. 30)
"25. Dutch Corn Chowder
1/4 lb. salt pork
1/4 Shaker dried corn (or canned or fresh corn)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper, salt to taste
1 quart milk
Soak the shaker corn for 18 to 24 hours in lukewarm water.
Cut pork into little cubes and fry golden brown. Mince the onion and fry until brown. Pare and dice the potatoes and cook with the pork and bacon in water to cover, pulp the corn, mix with the spices and the milk, and add 6 to 7 soda crackers which have been soaked in milk."
---ibid (p. 32)
"33. Dutch Cream Corn Soup
1 quart green corn from cob (or 1 cup Shaker dried corn)
2 stalks celery, diced
1 pint milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 hard boiled eggs
1 teaspoon minced parsley
If using Shaker corn soak in lukewarm water for about 12 hours. Boil the corn and celery for 20 minutes, then add salt and pepper and the butter, also the cornstarch (dissolved in a little cold water). Boil a little longer and then add the milk, parsley and eggs, cut fine and serve hot."
---ibid (p. 36)
1 dozen ears corn
4 eggs, hard cooked
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon minced parsley.
Grate the corn off six cobs with cold water and bring to a boil cooking about 3/4 hour. Cut the corn from the other six ears and combine with the grated corn. Mash the egg yolks and mix with the flour and butter. Slowly add the water in which the eggs have cooked and mix well. Add corn and the parsley and, if mixture is too thick, add enough milk to make of right consistency. Bring to a boiling point and cook for 5 minutes."
---Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes [Culinary Arts Press:Reading PA] 1936 (p. 18)
3 slices salt pork
1 large onion, sliced
4 large potatoes, sliced
2 cups water
6 large soda crackers soaked in
1 cup milk
2 cups corn
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika.
Cut the salt pork in cubes and brown. Add onion and cook until browned; ad the potatoes and water and cook until potatoes are soft. When potatoes are cooked, stir in the crackers which have been soaked in the milk, corn, salt and paprika. Heat thoroughly and serve."
---ibid (p. 18) Related food? Corn pudding.
Food historians generally agree recipes dubbed "chowder," as we know them today, were named for the primative caverous iron pots where they originated Think: fish/shellfish/vegetables brewing forever in ancient cauldrons, bubbling in pioneer American soup cast iron pots, economical canned goods gently simmering in aluminum pots perched on post-WWII stoves. Today's American housewives heating commercial chowders with microwave ovens know the taste but not the history. Perfectly understandable.
Back in the day... chowder meant a any soup/stew slowly cooked in a large pot meant to feed any number of people whenever they were hungry. There was/is no "authentic" or "original" chowder recipe. This economical dish is built from local place and taste. Then, as now, variations (ingredients/methods/menu placement) reflected local pride and history. Soup liquid progressed from plain water to cream/milk, pureed vegetables, spices & such. Thicknesses (& thickening agents) likewise varied. The famous chowder Mrs. Hussey served to Ishmael and QueeQueg [Moby Dick/Herman Melville c. 1861] was a milk-based cod chowder. The most popular vegetable variation is corn chowder.
What is chowder?
"A seafood soup associated with New England, the most popular of which is clam chowder. The term may also describe a buttery, hearty soup made with corn, chicken, or other chunks of food still evident in the blend. The origins of the word "chowder" are somewhat obscure, but most authories, including the Dictionary of American Regional English, believes it derives from the French word for a large caldron, chaudiere, in which Breton sailors threw their catch to make a communal stew, a custom carried to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and down to New England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries...The first American cookbook to give a chowder recipe was the second edition of Amelia Simmons's American Cookery (1800). It called for bass, salt pork crackers, and a side dish of potatoes...Although by 1836 "clam chowder" was known in Boston, where its associations are still strong, throughout the century chowder was less commonly a dish of clams than of fish, usually cod or haddock, and by the 1840s potatoes had become a traditional ingredient...Chowder was a staple dish of New Englanders, and for sailors merely another another way to make a constant diet of fish palatable...By the end of the century certain New England regions became known for their various interpretations of chowder--one might find cream in one spot, lobsters in others, no potatoes elsewhere--but most were by then a creamy white soup brimming with chopped fish or clams, crackers, and butter..."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 81-82)
Which came first: milk vs tomato base? Neither.
Oldest chowder recipes suggest they were water-based fish soups of various thickness featuring minimal underground vegetables (onions, carrots, later potatoes). Fish component likewise varied. Early chowders were sometimes flavored with wine. Many incorporated a finished bread product (croutons or crackers), for bulk. These recipes decended from the ancient practice of combining grain with protein for maximum results. Think: pudding, porridge, gruel & soup.
Dairy-based chowder versions were inevitable in cooler regions where milk animals flourished. Tomatoes and sharper spices made sense in warmer climes. About tomato-based fish chowders (AKA Manhattan-style).
"Well before [the US Civil War], regional and even local difference had begun to appear. The earliest chowders had used only fish, onions, pork , and crackers as the main components, with wine and herbs sometimes used for flavor. As tomatoes, potatoes and milk crept into chowders, the opportunities for variety increased geometrically. Nantucket Island, saturated with seafaring ways, had the simplest chowders, for here crackers, potatoes, milk and tomatoes were all omitted. The fish, or clams, were joined with pork, onions, salt, and pepper, and thickened with flour and water...Elsewhere in New England milk began to appear in chowders. A milky appearance was given even to water-based chowders by the use of flour and water or flour and cream to thicken the stew, and this may have led Marriet Martineau to believe that a chowder she ate in 1835 at Sandy Cove, Gloucester, was made with milk. Though water remained dominant, soon small amounts of milk or cream were added just before the dish was served, and by midcentury Mrs. E. H. Putnam, a cookbook editor in Massachusetts, noted that some cooks used half milk and half water...Northern New England also increasingly left out the wine, cider, spices, curry powder, and other flavorings that had appeared in earlier recipes. Fish or shellfish, salt pork, onions, potatoes, biscuits, and water or milk became the standard ingredients, though either onions or potatoes might be completely omitted.."
---Book of Chowder, Richard J. Hooker [Harvard Common Press:Boston MA] 1978 (p. 6-7)
Take a bass weighing four pounds, boil half an hour; take six slices raw salt pork, fry them till the lard is nearly extracted, one dozen crackers soaked in cold water five minutes; put the bass into the lard, also the pieces of pork and crackers, cover close, and fry for 20 minutes; serve with potatoes, pickles, apple-sauce or mangoes; garnish with green parsley."
---American Cookery, Amelia Simmons, facsimile of the second edition printed in Albany, 1796 with an introduction by Karen Hess [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 1996 (p. 22-3)
"120. New England Chowder. Take a pound of salt pork that is fat; cut it in strips, and fry out the oil; then take out the pork and put into the pot with the oil in a layer of haddock, cod, or any other solid fish cut in pieces three inches square, then a layer of onions in slices, then a layer of fish with slips of fat salt pork, and so until you finish the layers. Mix some flour with as much water as will fill the pot; season with black pepper and salt to your taste, and boil it for half an hour; have ready some crackers soaked in water till they are a little softened; throw them in your chowder five minutes before you take it up. Serve in a tureen."
---The Frugal Housekeeper's Kitchen Companion or Guide to Economical Cookery, Mrs. Eliza Ann Wheeler [Ensign, Bridgeman & Fanning:New York] 1847 (p. 120)
"A Very Nice Chowder. Take a cod and a haddock; skin them, and take out the bones. Put the heads and bones on to boil in about three quarts of cold water and a little salt. Cut the fish in small pieces, about four or six inches square; wash and wipe them dry; flour them a little. Cut about a quarter of a pound of salt pork in thin slices' fry them a nice brown; cut up two onions and fry them in the fat of the pork, but be careful not to burn or have them too brown; take out the onions and pork. Have ready six potatoes, cut in in thin slices. Put a layer of fish into a pot (having the pork at the bottom), with a little fried onion, potatoes, pepper and salt; dredge in a little flour; another layer of fish, then the onions, potatoes, pepper, salt, and flour; and so on until all is in. Then strain the water that the heads and bones have been boiling in through a cullender, on to the fish; if not enough to cover the fish, add hot water. Split six crackers, dip them in cold water quickly, and put them over the top; set it on the fire; let it boil thirty minutes. The add a quarter of a pound of butter and two spoonfuls of flour, braided together, and a glass of white wine, if you like; let it boil a few minutes; just before dishing, add a quart of cream or milk, give it one boil, and it is ready for the table."
---Mrs. Putnam's Receipt Book [Blakeman & Mason:New York] 1862 (p. 26-27)
"Chowder. Take a cod weighing about six pounds, and a haddock weighing four pounds; cut them in pieces about six inches square, awash them clean, and wipe them dry, and dredge them with a little flour; cut into slices about a quarter of a pound of salt pork and two onions; fry the pork a nice brown in a pot large enough to make the soup in; then take out the pork and fry the onions, and be careful not to burn them; when these are done, put into the hot fat a layer of fish; then put in a little of the onion, a few bits of pork, a little pepper and salt; dredge in some flour, and, if you like the flavor, put in a little tomato, then another layer of fish, and then the seasoning, and continue this until the fish and seasoning are all in the pot; put in hot water enough to cover the fish, and after it begins to boil, let it boil thirty minutes. Some like half milk and half water; if milk is used, the tomato should be omitted; for those who like spice, a little clove and mace, with a quart of red wine, is a great improvement."
---Mrs. Putnam, (p. 27-28)
""Clam Chowder.--Butter a deep tin basin, stew it thickly with grated bread crumbs, or soaked cracker; sprinkle some pepper over and bits of butter the size of a hickory nut, and, if liked, some finely chopped parsley; then put a double layer of clams, season with pepper, but bits of butter over, then another layer of soaked cracker; after that clams and bits of butter; sprinkle pepper over; add a cup of milk or water, and lastly a layer of soaked crackers. Turn a plate over the basin, and bake in a hot oven for three quarters of an hour; use half a pound of soda biscuit, and quarter of a pound of butter with fifty clams."
---Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's Cookery Book, Mrs. T.J. Crowen [Dick & Fitzgerald:New York], 1847, 1866 (p. 55-56)
[NOTE: This book also offers recipes for fish chowder, oyster chowder and :chowder, to make.]
President Kennedy's New England Fish Chowder
What about the origins of tomato-based/Manhattan chowder?
"By the 1830s in Rhode Island...cooks often added tomatoes to their chowder, a practice that brought down unremitting scorn from chowder fanciers in Massachusetts and Maine, who associated such a dish with New York because the dish came to be called, for no disernable reason, "Manhattan clam chowder" sometime in the 1930s. By 1940 Eleanor Early in her New England Sampler decried this "terrible pink mixture...called Manhattan Clam Chowder, that is only a vegetable soup, and not to be confused with New England Clam Chowder, nor spoke of in the same breath...." Just why tomato-based chowder is called "Manhattan" has never been satisfactorily explained..."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] (p. 82)
"To say when Manhattan Clam Chowder would require a rigid definition. It may have descended from the chowders served during the late nineteenth century at Coney Island stands. In 1894 Charles Ranhofer, famed chef or Delmonico's restaurant, published a recipe for 'Chowder de Lucines,' made with pork, parsley, onions, potatoes....clams, tomatoes, and cracker, and flavored with thyme, salt and pepper. A 'Fulton Market Style' clam chowder of 1902 contained clams, onions, tomatoes, allspice, cloves, red pepper, and Worcestershire sauce...A 'Vegetable Clam Chowder' of 1929 had clams, chopped onion, diced carrots and potatoes, stewed tomatoes, and thyme. Very similar in content were two others in the same year, a 'Coney Island Clam Chowder' and a 'New York Clam Chowder.' All of these were certainly members of one family and were radically different from the New England clam chowder. The word 'Manhattan' may not have appeared on chowders until the 1930s or later.... Unwritten, too, is the history of the debate, usually conducted in terms of mock outrage, between the followers of milk-based New England clam chowder and those who prefer the New York version made with tomatoes and water. Early Americans would, of course, have been astounded to be told that either milk or tomatoes could be used."
---Book of Chowder, Richard J. Hooker [Harvard Common Press:Boston MA] 1978 (p. 9)
Mary Alice Cook's Traditional Portuguese Recipes from Provincetown contains a recipe for milk-based fish chowder without tomatoes. She emigrated from Portugal with her family in the early 20th century; the recipe in this book are ones from her youth. This raises the question whether the practice of adding tomatoes in this venue was universal, or necessarily Portuguese.
"1850-1860. Several chowder recipes using clams and tomatoes appear. Clam chowders are becoming accepted as a suitable substitute for fish chowders, but it will be another fifty years before they become widely popular. Tomatoes are becoming a popular food, but are used sparingly in chowder, especially those from Cape Cod to the north. Tomatoes have not yet fallen victim to the New England versus Manhattan rivalry; in fact, one Boston recipe from 1851 from the American Matron includes tomatoes and milk. Milk, cream, and butter are beginning to appear in a few recipes--an 1860 fish chowder recipe from the archives of the Shaker Museum in Old Chatham, New York, includes two cups of cream and three tablespoons of butter... 1900-1950 By the beginning of the twentieth century, chowder has become well established as a genre in American cooking. The style of chowder is more brothy than its nineteenth-century predecessor; almost all include potatoes, and crackers are served on the side. The use of salt pork or bacon remains a constant. Regional types and preferences begin to take hold, creating rivalries, at least in the minds of food writers...All of northern New England abhors the tomato-based chowders from Connecticut and New York..."
---50 Chowders, Jasper White [Scribner:New York] 2000 (p. 22-24)
[NOTE: this book has an excellent chowder history timeline (p. 19-26). Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]
Primary evidence suggests the geographical division between New England and Manhattan (aka, New York) clam chowder predates the 1930s...if not in name, certainly in recipe. In Mrs. Allen on Cooking, Menus, Service, Ida Bailey Allen [Doubleday, Doran & Co.:Garden City NY] 1929 one finds this recipe for New York Fish Chowder:
"Observe the proportions and direction for Fish Chowder [New England], substituting for the mixed vegetables a pint of solid canned tomatoes or a pint of fresh tomatoes cut in pieces. Season with thyme and omit the milk." (p. 148)
In the book Souper Tomatoes: The Story of America's Favorite Food, Andrew F. Smith prints a recipe for Danbury Clam Chowder, attributed to Maria Parloa  (p. 155). Danbury is a town in southwest Connecticut. It begins "Use for six persons one quart of clams, one pint of canned tomatoes (or one quart of fresh tomatoes), one quart of sliced potatoes, one pint of sliced onions, one pint of water, half teaspoonful each of powdered celery seeds...one quarter of a pound of salt pork, one teaspoonful of pepper, and three teaspoonfuls of salt.
"Whether brewed in a ship's galley or on the home stove, mention of clam chowder has spurred debates for generations. Real Yankees think of chowder as a whole meal by itself, and some feel so strongly about the ingredients that a Maine legislator named Seeder finally, in 1939, introduced a bill to make it illegal to add tomatoes to the pot. Long Islanders, and other defenders of the so-called Manhattan clam chowder point out that their version should be served as a soup source, for them fresh tomatoes have been the source of necessary flavor and color, since Long Island tomato growers and some neighborly old salts were mutually persuasive about merging fruits of the garden and the sea. Marylanders, down on Chesapeake Bay, want no part of the tomatoes-or-not brouhaha. Early cooks of the region often combined chicken, vegetables, and seafood..."
---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, 2nd ed. [Vintage Books:New York] 1981(p. 26)
Related food? cioppino.
The history of cioppino illustrates some very interesting (and important!) points for culinary researchers. It presents an excellent example of a recipe commonly percieved as being "invented," and therefore, traceable to an exact place, people and time. Truth is? Recipes aren't "invented," they evolve according to custom and cuisine. The true story of cioppino begins with ancient mediterranean fishermen who concocted the first fish soups and stews. These recipes were adopted by all seafaring cultures; recipes resulted according to local ingredients. Cioppino belongs to the same tradition as chowder and bouillabaise.
American cioppino is a story of immigration patterns, ethnic heritage, and local adaptation.
Food historians generally agree cioppino originated in California (most often cited San Francisco Bay area). The group of Italians credited for the recipe immigrated from Northern Italy, specifically Genoa. A 1915 recipe we have dubbs it "Neapolitan." The fish? Depended upon the catch of the day. In the cold waters of the San Francisco Bay, [Dungeness] crabs were plentiful and often included. Presumably, in Genoa this stew was made in the same fashion, with the local catch of the day.
"The only thing definate about cioppino is that no one knows for sure when it originated. In researching the recipe, I found a wide range of dates--from Gold Rush Days to the 1930s. Most food historians and cookbook authors don't even try to fix the recipe in time, although all point to San Francisco as the place of origin. It's true, certainly, that cioppino wasn't well known beyond the Bay area (or at least outside California) until after World War II. John Thorne...describes in the September/October 1996 issue of his newsletter, Simple Cooking, how he came upon a vintage (1921) cookbook that discusses cioppino in detail. That book, Fish Cookery, by Evelyn Spencer of the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries and John N. Cobb, director of the College of Fisheries at the University of Washington, offers a recipe for cioppino that had appeared three years earlier by H.B. Nidever in California Fish and Game. Thorne believes that it may be one of the first, if not the first, ever published. He also points to...[a]... passage in Nidever's article, which suggests that cioppino originated in the fishing grounds off the coast of California, not San Francisco...Yet according to Coleman Andrews...there is a classic Genoese fisherman's soup called il ciuppin. Its name....is "simply a corruption of the Genoise word suppin, meaning little soup'....
---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 72-3)
"Cioppino. A fish stew cooked with tomatoes, wine, and spices, and associated at least since the 1930s with San Francisco, where it is still a specialty in many restaurants (1935). The word is Italian, from a Genoese dialect, ciuppin, for a fish stew, and the dish seems to have originated with the Italian immigrants of San Francisco, who often used the crabmeat available in the city's markets."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p.85)
"Bernsteins, until recently a Powell Street landmark, opened its doors for the first time soon after the  earthquake. From its inception the restaurant kept cioppino, the famous San Francisco fish stew, on the menu. Early in this century, more than one hundred and nine varieties of fish were taken from San Francisco Bay and sold commercially by the fishermen who hailed mainly from Genoa...A great treat rarely savored today is cioppino cooked on the small boats while at sea, with the catch prepared immediately after having been scooped from the cold waters. In that more leisurely era, this was a feast that was regularly enjoyed. Cioppino remains on the menus of most of the city's fine fish restaurants, and its variety of ingredients is infinite."
---Sumptuous Dining in Gaslight San Francisco: 1875-1915, Frances de Talavera Berger and John Parke Custis [Doubleday:Garden City] 1985 (p. 126)
Take a good sized solid piece of fish (bass or white fish) put in a pot with one can of tomatoes, one onion sauteed in butter, two pepper pods, one bay leaf, juice of one dozen clams, cook briskly one hour; fifteen minutes before serving add one dozen clam bellies."
---Transcribed from The Refugees' Cook Book , published in: After the Shae They Baked: Cooking in the Streets, The 1906 San Francisco Disaster, Gladys Hansen (curator & archivist), Staff of the Virtual Museum of San Francisco  (p. 71) [NOTE: The Refugees' Cook book is Online, full-text.
Chop two onions and half a clove of garlic fine, with two brances of parsely and a stick of celery, and fry until yellow in a half a cup of olive oil; add a can of tomatoes and a cup of white wine and boil for half an hour; add two pounds of fish, cut into large portions(using several kinds), half a pound of scrubbed clams or mussels and a boiled crab (with outside shell removed), broken into pieces. Season highly with salt and paprika and simmer until the fish are done. Pour over toasted French bread in a large, deep platter."
---Pan-Pacifc Cook Book L.L. McLaren [Blair-Murdock Company:San Francisco CA] 1915 (p. 21)
"Chippino That Queen of Cooks, Jean Owens, has probably done more to rescue her sex from cooking oblivion than any other woman in the country. She is one of the few women who takes her place along with the breat international authorities on cookery and maintains a position that is at times enviabe. Mrs. Owen has recaptured some of the true character off the Spanish Southwest in this recipe. It is one of the traditions of the Californian coastal counties, and is truly one of the great American outdoor recipes that deserves a spot along with clambakes and Texas barbecues. Originally, of course, the men not only caught the fish, built the fire and cooked the eal--they also waited upon their ladies and probably washed the dishes. You may with to be definitely traditional abpout the whle thing, or you may establish a rule of equality between the sexes.
1 large eastern lobster, 1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped, 3 tablesooons chopped parsley
1/2 can tomatoes, 1 pint Little Neckc clams
1 pint mussels, 1 cup shelled shrimps
1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup dried mushrooms
1 large green pepper, chopped, 1 cup California red wine
Cut raw fish in slices, also raw crab or lobbster cut in pieces; slightly steam the mussels and clams, after thhey have been well-washed. Save the liquid in which the clams and mussels have been steamed and strain through a cloth. Soak the dried mushrooms and cut them in small pieces. Put olive oil in an iron pot and, when hot, add onion, then garlic and parsley msuhrooms and green peppers next the tomatoes, bay leaf, two whole cloves, wine and liquid from clams and mussels; simmer all for an hour season with salt and cayenne, The add crab (or lobster), pieces of bass, shrimp and cook. Do not stir. Last of all, add mussels and clams. Serve very hot in soup plates or bowls with plenty of crispy bread and butter. 'Pass the red wine--my preference is the wine from the coastal counties.'"
---Cook it Outdoors, Jmes Beard [M. Barrows and Company:New York] 1941 (p. 57-58)
"Cioppino. This is one of California's most famous dishes, and one that we can claim is ours, all ours. It is a versatile dish, as it was invented by fishermen who made it with whatever the ocean was inclined to yield, so of course there are dozens of ideas on how it should be done. Exponents of the various schools of cookery get quite fussed--and fussy--about how to make cioppino. Red or white wine, or sherry? Shrimp and crab, clams, or just a mixture of fish? The best way is as you like it. This recipe is for a combination of fish, but it's basic enough to be used with lobster alone, or with crab, or with practically anything that comes from the sea.
You'll need 1 1/2 pounds of firm-fleshed fish--shark is good, and so is sea bass or rockfish. Also 1/2 pounds of green shrimps, a large crab, and a dozen medium-sized clams or cockles, or mussels, or oysters. Have the fish cut in good-sized pieces, the shrimps shelled and their black veins removed, and the crab cleaned, and the body cut in pieces, shell and all, the legs cracked for easier later picking, the clams well scrubbed and left in their shells. Now make a sauce: cook together 1/2 cup of olive oil, a teaspoon of minced garlic (more if you're a garlic fiend), a cup of chopped onions, a cupt of chopped green onions, 1/2 cup of minced green pepper, an 8-ounce tin of tomato sauce, a No. 2 1/2 can of tomatoes, 2 cups of red table wine, 1/4 cup of minced parsley, a teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of coarsely ground pepper, 1/4 teaspoon each of oregano and basil. Cook 5 minutes. Now arrange the fish, crab, and shrimps in layers in a big casserole or pot, pour over the sauce, cover, and cook on a low flame or in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the fish is done. Add the clams, or whatever mollusks you have chosen, and, as soon as they open up, sprinkle the whole with another 1/4 cup of minced parsley , and serve forth in the casserole or in a tureen, with oodles of hot garlic bread. Bibs are in order, too. Serves 6 to 8...
NOTE: I have been told, and on good authority, too, that the Portuguese fishermen always thicken their cioppino sauce with a potato or two, and that they use much more garlic than is in this recipe.
NOTE: One story says that San Francisco's fishermen did not introduce cioppino to California, but that an Italian named Bazzuro, who ran a restaurant on a boat anchored off Fisherman's warf, is responsible. What's more, it was supposed to have been an older ecipe, well known in Italy. This back in the 1850s. I refuse to believe it!"
---West Coast Cook Book, Helen Evans Brown, [reprint edition of the original by the Cookbook Collectors Library] 1952 (p. 173-5)
Related food? Chowder.
This venerable combination dates (in print) to 1598. As with most traditional dishes, recipes evolved according to taste and place.
"Cock-a-leekie. This sustaining broth of chicken and leeks is firmly associated with Scotland, although something similar appears in other parts of Britain, and indeed of Europe. In its earliest medieval versions, it was a chicken stew with onions, and also raisins or prunes. The chicken would often have been eaten separately, and the stewing liquor drunk as soup. Adapated to Scottish conditions, leeks replaced onions, and by the nineteenth century the prunes seem to have disappeared, leaving the cock-a-leekie (or, in an earlier spelling, cocky-leeky) we are familiar with today."
---An A to Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 82)
"Cock-a-leekie, a Scottish soup/stew of chicken and leeks. The name came into use in the 18th cnetury, but the dish itself is commonly siad to date back to medieval times, when it contained onions and prunes (and/or raisins), and was probably served as two dishes--the chicken and the broth. Modern recipes are generally for just one dish not two; they provide for cutting up the chicken meat before the soup is served; and they are virtually unanimous in insisting that chicken and leeks between them provide plenty of solid matter. Onions have retained their place in the recipes, but raisins have largely disappeared and there has been controversy over the prunes."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 197)
"Cock-a-leekie. One of the most famous Scottish 'soup-stews' which was mentioned as early as 1598 by Fynes Morrison in his book An Itinerary: 'had Pullet with some prunes in the broth'. Two well-known Frenchmen renowned for their knowledge of food commented on it. Talleyrand the diplomatist thought it very good, but that the prunes should be removed before serving. The famous chef Alexis Soyer said: 'I will always give preference in the way of soup to their Cock-a-Leekie, even before their inimitable Hotch-Potch!' It is often served for banquets or large dinners."
---Traditional Scottish Cookery, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Fontana Paperbacks:Great Britain] 1980 (p. 7)
"[in Medieval times] Sometimes the bird stew had onions and raisins in it, and it is from pottage of that type that the Scottish cock-a-leekie is descended; the onions were replaced by locally grown leeks. Fynes Moryson, who was in Scotland in 1598, ate what seems to have been this dish at a knight's house there. But the 'upper mess', he reported, 'instead of porridge, had a pullet with some prunes in the broth.' The recipe stemmed, in all probability, not from England but from France, as one minor resout of the auld alliance."
---Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 (p. 124)
"The medieval running pottages of meat and dried fruits also continued through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, though they lost ground to the newer stews and made-up dishes of meat or fish to which were added sharp fresh fruits or recently introduced vegetables. Nevertheless capons and hens were on occasion boiled in white broth with ground almonds, currants, raisins, dates, prunes, sugar, spice and sack...But by Georgian times such compositions had lost their appeal and were rarely eaten. There were one or two notable exceptions. Cock-a-leekie still survived in Scotland. Lady Grisill Baillie in 1743 wrote a special instruction to her housekeeper to use a measured six ounces of prunes in its making. Mrs. Margaret Dods affirmed in 1826 that 'the soup must be very thick of leeks'; but she omited the prunes."
---ibid (p. 226-7)
"Like haggis, cockie-leekie is now firmly tied to Scotland in most people's minds. However, in 1867 Lady Llanover gave an identical recipe in her Good Cookery, which has to do with Welsh food. And if one compares the basic ingredients with the recipe for Hindle Wakes...it becomes obvious that these are very old dishes, European dishes, if you like, which have survived from many centuries back in those parts of the country which have not been too buffeted by new fashions."
---English Food, Jane Grigson, with a forward by Sophie Grigson [Penguin Books:London] 1992 (p. 195)
"The one cookery book of great authority is The Cook and Housewife's Manual (1826), written under the authorship of Mrs. Margaret [Meg] Dods, who is a character in Sir Walter Scott's St. Roman's Well...The author was really Mrs. Johnston, the wife of an Edinbrugh publisher...she considered Anglo-Gallican cookery to be the best the world has ever known...Apart from the chicken and leek, her Cock-a-Leekie also has prunes and like the Oyster Soup has two lots of leeks, the first cooked into a puree, the second cut into chunks and added later."
---British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History, Colin Spencer [Columbia University Press:New York] 2002 (p. 196)
 Meg Dods
"726. Cock-a-leekie.--Boil from four to six pounds of good shin-beef, well broken, till the liquor is very good. Strain it, and put to it a capon, or large fowl, trussed for boiling, and, when it boils, half the quantity of blanched leeks intended to be used, well cleaned, and cut in inch-lengths, or longer. Skim this carefully. In a half-hour add the remaining part of the leeks, and a seasoning of pepper and salt. The soup must be very thick of leeks, and the first part of them must be boiled down into the soup till it becomes a green lubricious compound. Sometimes the capon is served in the tureen with the cock-a-leekie. This is good leek-soup without a fowl.--Obs. Some people thicken cock-a-leekie with the fine part of oatmeal. Those who dislike so much of the leeks may substitute shred geens, or spinage and parsley, for one half of them. Reject the coarse green part of the leeks. Prunes wont to be put to this soup. The practice is obsolete."
---Cook and Housewife's Manual, Margaret Dods, facsimile 1829 fourth edition revised and enlarged [Rosters Ltd:London] 1988 (p. 364)
 Alexis Soyer
"New Cock-a-Leekie. ma chere Amie,--With all due respect to Scotch cookery, I will always give the preference, in the way of soup, to their cock-a-leekie, even before their inimitable hodge-podge. Having a very old friend from the neighbourhood of Dundee, who used to praise my cock-a-leekie, when on a visit to St. John's Wood, I thought I would give him the same treat here, and on looking over my frugal store and garden of Camellia Cottage, I found I had all that was required, barring the bird; but, with a little perseverance and ingenuity, I succeeded in producing a very nice soup, although it wanted the principal ingredient, so that it deceived not only my husband, but my friend from the other side of the Tweed. Here is the receipt:
"24.--I bought two pounds of veal cutlet, and cut it into pieces, like the felsh from the breast of a fowl, and put them in the pan with a quarter of a pound of butter, the same of lean bacon, three cloves, two good onions sliced, two teaspoonfuls of salt, one of sugar, half a one of pepper, a gill of water; set it on the fire, turn it over until forming a white glaze at the bottom, add to it five pints of water, simmer half an hour, pass through a sieve, save the best pieces of the veal. In the meantime blanch two pounds of leeks, free from the top green part, for ten minutes, in a gallon of water, and drain them; then boil the stock and half the leeks together, till almost in a pulp, then add the other half of the leeks and the meat, also eighteen good fresh French plums; simmer half an hour, and serve. I must observe that my friend praised it very much for having put in the flesh of the fowl only, as he though, and not the whole carcase, which is the way they serve it in Scotland; and exceedingly inconvenient way, as everybody expects a piece of the fowl, and you often tear it to pieces in serving."
---A Shilling Cookery for the People, Alexis Soyer, facsimile 1860 edition [Pryor Publications:Whitstable UK] 1999 (p. 13-14)
 Mrs. Beeton's
Cock-a-leekie soup (recipe #134)
 F. Marian McNeill
The King (James VI and I): 'And, my lords and lieges, let us all to dinner, for the cockie-leekie is a-cooling.'--Scott: Fortunes of Nigel, last line.
(Mrs. Dalgairns' Recipe)
A cock or fowl, beef or veal stock, leeks, prunes, Jamaica pepper, salt.
Cut off the roots and part of the heads for two or three bunches of large winter leeks. Cut in pieces an inch long (which amy be split). Wash well in three waters, and, if old and strong, boil for ten minutes in water. Put them in a close stew-pan with some beef or veal stock and a trussed fowl or cock, with Jamaica pepper, and salt. Let the whole simmer very gently at the side of the fire for four hours, keeping it well skimmed. Half an hour before serving add a dozen or so of prunes, unbroken. When ready to serve, take out the cock or fowl and cut it in pieces, place it in the tureen, and pour broth over it. The prunes may be omitted."
---The Scots Kitchen: Its Traditions and Lore with Old-time Recipes, F. Marian McNeill, facsimile 1929 edition [Mercat Press:Edinburgh] 1993 (p. 94-95)
chicken history & onion soup.
We find no recipes titled bouillion or consomme in La Varenne's French Cook [Englished 1653]. The French version may offer better insight. "Consomme, meaning a clear soup, has been used in English since the early part of the 19th century, but has been a French culinary term since the 16th century. It is the past participle of the verb consommer, meaning to consume or accomplish or finish, and indicating in this context a finished soup as opposed to a simple stock or broth. Double consomme is a clarified consomme. Little fragments of this or that may be introduced into a consomme at some stage in its production, or just when serving, and the nature of these is, in classical French cookery, reflected in the name give to the consomme...A consomme may be served hot or cold, usually at the beginning of the meal. The simplest consomme of all, in France, is the broth (bouillon) from Pot-au-feu."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 212)
[NOTE: this book has separate entries for soup, broth [bouillon], pot-au-feu and stock. Your librarian can help you find these pages.]
"Consumme. In French, consomme is literally something that has been consummated- that is, by boiling down, the flavours of meat, vegetables, or whatever have become completely concentrated...Originally, the word seems to have been applied to any rich broth which was the product of long, slow cooking; but by the mid-nineteenth century the current signification 'clear soup' was well established. One of the earliest references to consomme in English is by Bryon, who in Don Juan (1824) laments Alas! I must leave undescribed the gibier,/the salmi, the consomme, the puree/all which I use to make my rhymes run glibber/than could roast beer in our rough John Bull way.'"
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 88)
Consomme recipes through time
Prenez de la volaille & du veau, coupez-les par petits morceauz que vous fourerex dans une bouteille qui ait le goulot assez large: quand elle sera remplie, vous la boucherez bien avec do al pate & du parchemin colle par-dessus; vous la mettrez dans un chaudron plein d'eau, & vous la lasserez bouillir pendant trois heures. Au bout de ce tems vous oterez le juc de la bouteille, & vous le verserez dans un pot pour vous en servir dans le besoin.
Le consomme maigre se fait de la mem maniere. Au lieu de viande, on prend des desossemens de poissons avec du bouillon de pois." ---Le Nouveau Cuisinier Royale et Bourgeois ou Cusinier Moderne, Massialot, facsimile edition originally published in 1750, [Elibron Classics:Paris] 2003 (p. 149-150)
"No. 2.--First Consomme.
Mark in a stock-pot a large piece of buttock of beef, or other part with a knuckle of veal, and the trimming of meat or fowl, according to the quantity of sauce you may wish to make. This broth will admit all sorts of veal or poultry. Let the meat stew on a gentle fire. Moisten with about two large ladlesfull of the first broth; put no vegetables into this broth, except a bunch of parlsey and green onions. Let them sweat thoroughly; then thrust your knife into the meat: if no blood issue, it is a sign that it is heated through. The moisten it with boiling broth to the top, and let it boil gently for about four hours; after which, use this consumme to make the sauces, or the consommes of either poultry or game. Take off the fat and scum of all the various broths, and keep the pots full, in order that the broth be not too high in colour. When the broth remains too long on the fire, it loses its flavour, acquires too brown a colour, and tastes strong and disagreeable."
---The French Cook, Louis Eustache Ude , photoreprint of edition orginally published by Carey, Lea and Carey, Philadephia [Arco:New York] 1978 (p. 203)
[NOTE: this book also contains recipes for consomme of poultry, consomme of game, and consomme of rabbits.]
"Broth, or Consomme.
Take 6 lbs of gravy beef, 4 lbs. of leg of veal, and 2 hens, removing their fillets; Truss, and roast the hens before a brisk fire, so that they may be coloured before they are half cooked; in that state put them, together with the meat, in a stock-pot, with 7 quarts of General Stock; put the stock-pot ont he fire to boil; skim; and add some salt, carrots, and leeks; simmer for four hours on the stove corner; strain the broth; take the fat off carefully, and clarify the broth with the fillets of hens, reserved for the purpose. Strain the consomme again, through a broth napkin into a basin, and keep it in a cold place till wanted."
---Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated to English by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, & Marston:London] 1869 (p. 227-8)
Consomme , La Cuisine Creole, Lafcadio Hearn [New Orleans].
To make 4 litres (7 pt or 8 3/4 U.S. pt)
Liquid: 5 litres (8 8/4 pt or 1 3/8 U.S. gal) White Bouillon.
Nutritive Ingredients: 1 1/2 kg (3 lb 6 oz) very lean beef, well trimmed and chopped.
Flavouring ingredients: 100 g (3 1/2 oz) carrots, 200 g ( 7 oz) leek both roughly chopped into small pieces.
Clarifying agent: 2 egg whites
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours.
Method of clarification: Place the chopped meat, vegetables and whites in a small stockpot, mix well together, add the White Bouillon, bring to the boil stirring it gently from time to time, then allow it to simmer very gently for the time indicated. When ready, pass the Consomme through a clean cloth.
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, A. Escoffier, first translation of Le Guide Culinaire  by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 1979 (p. 69)
[NOTE: Escoffier listed 90 distinct consomme recipes in this book.]
Cut finely a shin of beef, put it in a stockpot with two scraped carrots, two peeled onions, three washed leeks, a few sticks of celery, and a small bunch of parsley roots, all finely minced; add six cloves, one teaspoonful of peppercorns, a bay leaf, and the whites and shells of six eggs. Moisten this with two gallons of broth and one quart of water, stir for a few minutes, place on the range, add a few pieces of chicken or bones if handy. Simmer for four hours, skim off the grease and strain through a wet cloth."
---The Cook Book by "Oscar" of the Waldorf, Oscar Tschirky [Saalfield Publishing Company:Chicago] 1908 (p. 15)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs chopped beef from the shin
3 leeks, chopped
1 stalk celery
1 medium sized carrot, chopped
1 or 2 egg whites
6 or 8 peppercorns
3 quarts beef or chicken stock
Chopped chicken bones
2 medium sized onions, browned on the stove
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and add the stock. Bring to a boil and skim well. Allow it to simmer over a low heat for 2 or 3 hours, skimming it from time to time. Strain through a muslin cloth. Correct the seasoning with salt. The consomme should be clear and have a golden color."
---Cooking A La Ritz, Louis Diat [J.B. Lippincott:New York] 1941 (p. 48-9)
Related recipes? Bouillon & beef tea.
French onion soup
Onions, and onion soup were enjoyed by ancient Roman and Greek peoples. French onion soup (with the bread and cheese topping) is reminicent of Medieval sops. The recipe we know today is a direct descendant of modern French bouillon crafted in the 17th century. Onion soups are likewise found in early English cookbooks and American cookbooks from colonial days to present. Curiously, it is absent from Escoffier's Guide Culinaire . Onion soup enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the 1960s, when French cooking was promoted in the United States.
Onions were common in the Old World and were used in many recipes: boiled, baked, and fried. For many centuries they were considered food of the poorer people. Onions were also thought to have restorative powers, making them a perfect choice for soup. It is interesting to note that early peoples thought eating raw onions caused headaches.
French onion soup recipes through time
"Potage of onion.
Cut your onions into very thin slices, fry them with butter, and after they are fried put them into a pot with water or with pease broth. After they are well sod, put in it a crust of bread and let it boile a very little; you may put some capers in it. Dry your bread then stove it; take up, and serve with one drop of vinegar."
---The French Cook, Francois Pierre La Varenne,  Englished by I.D.G. 1653, Introduced by Philip and Mary Hyman [Southover Press:East Sussex] 2001 (p. 130)
Peel 2 good-sized onions (say 7 oz.), cut them, in halves and then crosswise, in thin shreds:
Blanch, in boiling water, for five minutes, to remove their acrid flavour;
Put in a 6-inch stewpan, with 1 1/2 oz. of butter;
Stir over a brisk fire, and, when the onion becomes of a light brown colour, add a tablespoonful of flour, say 1 oz.;
Keep on the fire for two minutes longer;
Add: 1 quart of water; 2 pinches of salt; and 2 small ones of pepper;
Stir till boiling;
Simmer, for five minutes, on the stove corner; taste the seasoning;
Put in the soup-tureen 2 ox. of sliced dried roll, and 1 oz. of butter; our in the soup, stirring gently with a spoon to dissolve.
---The Royal Cookery Book (Le Livre de Cuisine) , Jules Gouffe, translated from the French and adapted for English Use by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, and Marston:London] 1869 (p. 38-9)
"Soupe a l'oignon.--Si vous desirez gouter a cette soupe si appreciee des disciples de Bacchus, preparez-la selon les indications suivantes: Faites revenir dans due beurre (pour deux litres de lait), un gros oignon, coupe en tranches fines; quand l'oignon est bien dore, mettez le lait et le sel et laissez suire. Preparez ensuite dans votre souiere, de fines tranches de pain que vous recouvrez de fromage de Gruyere rape, continuez ainsi jusqu'a mi-hauteur, versez dessus votre bouillon et servez."
---L'Arte du Bien Manger, Edmond Richardin [Agence General de Librarie et de Publications:Paris] 1913 (p. 517)
Soupe a l'onion, Mme. E. Saint-Ange (en Francais)
---best source for modern step-by-step instructions & recipe variations (with cheese, &c.). Madame Saint-Ange's epic culinary tome has been translated recently by Paul Aratow [Ten Speed Press:Berkeley CA] 2005. Onion soup notes are on p.120-122. Happy to scan/share if you want.]
3 medium onions, finely sliced
3 tablepsoon sweet butter
1 teaspoon flour, if desired
2 quarts plain consomme...or water
1 tablespoon salt
A little pepper
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped, if desired
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese
Sliced toasted rolls, buttered.
Cook butter and onions in a saucepan until golden brown. Add 1 teaspoon of flour if you like the soup thick. (But the soup is just as good not thickened.) Add the consomme or swater. Add salt and pepper and cook for 10 or 15 minutes. The tomatoes five the soup more flavor. This soup may be strained if desired. Pour it into an earthenware casserole, then place the buttered toast on top. Sprinkle with cheese and put under a hot broiler or in a hot oven unitl the top is well browned. Serve very hot."
---Cooking a la Ritz, Louis Diat [J.B. Lippincott:Philadelphia PA] 1941 (p. 53)
"Your Own French Onion Soup.
Soupe a l'oignon, a large bowl of it bubbling under a brown crust of cheese, is practically a meal in itself. Serve it after a football game, as a Sunday-night supper, or as a midnight snack. Its rich aroma, its wonderful flavor and savor, have made French onion soup a world favorite. Here are directions for brewing your own...
Soupe A L'Oignon, Maison
For 6 to 8 servings
Onion soup is simply a large quantity of sliced onions slowly cooked and browned in butter, then simmered in beef bouillon. To achieve the true homemade taste, you'll need a homemade bouillon--beef bones and shank meat simmered for several hours with the usual carrots, onions, celery, seasonings, and herbs. If your own bouillon is lacking, substitute canned beef bouillon.
2 Tb butter 1 Tb olive oil or cooking oil
About 1 1/2 lbs or 5 to 6 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3 Tb flour
2 quarts hot beef bouillon (you may dilute canned bouillon with 2 cups of water)
1 cup red or white wine
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sage
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter with the oil in the saucepan or casserole; add the sliced onions and stir up to coat with the butter. Cover the pan and cook over moderately low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and translucent. The uncover the pan, raise heat to moderately high, and stir in the salt and sugar. (Sugar, by caramelizing, helps onions to brown.) Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions have turned an even deep golden brown. The lower heat to moderate, stir in the flour, and add a bit more butter if flour does not absorb into a paste with the onions. Cook slowly, stirring continually, for about 2 mintues to brown the flour lightly. Remove from heat. Pour in about a cup of the hot bouillon, stirring with a wire whip to blend flour and bouillon. Add the rest of the bouillon and the wine, bay, and sage, and bring to the simmer. Simmer slowly for 30-40 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper, and the soup is done. If you are not serving immediately, let cool uncovered, then cover and refrigerate. Serve with French Bread and grated Parmesan cheese, or bake with cheese as follows.
Soup a l'Oignon Gratinee
This turns onion soup into a hearty main course...You may prepare all the elements for this ahead of time, but once the soup is assembled in its casserole, you should proceed with the recipe or the bread may sink to the bottom of the dish. (Note: you will need a chewey homemade type of bread...)
A loaf of French bread
Olive oil or melted butter
The preceding soup, brought to the simmer
Optional: 1/4 cup cognac
A peeled 2-inch raw onion
A 2-ounce piece Swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss and Parmesean cheese, mixed
Cut the bread into slices 1 inch thick, paint lightly with oil or butter and arrange in one layer on a baking sheet. Place in middle level of a preheated 325-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until beginning to brown lightly; turn and brown lightly for 15 to 20 minutes on the other side. These are called croutes. Pour the hot soup into a serving casserole or baking dish. Pour in the optional cognac, grate in the onion, and shave the piece of cheese into fine slivers and strew over the soup. Place a closely packed layer of croutes over the top of the soup and spread on the grated cheese, covering the croutes completely. Sprinkle a tablespoon of oil or butter over the cheese, and set the soup in the middle level of a preheated 350-degree oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until soup is bubbling slowly and cheese has melted. Meanwhile, heat up our broiler to red hot; just before serving run the soup under the hot broiler for a moment to brown the cheese lightly. Pass remaining croutes in a bread tray along with the soup."
---The French Chef Cookbook, Julia Child [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1972 (p. 275-7)
Soup for dessert? Certainly! Chilled soups play key roles in northern European cuisine. Think: fruit custard deconstructed. Hot fruit soups also exist. Traditionally composed with dried fruits, these dishes predominate holiday tables.
"Fruit soups. Especially popular in Germany and Nordic countries, are something of an anomaly. The category of soup is one of almost exclusively savoury dishes. Fruit soups, however, although they may be served at the beginning of a meal, are essentially sweet dishes. They may be thin and delicate or thickened and substantial. Riley M. Fletcher Berry...made interesting comments about this distinction. He observed that, for the prosperous readers whom he was addressing, fruit soups would be served in very small glass or china bowls or bouillon cups; very delicate. However, he admonished these same prosperous readers, one should not forget that fruit soups 'are foods and as such are used in many countries by even the peasants, though they may lack dainty table appointments'. One outstanding example of a dish which occurs on both sides of the dividing line, but predominately as a 'solid' moulded dessert dish is kisel. It is quite closely related to another, which is more commonly met in liquid or near-liquid form; this is rodgrot, the red berry soup popular in Denmark and other parts of Scandinavia...which may the thickened with semolina but remains a soup rather than a moulded dessert. Other fruits commonly used to make soups include cherries and apple, also gooseberries or blueberries, rose-hips, rhubarb, and even lemon."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 323)
"Fruit soup. A Scandinavian-American soup made with dried fruits and thickened with tapioca or sago. The term dates in print to 1950."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Marinai [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 135)
"If chilled sweet orange soup strikes you as strange or unusual, you may be "desserting" a sweet and lucrative menu opportunity. Soups can do more than whet your palate for the main course; dessert soups may wake up tired taste buds after a long meal of four or five savory courses. And some chefs find guests may even indulge in two desserts, if the first is a light fruit soup. Pastry chef Jacques Torres of Le Cirque, for example, says his dessert soups are often a precursor to the main event. Torres prepares a citrus-sugar broth in which he floats diced seasonal fruit and a scoop of sorbet. In the summer cold fruit soups reign. And for pastry chefs who prefer the taste of uncooked fruits to cooked ones, dessert soups work extraordinarily well; they highlight raw fruit in an unusual context, making guests feel as though they are getting something special. Jean-Georges Vongerichten says dessert soups sell well at his Manhattan restaurants, Vong and Jo Jo because the dishes are not typically found in bakeries, pastry shops or in a home cook's repertoire. He calls the soups a restaurant "kitchen" dessert. "I always have different dessert soups on the menu. They are very refreshing," Vongerichten says. "When you go out to restaurants four or five times a week, you want something refreshing," he adds. "It is nice to finish with this kind of dessert, especially for lunch."
---"Dessert soups simmer, add shimmer to menus," Pamela Parseghian, Nation's Restaurant News, May 29, 1995 (p. 31)
Cold Raspberry or wild or cultivated strawberry soup
Beat 6 egg yolks and 1/2 lb sugar until white, dilute with 2 bottles cream, and stir on top of the stove until the mixture thickens, but do not boil. Strain and cool, stirring. Dilute with sieved berry puree, cool, and pour into the soup tureen. Strew with 2 handfuls of berries from withc the soup was prepared. INGREDIENTS: 6 egg yolks, 1/2/-1 lb sugar, 2 bottles cream, 2-3 lbs berries. Drop scoops of ice cream into the soup like dumplings and serve quickly before the ice cream melts. This soup is served on summer evenings at outdoor parties."
---Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' A Gift to Young Housewives, translated and introduced by Joyce Toomre [Indiana University Press:Bloomington IN] 1992, 1998 (p. 151)
Fruit Soup, International Jewish Cookbook/Florence Kreisler Greenbaum [Also: Cherry Soup.]
Louis P. DeGouy's Soup Book offers a global catalog of fruit soup recipes: Ale Lemon Soup (England, hot), Apple and Apricot Cream Soup Normandy (France, chilled), Apple Ginger Soup (India, hot), Apple and Red Wine Soup (Polish, Russian, Livonian, cold), Apple, Red Wine, and Raisin Soup (Swiss, Hot), Avocado Bisque San Francisco Method (jellied), Avocado Soup Florida Manner (hot), Avocado Soup Home Manner (chilled), Avocaod and Potato Milk Soup (Ecuadore-Ajaico Spa, hot), Banana Lentil Soup (Mexican Indian, hot), Blackberry Soup (Polish, cold), Blueberry Cream Soup (New England, chilled), Blueberry Soup (Polish, chilled), Blueberry Red Wine Soup (French, chilled), Blueberry Soup (hot), Minted Boysenberry Soup (jellied), Buttermilk Raisin Soup (Danish, hot), Cherry Orange Soup (ice cold), Cherry Soup (Oregon, hot or cold), Cherry Soup a la Montmorency (hot), Cherry Soup a la Viennoise I & II (Austrian, cold), Sour Cherry Soup I & II (Austrian with dumplings, German & English, all jellied), New England Cider Soup (hot), Coconut Soup (Brazil, hot), Dried Fruit Soup I-V (Hungarian, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish Scandinavian; all hot), Dried Fruit Saffron Soup Dinner (Flemish, hot), Fruit Soup Boul' Mich (French, hot), Freuci Juice Soup I & II (jellied), Kosher Mixed Fruit Soup (hot or cold), Lemon and Honey Soup (chilled), Melon, Strawberry and White Wine Soup (French, chilled), Orange Soup I-III (Brazil, California & Portuguese; all jellied), Passion Fruit Soup (Brazil, hot), Papaya Soup (Brazil, chilled or hot), Peach abd Red Wine Soup (France, Chilled), Peacy, Wild Strawberry, and Sauterne Wine Soup (France, chilled), Minted Pineapple Soup (chilled), Pineapple Soup I & II (Mexican, Santo Domingo; both jellied), Pineapple Soup Mix (Havana, jellied), Plum Soup Agen Manner (chilled), Plum Soup Parisian Manner (chilled), Plum Soup Biarritz Manner (chilled), Plum Soup California Manner (chilled), Raisin and Cheese Soup (Mexican, hot or cold), Raspberry Sour Cream Soup (Russian, chilled), Raspberry White Wine Soup (Chilled), Rhubarb Soup I (Danish, hot or cold), Rhubarb Soup II (Norwegian, cold), Rose Hip Almond Soup (cold), Sparkling White Wine and Blueberry Soup (Strasbourg manner, hot), Sparkling White ine Fruit Soup (Touraine manner, hot or cold), Watermelon Soup a la Chinoise (hot). [NOTE: If you want any of these recipes please let us know. Happy to scan/send.]
More cold soups: Gazpacho & Vichysoisse.
Food historians confirm both soup and garlic have been consumed by humans from prehistoric times forward. Garlic has enjoyed a long and complicated history as legendary substance, earthly spice, digestible vegetable, and curious cure. Soup plots the culinary map from basest nutritional substance to finest gourmet achievement.
The garlic soup recipes we found appear parallel (in region, method, purpose) to onion soup. Local ingredients providing nourishing, filling food to the people. A little dried bread & some dried grated cheese are cheap & do wonders to enhance both texture and flavor. General notes here.
About garlic soup
"Soupe Aigo Bouido a la Menagere (Provence) [Housewife-style Garlic Soup] The ordinary housewife in the Middle Ages would hardly have used exotic spices of the East in her soups, but she did have garlic. Garlic and onions were so abundant in the local Provencal horta (garden) that they were usually the only two products that got transported any distance. The other ortolagia, the vegetables products of the garden, were consumed locally. Garlic was indispensable for aigo bouido. Oil and water or water and bread soups are very old preparations once made by the housewives of Provence. Another simple Provincal 'housewife' soup is called aigo-sau d'iou, 'water and salt,' a fish soup made with water and salt, plus a mixture of small white fish, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and olive oil. These soups remind us of how poor the Mediterranean was...These poor 'family' soups are usually very simple...The aromatic flavoring came from the ubiquitous garlic as well as herbs. In the Gerona region of Catalonia, a family would eat a sopa de la familia, family soup, made from potatoes, bread, and garlic. Don't expect to find any of these soups on a restaurant menu...They are antique dishes rarely made even in the home now that a pervasive Mediterranean poverty is a thing of the past. But these kinds of soups are notable for being filling, economical, and delicious...Soupe a l'Ail (Languedoc) [Garlic Soup] In his study of the roots of the cuisine in Provence, the French historian Louis Stouff asks whether there was an original Provincal cuisine. The question is hard to answer because, although one can detect a certain prevalent taste--for example, for olive oil and herbs--we unfortunately cannot deduce much from that because it is equally a description of other Mediterranean cuisines. But in Languedoc and Provence, garlic, although thought of as a vegetable, was used as a spice and appears in everything, such as sauces often made of eggs, garlic, and almonds. Pepper was expensive and when it appeared, it was usually on the table of a noble family or for special occasions, such as this heavily peppered soup that consummates the rite of marriage in traditional ceremonies in Languedoc. The copious use of both garlic and black pepper in this soup that the wife presents to her new husband on their first day as a couple must be a metaphor for the lives ahead of them and the hope that it will be spiritually, if not materially, rich. This opulent-tasting soup (a result of the eggs) needs hard-toasted bread and lots of pepper."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 512-513) [NOTE: Recipes for both of these soups are included in this book. We can scan or fax if you like. If you need more details regarding the use of garlic in Mediterranean cuisine we encourage you to ask your local public librarian to help you get a copy of this book. It is excellent!]
Provencal culinary heritage
"Provencale (a la) describes certain preparations characterized by the use of tomato and garlic mixed, and sometimes garlic alone....Garlic is the base of almost all the Provencal dishes, but it must be remembered that the Midi garlic has not such a strong taste or such a bitter flavor as that of the northern districts... Principal Provencal soups: garlic..."
---Larousse Gastronomique [Crown:New York] 1961 (p. 781)
Languedo culinary heritage
"The land of Oc (Languedoc) is a district which for centuries has a had a tradition of fine cooking. Its people have always been connoisseurs of good food and have gloried in a well-furnished table. Not only have they provided substantial dishes in abundance, such as the famous cassoulet of Castelnaudary and the Daub Languedocienne, but also subtly flavoured and delicate appetizers such as the magnificent pate de foi gras with truffles, gem of the Languedoc culinary repertoire... In Langedoc, the Roman and Arab influence which gradually determined the character of its cooking are still recognizable...With such natural resources, it is no wonder that the cuisine of Languedoc is excellent and that the region has a large number of succulent specialties...Here, first, are some typical Languedoc broths and soups...Soupe a l'aol (garlic soup)..."
---Larousse Gastronomique [Crown:New York] 1961 (p. 578-579)
A survey of French garlic soup recipes
[late 19th century]
"Garlic Soup. Serves 6
12 garlic cloves, peeled
salt and pepper
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 cups croutons
2/3 cup parsley, finely chopped.
Put the garlic cloves into a pot and add 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook unti the garlic is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves and crush them to a smooth paste. Return this to the liquid, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool slightly. Melt all but 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet and saute the croutons, turning them constantly until they are evenly browned. Put them into a warmed soup tureen. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of the garlic liquid, beating well to prevent curdling. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot, stirring constantly. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour the hot soup over the croutons. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve."
---Monet's Table: The Cooking Journals of Claude Monet, Clair Jones [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1989 (p. 113)
"Garlic soup a la provencale. --Put 2 quarts (litres) of water, 25 small cloves of garlic, a sprig of thyme, a clove, a branch of sage, teaspoons (25 grams) of salt and a pinch of pepper into a saucepan. Boil fast for 20 minutes. Strain the soup through a fine strainer and pour it into a tureen into which you have put about 20 small slices of bread, sprinkled with grated cheese and placed in the oven for an instant, just to melt the cheese, and with 2 tablespoons of olive oil poured over them. Let the bread swell properly, before serving."
---Larousse Gastronomique [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 918)
"Aigo Bouido--Provencal Garlic Soup
The Soup Base
2 large heads garlic
2 quarts boiling water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sage
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
Pinch saffron flowers
Remove loose outside skin from garlic heads, chop heads roughly, and add to the boiling water. Stir into the salt, herbs, cloves, and saffron; boil slowly, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the garlic is very soft. Strain, pressing juices out of garlic, return soup to pan, carefully correct seasoning, and set aside until you are ready to serve. Make the following liaison whenever you have a free moment.
A small mixing bowl
2 egg yolks
A wire whip
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
Beat the egg yolks until they are thick and sticky. The beat in the oil by droplets to make a thick sauce like mayonnaise. Cover the bowl and set aside.
A soup tureen
Fresh chopped parsley
Rounds of toasted French bread
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Whenever you are ready to serve, bring the soup base to the boil and scrape the liaison into your soup tureen. Beating the liaison with a whisk whip, dribble on the hot soup until at least a cup has gone in, then stir in the rest of the soup. Decorate with a sprinkling of parsley, and serve immediately, accompanied by French bread and grated Parmesan cheese."
---The French Chef Cookbook, Julia Child [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1973 (p. 316-317)
Food historians generally agree that gazpacho, as we Americans know it today, is a Spanish recipe. Why? The word evolved from Arabic roots. Spain (Andalusia, more specifically) was invaded by the Moors in the Middle Ages. As a result, much of that region's gastronomy was greatly affected by Middle Eastern recipes and ingredients. Italian cuisine, though sharing many of the same foods as that of Spain, evolved differently. The earliest gazpacho type recipes (soup-salad) date to the middle ages, long before tomatoes were known in the Old World. When the Spanish came to the New World they brought with them hundreds of years of culinary traditions. Many of these recipes, including those for soups and stews, readily embraced new ingredients, including tomatoes.
Interestingly enough, gazpacho-type recipes were introduced to North America via Europe by Spanish missionaries, English colonists, French settlers, Italian Immigrants, and others. In the old world "In the Spanish style" often simply meant with tomatoes.
"Gazpacho is a Spanish vegetable soup whos chief characteristic is that it is served ice-cold. Its main ingredients are tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumber, olive oil, and usually breadcrumbs, but there are many additional regional variations within Spain. It is traditionally cooked in a large clay bowl, and brought to the table with garlic croutons and small bowls of raw vegetables. Its name is of Arabic origin, and means literally soaked bread'."
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 139)
"Gazpacho, a Spanish term whose meaning had evolved over the centuries. It is now most familiar in the form of Andalusian gazpacho, which is typically a cold soup with various vegetable ingredients, notably garlic, tomato, and cucumber. However, a gazpacho may be served hot during the winter; and in its original form, derived from the Arabs who occupied much of Spain from the 8th to the 13th centuries, the essential ingredients were bread, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and water. These ingredients were pounded in a mortar, and the result was very similar to Ajo blanco (ajo meaning barlic and blanco meaning white) or Sopa de ajo (garlic soup), two other ancient dishes which have survived into modern times...Vinegar is important for the refreshing qualities of those gazpachos that are particularly associated with warm weather; and it provides a link to Roman culture, as it was the Romans who popularized throughout their empire the use of vinegar for refreshment purposes...The internationally famous Andalusian gazpacho...is said to have been introduced to France by Eugenia de Montijo of Granada, the wife of the Emperor Napoleon III...Ingredients from the New World, notably tomato, were not incorporated into gazpachos until comparatively recent times. Thus the recipe for gazpacho given by Juan de la Mata (Arte de reposteria, 1747) had none of these new' ingredients."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 333)
Gazpacho/Clifford A. Wright
"Before the first tomato soup recipe was published, tomatoes were used as ingredients in soups with altenative names. The first located recipes calling for tomatoes insoups were published in Mary Randolph's Virginia Housewife (Washington, 1824). Randolph featured tomatoes in recipes for veal, barley, and okra soups. It is also surprising to note that Randolph published the first known recipe for gazpacho. How the recipe for this traditional Spanish soup, whose name is from an Arabic meaning literally "soaked bread," could first be published in the United States relates to who wrote cookbooks in Spain and Randolph's relatives. In Spain gazpacho was considered a peasant soup. Consequently, recipes for it were not published in early Spanish cookbooks, which were written mainly for the upper middle class. As culinary historian Karen Hess has noted, Mary Randolph probably acquired her Spanish recipes from her sister, Harriet Randolph Hackley, who had lived in Cadiz, Spain. It is also interesting to note that the second and third known published recipes for gazpacho were also not published in Spain. Novisimo arte de cocina (Philadephia, 1845), the first located Spanish-language cookbook published in the United States, featured eight-eight tomato recipes, including two for gazpacho. This cookbooks was printed on a sterotype press for a client in Mexico and was probably not distributed in the United States. It has little influence on mainstream American cookery. While several cookbook authors published similar recipes under the name of Andalusian soup, the term gazpacho died out in America until the late twentieth century."
---Souper Tomatoes: The Story of America's Farvorite Food, Andrew F. Smith [Rutgers University Press:New Brunswick NJ] 2000 (p. 68)
Mrs. Randolph's recipe circa 1824:
Put some soft biscuit or toasted bread in the bottom of a sallad bowl, put in a layer of sliced tomatas with the skin taken off, and one of sliced cucumbers, sprinkled with pepper, salt, and chopped onion; do this until the bowl is full, stew some tomatas quite soft, strain the juice, mix in some mustard and oil, and pour over it; make it tow hours before it is eaten."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facimile 1824 reprint with aHistorical Notes and Commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 107)
Fast forward: 1960s
The New York Times historic database returns seven articles referencing gazpacho in 1964. Three of these reference the Spanish Pavillion at the New York World's Fair. Apparently, this menu item was quite popular. The New York Times Cook Book  contains a recipe for Gazpacho a la Francaise (p. 116). One recipe is provided in 1964: ["Food: Fruit-Stand Vista," Nan Ickeringill, New York Times, August 4, 1964 (p. 32)].
"Chilled soup is delightfully refreshing in summer. Vichysoisse, Madrilene, Consomme, and Gazpacho are the most popular, but there are many other possibilities."
---The Fannie Farmer Cokbook, revised by Wilma Lord Perkins [Little, Brown and Company:Boston] 11th edition, 1965 (p. 57)
From the scary but true files:
In a blender, buzz 2 tomatoes, quartered, 1/2 cucumber, chopped, 1/4 green pepper, 2 tablespoons each chopped onion, olive oil, vinegar, 1/2 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 4 drops liquid hot-pepper seasoning, 1 1/2 cups tomato juice, Pour into molds and freeze. May about 1 quart of soup; 12 sticks."
---"Soup's On," Ladies Home Journal, July 1964 (p. 96)
[NOTE: These are served on ice cream sticks. Strictly a novelty item; not formal dinner fare.]
About Cold soup & Vichysoisse & Fruit Soup.
Food historians trace the genesis of Goulash (gulyas), a thick soup/stew, to 9th century Hungarian shepherds. In fact? the term "Gulyas" literally translates as "herdsmen." Soup played a key role in the early pastoral diet. Dried meats and vegetables were eminently portable and easily reconstuted. Over the years, Hungarian Goulash evolved from peasant fare to signature national dish. Interpretations, especially in the USA, range from somewhat authentic to amalgamated leftovers whose only claim to Hungary is a generous helping of paprika. It is interesting to note that paprika, the spice that has become almost synonymous with Hungary, was probably not introduced until the 16th century. By the 19th century it was percieved globally as THE key ingredient in Hungarian cuisine.
"In the ninth-and tenth-century pre-Christian Hungarian cuisine, the most important element was the soup, and its importance has not waned since, except in the Middle Ages. An overhwelming number of the soups had a sour or semi-sour taste, achieved by whipping in sour cream, vinegar, yogurt, horseradish and sauerkraut. Other soups they thickened with a mixture of flour, milk and egg yolk or the browned flour and fat mixture still basic to many Hungarian dishes."
---The Cuisine of Hungary, George Lang [Atheneum:New York] 1982 (p. 5)
"The four pillars of Hungarian cooking are gulyas, porkolt, paprikas and tokany. Gulyas. A strange thing has happened to Hungarian gulyas. According to a 1969 Gallup Poll, gulyas is one of the five most popular meat dishes on the American cooking scene. Of course, what is usually served under this name shouldn't happen to a Rumanian. The origin of the soup...can be traced back to the ninth century--shepherds cut their meat into cubes, cooked it with onion in a heavy iron kettle (bogracs) and slowly stewed the dish until all the liquid evaporated. They dried the remnants in the sun (probably on their sheepskin capes), and then put the dried food in a bag made of the sheep's stomach. Whenever they wanted food, they took out a piece of the fired meat, added some water and reheated it. With a lot of liquid, it became a gulyas soup...if less liquid was added, it became culyas meat...Even today this distinction exists, probably to mystify foreigners and foreign cookbook writers. The more parts of beef and beef innards are used, the better the gulyas will be. Of course, lard and bacon (either or both) are chopped onion are absolute musts...Never use any flour. Never use any other spice besides caraway. Never Frenchify it with wine. Never Germanize it with brown sauce. Never put in any other garniture besides diced potatoes or galuska. But many variations are possible-- you may use fresh tomatoes or tomato puree, garlic, sliced green peppers, hot cherry peppers to make it very spicy, and so on. An interesting technique was suttested by Mrs. Mariska Vizvary and originally published in the 1930's. She added grated raw potatos in the very beginning, presumable to give body to the soup, and she cooked bones and vegetables separately to make a strong broth with which to strengthen the gulyas soup at the very end."
---The Cuisine of Hungary (p. 270-1)
"Goulash. This rich Hungarian meat stew seems not to have impinged on the British consciousness until the middle of the nineteenth century (it is first quoted in English in a letter from the Crown Princess of Prussia, 1866). The classic goulash is made of beef (or veal or pork or lamb) with of onions--generally the same among or onions as meat--bulked out with potatoes and seasoned generously with paprika. (Sour cream is not authentic, but has been transferred to goulash from other Hungarian paprika dishes in Western cuisine.). In Hungarian, guylas means literally 'herdsman', and the term goulash represents an abbreviation of gulyashus 'herdsmans' meat'."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 146)
"Goulash. Probably the best known, outside of Hungary, of Hungarian dishes...'What is goulash?' In Hungary, the word 'goulash' today refers to the cattle driver, the 'cowboy'. The only place on a Hungarian menu where you will find goulash (gulyas, as it is written in Hungarian) would be among the soups, and it would be called gulyas leves, meaning 'the soup of the cowboy'. What is known all over the world as 'Hungarian goulash' is called in Hungary porkolt or paprikas. Porkolt contains no sour cream. It is called paprikas if sour cream has been added to the porkolt...The dish of goulash is in fact relatively new under either of its names. Hungarian cattlemen, shepherds, and pigherders cooked cubed meat with onion and spices...for at least 300 to 500 years. But the dish could not be called porkolt or paprikas because this spice, paprika, today considered the most Hungarian of all spices, is realteive new to the Hungarian cuisine. It was not known in Hungary until the 1820s when it became extremely popular and practically eliminated black pepper and ginger from the average Hungarian kitchen...In the middle of the 19th cetnury, the new dish, porkolt, became as popular as chicken, veal, or pork similarly prepared with paprika. Because these had been holiday dishes served on special occasion to guests, they spread much faster than more commonplace dishes. Because visitors from Austria, Bohemia, Poland, and Switzerland were treated as honoured gusests and had been feted with porkolt or paprikas, those dishes found their way quickly into the cookbooks and restaurants of the neighbouring countries. What does this all have to do with 'goulash'? The difference between the Hungarian porkolt, known all over the world except in Hungary as 'goulash', and goulash soup, is in the, is in the amount of liquid added to the meat, and whether pasta or potatoes are included. In the real Hungarian porkolt or paprikas...there are no other ingredients except beef, pork, veal, or chicken, shortening...paprika, onions, and once in a while selected herbs, spices, or condiments. 'Goulash' became so popular in N. America that many American cookery books list as an integral part of American cusisine such items as 'Hungarian goulash,' ..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 348)
Paprika derives from New World chile peppers. About paprika & Hungarian cuisine:
"There is something about paprika itself that makes it synonymous with "Hungarian." "Fiery," "spicy," temperamental"--all these adjectives suggest both paprika and the Hungarian national character. Paprika is to the Hungarian cuisine as it is to conversation--not just a superficial garnish, but an integral element, a very special and unique flavor instantly recognizable. The transformation of paprika into this vital element of Hungarian cuisine is a cuirous and fascinating story. Like the meeting of two people who seemed fated to fall in love, the marriage of paprika and Hungarian cooking was almost predestined. Where did paprika come from? There are many hypotheses...It came from the slopes of the Himalayas...Columbus brought it to Europe from America...it came from Central Africa...the Greek gods first used it for snuff on Mount Olympus...it came from India...It the first century A.D., Nero's celebrated personal physician, Dioscorides, in his famous De Materia Medica, described a piper longum rotundum--which sounds astonishingly like paprika. Was it paprika, or something similar? We shall probably never know for certain, as there was no record of it after that until Columbus' momentous voyage to the New World. The first written record of paprika as we know it appears in letters that Chanca, Columbus' ship surgeon, wrote to his friend Hernandex, court surgeon to King Philip of Spain. Chanca described "Indian pepper" growing in the New World as a "very attractive, ornamental plant which may prove medically useful." He mentioned, offhandedly, that the natives used this Indian pepper as a condiment....by the end of the sixteenth century a flourishing paprika culture had grown up in the Iberian peninusula...this is the time to mention that several learned authorities, including Karoly Grundel, felt that the Spanish pimiento paprika indeed came from Spain via Columbus, but that the Hungarian capsium paprika arrived in Hungary from India via Persia, and was brought in by the Turks at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The main support for this "India" theory is simply that just about everybody called paprika "Indian pepper" for several hundred years...Amid this...conflicting evidence, we are sure of only one thing: before Columbus, paprika was unknown in Europe...After the Italians introduced paprika to their country (from Spain), the Turks, who had many contacts with the Italians, took the seeds from Italy to the Balkans, then part of the vast Ottoman domain. In the sixteenth century the Turkish Empire included Bulgaria as well as most of Hungary in its realm. The Bulgarians, known as the "gardeners of Europe," have always been famous for being able to make almost anything bloom. Having learned to cultivate paprika from the seeds given them by the Turks, many Bulgarian gardeners emigrated to Hungary during the sixteenth century, partly attracted by the far more favorable soil and climate, and partly fleeing the Turks...There is ample evidence that the Bulgarians brought paprika to Hungary and started its cultivation...When a Hungarian says "paprika," it means only the ground spice...In Hungary there are two basic categories of paprika: first, those grown for eating fresh, cooked or marinated; and second, those destined to be dried, ground into powder and used as a condiment...As paprika growing took hold toward the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeeth century, the red pod began to be widely used as a spice. Shepherds added it to their kettle gulyas..., fishermen to their fish stew...Townspeople sprinkled their bacon with paprika...and added it to a variety of dishes, mixing it with sour cream. The landed gentry were slower to realize its virtues. At last, they, too, recognized that not only was paprika cheaper than black pepper, but it also stimulated the appetite and had a most delightful character of its own...Hungary was unquestionably the first to use powdered paprika in pure form, unmixed with anything else...In its slow climb to acceptance as a national treasure, paprika rose from the lowest classes, through the broad masses of peasants and fishermen, to the townspeople and gentry. The nobility was the very last to acknowledge paprika, probably because it did not stem from aristocratic tradition. Eighteenth century records are full of recipes for pate made with turtle meat or pheasant cooked with crayfish, and other rare delicacies. But not till 1844 did Paprikas Chicken appear on a menu of the National Casino, the exclusive club of the Hungarian House of Lords. The fact that it was a favorite dish of the beautiful and popular Queen Elizabeth (Franz Josef I's consort), who often visited Hungary, from 1860 until her assassination, probably won over the Hungarian aristocracy finally. A queen couldn't be wrong! Paprika's victory was complete. In shaping the cuisine of Hungary, it was itself transformed. It had now become utterly Hungarian. No less a personage than Escoffier himself introduced paprika to the grand cuisine of France. Escoffier brought it from Szeged, and served it in Monte Carlo in 1879, in Gulyas Hongrois and Poulet au Paprika...But the very first time paprika turned up in a recipe in a printed cookbook was much earlier--in 1817. Printed in Vienna, the cookbook was the work of one F.G. Zenker, chef of Prince Schwarsenberg. He listed paprika in his recipe for Chicken Fricassee in Indian Style...The earliest of "modern" Hungarian cookbooks...was probably Istvan Czifrai's...The first edition was published in the early 1820s. But it was not until the third edition (1829) that paprika appeared in two famous and characteristic Hungarian dishes...the other notable "first" is the paprikas csirke (Paprikas Chicken), which became one of the most popular dishes not only in Hungary, but the whole world. Here...the actual recipe as...appeared:
"Take two or more chickens and cut them up into pieces. Melt a piece of lard in a copper pot. Put in paprika, clove and onion and cook slowly. The add the chicken pieces, pour a little meat broth over them, and begin cooking. Sprinkle with a spoonful of flour, add sour cream and sprinkle with paprika. Cook a little longer and then serve."
---The Cuisine of Hungary, George Lang [Atheneum:New York] 1982 (p. 126-133)
[NOTES: This book contains far more information on paprika than we can paraphrase. It also contains a modernized recipe for chicken paprika. If you need more details please ask your librarian to help you get a copy of this book.]
About goulash in America
This dish, like several others, was introduced to our country by immigrant cooks. Over the years it was thrown into the American melting pot. Ingredients were changed to suit mainstream tastes.
"Goulash. Also "Hungarian goulash." A Hungarian-American stew of meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika. The Hungarian word is gulyas, which originally menat "shepherd," then was synonymous with the kind of stew. Its first printed reference in English was in 1865..."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 142)
"During the great Depression, the names of foreign mixed dishes, such as goulash, hodgepodge (perhaps from hachepot), or chop suey, were applied to quick assortments of meat, vegetables, and potatoes, and sometimes even to desserts with mixed ingredients."
---Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 36)
This sampling of goulash recipes published in American cookbooks chronicles the dish's evolution from Old World soup to mainstream American fare:
Veal and beef mixed. Cut into one inch squares and brown in hot fat with one onion, salt and one heaping teaspoonful paprika. When the meat is brown, add one cup strained tomatoes, and one-half hour before serving, add some small potatoes."
---The Settlement Cook Book, Mrs. Simon Kander, facsimile 1903 edition [Gramercy Publishing:New York] 1987 (p. 61)
Hungarian Goulash I & II, Neighborhood Cook Book
Hungarian Goulash, Foods of the Foreign-Born
3 ounces of paprkia bacon
1 1/2 pounds bony beef
1 slice of garlic
Cut up the meat to about the size of walnuts, then put it on the melted baon fat with onion; cover it up and steam, first over a large, then over a small flame, while continuously stirring, until nice and brown. Pour over it enough water to cover the meat. Then steam for additional 2 to 3 hours over a small flame. Peel potaotes, cut into quarters, add to the goulash and boil with it until soft.
Hungarian Goulash Szegedi Style (Gulyashus szegediesen)
Goulash is best when prepared from different parts of the beef. One may take the rump, loin, some of the heart, kidney, and also the neck. Cut them all into square pieces, wash well, put into a steam-kettle, and pour enough water over it to cover it completely. When it reached boiling point, add sliced onions, salt, and pepper, stir up well a couple of times and let it boil until the gravy has cooked away into the fat. Serve the goulash in the center of a dish and circle with spaetzels or egg barley. It is quite original to serve it in the kettle. Goulash has to cook for quite 3 hours to become tender. Prepare the spaetzels from plain kneaded dough. When kneaded, roll out about 1/2 inch thick, cut into long slices, tear the slices into small pieces (about the size of a peanut), round, then cook in salted water. Drain off the water, put some fat over them and mix in with the goulash and boil with that."
---Hungarian Cookery: Recipes New and Old [St. Marks Printing:New York NY] 1932 (p. 49-50)
1/2 pound lean veal
1/2 pound beef round
1/2 pound fresh pork
1 tablespoon paprika
1 pair pork kidneys
4 tablespoons drippings
2 onions, sliced
1 green pepper, shredded
1 cup tomatoes
1 sprig parsley
4 potatoes, pared and quartered
Salt to taste
1. Cut meats in 1-inch pieces and mix thoroughly with paprika.
2. Soak kidneys in cold water for 1 hour, drain and plunge into boiling water for 1 minute. Cut into small pieces, discarding tougher parts.
3. Fry onions and pepper in hot fat until soft. Add meat and kidneys and brown in the fat. Add tomatoes and parsley.
4. Barley cover with boiling water. Cover and simmer slowly for 1 hour.
5. Add potatoes and salt and more water if needed. Simmer another half hour.
6. The liquid should be reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.
7. Thicken if desired with 1 tablespoon flour, rubbed smooth with 1 tablespoon butter. Cook a few minutes a higher temperature, untils stew boils up once.
8. Serve with Farina Dumplings...or left-over cold Farina cut into small squares and pan-fried until brown and crisp."
---Recipe 154, Balanced Recipes, Mary Ellis Ames [Pillsbury Flour Mills Company:Minneapolis MN] 1933
3 tablsp. butter, margarine, fat or salad oil
3 c. thinly sliced onions
2 1/4 teasp. salt
6 teasp. paprika
1 1/2 lbs. chuck, rump, or breast beef, in 1" cubes
About 3 c. water.
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or deep kettle. Add the onions and salt, and saute until onions are a rich golden brown. Add a 1/2 teasp. of the paprika and the meat. Mix well. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 1 hr. Add the remaining 4 1/2 teasp. of paprika and about 3 cups water or enough to just over the meat. Cover and cook 1 hr. longer or until the meat is tender. Serve with noodles. Or, if desired, pare and cut four medium potatoes in quarters, and add to the meat during the alst 1/2 hour of cooking. Serves 4-5."
---The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Completely revised edition [Farrar & Rinehart:New York] 1944 (p. 207)
2 cups diced left-over roast beef or pot roast
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, 3 or 4
1 cup water
1 No. 2 can tomatoes
1 lb. small white onions
2 tablespoons butter
Salt to suit taste
Combine meat with potatoes which have been pared and cut into 1-inch dice. Add water and tomatoes, cover and cook until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, peel and slice onions and saute in the butter until soft and yellow, or leave onions whole and boil in enough water to cover until just tender. Add to meat and vegetable mixture. Season to taste and serve piping hot. 5 servings."
---The Modern Family Cook Book, Meta Given [J.G. Ferguson:Chicago IL] 1953 (p. 328)
"Beef Goulash and Noodles
2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 3/4 inch cubes
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon paprika
1 8-ounce can (1 cup) tomato sauce
1 1-pound can (2 cups) tomatoes
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced Bouquet garni
6 ounces medium egg noodles
2 tablespoons poppy seed
2 tablespoons butter or margarine.
In large saucepan brown half the beef cubes in half the shortening; repeat. Add onion; cook till tender. Stir in flour, paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add tomato souce, tomatoes, garlic, and bouquet garni. Cover, simmer over low heat till meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove bouquet garni. Cook noodles in boiling salted water; drain. Add poppy seed and butter. Serve Goulash over noodles. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Bouquet Garni: In cheesecloth, tie 1 bay leaf, 1 stalk celery, cut up, 2 tablespoons parlsey, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme."
---Better Homes and Gardens Casserole Cook Book, Better Homes and Gardens [Meredith Corp.:New York] 1968 (p. 13)
Hodge Podge (aka hotpot, hotchpotch, hutspot; presenting as one word, hyphonated phrase or two words) descends from Medieval slow food, most notably stews. These are complex dishes requiring time and bountiful ingredients. Olla Podrida (aka Olio) is the most complicated version. Recipes with this title first surface in 17th century Europe. Early recipes reflect Medieval/Renaissance flavors. 19th century formulae would appeal to modern tastes. Hodge podge was introduced to the New World by European settlers. Most notably? Those originating from the British Isles and the Netherlands.
What is Hodge Podge?
"Hotpot. A word having different applications in the western and eastern hemispheres...In the west it is usually Lancashire hotpot, a dish of NW England and in particular of Lancashire. The main ingredients are lamb or mutton chops and potatoes, and the cooking is done slowly in a covered pot of casserole. A Lancashire hotpot dish is tall, round, straight sided, and has a lid. The dish is filled with layers of browned lamb mutton chops and layers of onions and thickly sliced potatoes. Other ingredients sometimes added are kidneys and black puddings; oysters, when cheap, were also included. The top layer is always an arrangement of overlapping potato slices, sometimes surrounding small circles made from the rounded ends of the potatoes. Stock is added and the dish slowly cooked in the oven. The lid is removed towards the end of the cooking to brown the edges of the potato slices. A Hot Pot Supper is a community event in Lancashire. The dish is invariably accompanied by pickled red cabbage...Ayto (1993) remarks that in the 18th century the term 'hot-pot' referred to a sort of hot punch and that the first writer to use it in print in the sense of a meat stew was Mrs. Gaskell...However, the term hotchpotch, now largely obsolete, had been used in a similar sense in earlier times. It meant a mixed dish, typically a meat and vegetable stew, and was derived via the form hotchpot from the medieval French hochepot (a term which survives, referring in modern times to a stew of N. France and S. Belgium, in which oxtail and often other meat ingredients figure). The Dutch hutspot belongs to the same family of dishes."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 389)
"Mutton, beef, and veal are prominently featured in the hutspot recipes. These one-pot dishes sometimes contain just one meat and seasonings as, for instance, in 'a beef hutspot in the Brabant manner,' in which beef is slowly stewed and, when it is almost done, is seasoned with slices of ginger and crushed mace, then served with a butter sauce with chopped parsley. At other times, more than one meat or cuts of meat are cooked with a variety of vegetables. Or, at is most extravagant, the hutspot becomes an olipodrigo, and a sumptuous olipodrigo at that, which stews to a perfection thirteen different kinds of meat and finishes the dish with chestnuts, artichokes, or asparagus, as they are in season."
---The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World, Translated and edited by Peter G. Rose [Syracuse University Press:New York] 1989 (p. 17-18)
"Students [attending Dutch colleges in the 17th century] ate well: on Sunday afternoon they would be given wheat bread soup, salted meat, and mutton hutspot (a one-pot meal)with lemons...For variety the week's menu also included another kind of hutspot, this one with mutton and carrots or prunes, dried peas with butter or vinegar, and fresh sea or river fish."
---The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World, Translated and edited by Peter G. Rose [Syracuse University Press:New York] 1989 (p. 5-6)
[NOTE: This book contains a modernized recipe for Beef Hutspot with Ginger.]
Sample early recipes:
Take of Beef, Veal, Mutton and Pork, of each two or three Pieces of about a Pound eachg, pass it off brown in a Pan, or on a Spit. The scald off some Onions, Cabbage, Savoys, Carrots, Turnips, Sellery and Endive, then brown off a Piece of Butter, thicken it with Flower, put to it some good strong Broth. Put in your Meat with a Piece or two of Bacon stuck with Cloves, cover it with your Roots and Herbs, season it all well with Pepper, Salt, Cloves and Mace. Put in a Faggot of Sweet-herbs and Parsley; fill it up with strong Broth, and let it stove moderately 'till very tender. Then make a Ragoust of fry'd carrots, Turnips and Onions, and a few Pallats sliced, and Sweet-breads chc'd [chopped?], Ragoust with good Gravy, and put first your Cabbage, Roots and Herbs in the Bottom of your Dish. Lay on your Meat, fill it up with Broth, and head it with your Ragoust; garnish with Forc'd-meat, Carrots, Turnips, and Slices of Lemon, and so serve it up hot to the Table."
---The Complete Practical Cook, or a New System of the Whole Art and Mystery of Cookery, Charles Carter, facsimile 1730 edition, [Gale ECCO Print edition] (p. 4)
[NOTE: "Faggot" means "bundle" in this recipe.]
"To make Hodge-Podge
Take a Piece of Beef, Fat and Lean together about a Pound, Pound of Veal, a Pound of Scrag of Mutton, cut all into little Pieces, set it on the Fire, with two Quarts of Water, an Ounce of Barley, an Onion, a little Bundle of Sweet Herbs, three or four Heads of Salary washed clean, and cut small, a little Mace, two or three Cloves, some whole Pepper, tied all in a Muffin Rag, and put to the Meat three Turnips pared and cut in two, a large Carrot scraped clean, and cut in six Pieces, a little Lettuce cut small, put all in a Pot, and cover it close. Let it stew very softly over a slow fire five or six Hours; take out the Spice, Sweet Herbs, and Onion, and pour all into a Soop-dish, and send it to Table; first season it with Salt. Half a Pint of Green Peas, when it is the Season for them, is very good. If you let this boil fast, it will waste to much; therefore you cannot do it too slow, if it does but simmer: All other Stews you have in the foregoing Chapter; and Soops in the Chapter of Lent."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 London edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 65)
"728. Scotch hotch-potch.--Make the stock of sweet fresh mutton. Cut down four pounds of ribs of lamb into small steaks, trimming off superfluous fat, and put the to the strianed stock. Grate the zest of two or three large carrots; slice down as many more. Slice down also young turnips, young onions, lettuce, and parsley. Have a full quart of these things when shred, and another of young green pease. Put in the vegetables, witholding half of the pease till near the end of the process. Boil well and skim carefully; add the remaining pease, white pepper, and salt; and when thick enough, serve the steaks in the tureen with the hotch-potch; trim the fat from the steaks. -- Obs. The excellence of this favourite dish depends mainly on the meat, whether beef or mutton, being perfectly fresh, and the vegetables being all young, and full of sweet juices. The sweet white turnip is best for hotch-potch without any lamb-steaks. Parsley shred, white cabbage, asparagus-points, or lettuce, may be added to the other vegetables or not, at pleasure."
---The Cook and Housewife's Manual, Mistress Margaret Dodds, facsimile fourth edition, revised and enlarged 1829 [Roster Ltd.:London] 1988 (p. 365)
[NOTE: This book also offers a recipe for "Winter hotch-potch, or German broth" (#729) and "Hotch-potch of eox-tails, or, rumps a la mode, a French Dish (#401).]
"An excellent Hotch Potch.--Stew peas, lettuce, and onions in a very little water, with a beef or ham-bone. While these are doing, fry some mutton or lamb steaks seasoned, of a nice brown three quarters of an hour before dinner, put the steaks into a stew pan, and the vegetables, over them; stew them and serve all together in a tureen."
---Mrs. Rundell's Domestic Cookery, Eliza Rundell, facsimile 1958 revised edition, with additions [Routledge, Warnes and Routledge:London] printed on demand 2012 (p. 68)
"Hot Pot.--Take two pounds of chops from the best end of the neck, and one sheep's kidney. Trim them neatly, cut off all superflous fat, and lay half of them in a deep dish well buttered, and with them a kidney cut in slices. Sprinkle over them a litle pepper and salt and a tea-spoonful of finely-minced onions, and place upon them a quarter of a pound of potatoes cut in slices. Put two or three small lumps of dripping here and there, and reapeat until the meat is used and the dish nearly full. Cover the top with potatoes, pour half a pint of water or stock over, and bake in a moderate oven. A few oysters are by many considered an improvement, and for this purpose tinned oysters will be found to answer nearly as well as fresh ones, and to be much less expensive. Half a tin will be sufficient for this quantity. Lay them upon the meat, our a little of the liquid over the, and proceed as above. Time, three hours or more to bake. Sufficient for six or seven persons. Probably cost 2s. 10d."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 320)
"Lancashire Hot Pot.--Take three pounds of the best end of a neck of mutton, four mutton kidneys, a score of oysters, four onions, and three pounds of potatoes. Divide the mutton into chops, cut off about two inches and a half from the end, and trim away all superflous fat. Place a layer of the bottom of a brown earthenware stewpot, (called in Lancashire a 'hot-pot dish,') and put over the mutton a layer of sliced kidneys, an onion cut into thin slices, four or five oysters, and half a pound of sliced potatoes. Sprinkle a saltspoonful of salt, a salt-spoonful of pepper and a tea-spoonful of curry-powder over them; then repeat the previous perfromance until the dish is full. Place whole potatoes at the top, and pour in the oyster liquor and a half a pint of water. Put the dish into a moderate oven, and bake until the potatoes at the top are brown and crisp, but are cooked through. When ready to serve, pour half a pint of boiling gravy over the meat, and sent it to table in the dish in which it was baked. Pin a napkin neatly round the dish for the sake of appearance. The oven must not be very hot, or the gravy will be dried up. If there is any danger of this, add a little more. Time, three hours and a half to bake. Probable cost, 5s. Sufficient for six or eight persons."
---ibid (p. 364)
Related dishes? Olla Podrida & (possibly?) Brunswick Stew
Olla Podrida (aka Olio)
This complicated slow-cooked meat-intensive stew is traditionally associated with 16th century Andalusia (Spain). Olla Podrida was adopted and adapted by countries throughout Europe. Historic recipes attest to the magnitude of committment (time, talent, foodstuffs) this dish required. Early recipes often span several pages. We wonder? How often was Olla Podria actually made. We wonder: was this recipe meant to inspire, rather to instruct, ordinary cooks? Hodge Podge, a notably simpler version, is daunting in its own right.
What is Olla Podrida?
"Olla podrida is a classic Andalusian stew made from various types of meat--beef, chicken, sausages, sundry parts of pigs-- and vegetables cooked together slowly in a pot. It was first mentioned in English as long ago as the sixteenth century, and the term has persisted in the language since then with reference to the stew as a whole. In Spain, however, the tendency is to serve the liquid component of the stew as soup, and eat the meat and vegetables seperately...In common with other words for stews of variable content, such as hotchpotch...olla podrida has been used metaphorically in English for any 'heterogeneous jumble.'"
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:London] 2002 (p. 231)
Why the name?
"The latin word olla, meaning cooking pot, passed into Spanish unchanged (and into Portuguese as olha), and gave rise to the Spanish term 'olla podrida', meaning a spiced stew of various meats and vegetables. In England, changed to olio, this became an accepted culinary term during the 17th century. An olio always had a large range of ingredients."
---The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May, facsimile 1685 edition with Forward, Introduction and Glossary supplied by Alan Davidson, Marcus Bell and Tom Jaine [Prospect Books:Devon] 2000 (glossary p. 31)
Where did the Spanish get this dish? "...codido madrileno...is the embodiment of Madrid's melting pot...All of these dishes are descendants of Quixote's oli podrida, the original 'rotten pot,' or heavy stew, that itself was a descendant of an ancient Jewish dish called adafina, a kind of long-cooking boiled meal. The adafina was based on chicken or beef, vegetables and hard-boiled eggs...In Spain, at the time of the Inquisition, when the central provinces became the stronghold of Christianity and it was necessary for the consumer to demonstrate his religious beliefs, the eggs in the adafina were replaced by large quantities of pork and pork fat..."
---The Cooking of Spain and Portugal, Peter S. Feibelman, Foods of the World series [Time-Life Books:New York] 1969 (p. 23)
"Chapter II "Of Cookery," 47. To make an excellent olla podrida.
To make an ecellent olla podrida, which is the only principal dish of boiled meat which is esteemed in all Spain, you shall take a very large vessel, pot or kettle, and, filling it with water, you shall set it on the fire, and first put in good thick gobbets of well fed beef, and, being ready to boil, scum your pot; when the beef is half boiled, you shall put in potato roots, turnips, and skirrets: also like boggets of the best mutton, and the best pork; after they have boiled a while, you shall put in the like gobbets of venison, red and fallow, if you have them; then the like gobbets of veal, kid, and lamb; a little space after these, the foreparts of a fat pig, and a crammed pullet; then put in spinach, endive, succory, marigold leaves and flowers, lettuce, violet leaves, strawberry leaves, bugloss, and scallions, all whole and unchopped; then when they have boiled a while, put in a partridge and a chicken chopped in pieces, with quails, rails, black birds, larks, sparrows, and other small birds, all being well and tenderly boiled; season up the broth with good store of sugar, cloves, mace, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg mixed together in a good quantity of verjuice and salt, and so stir up the pot well from the bottom, then dish it up upon great chargers, or long Spanish dishes made in the fashion of our English wooden trays, with good store of sippets in the bottom; then cover the meat all over with prunes, raisins, currants, and blanched almonds, boiled in a thing by themselves; then cover the fruit and the whole boiled herbs with slices of oranges and lemons, and lay the roots round about the sides of the dish, and strew good store of sugar over all, and so serve it forth."
---The English Housewife, Gervase Markham, facsimile 1615 edition edited by Michael R. Best [McGill-Queen's University Press: Montreal] 1986, 1994 (p. 77-78)
[NOTES: (1) Skirret is a species of water parsnip. (2) Bugloss is a plant with leaves resembling an ox's tongue. (3) Sippet is a small slice of bread, toasted or fried, used to sop up gravy. (4) Rail is a small bird. (5) Charger is a platter.]
"To make an Olio Podrida.
Take a Pipkin or POt of some three Gallons, fill it with fair water, and set it over a Fire of Charcoals, and put in first your hardest meats, the rump of Beef, Bolonia sausages, neats tongues two dry and two green, boiled and larded, about two hours after the Pot is boil'd and scummed; but put in more [resently after your Beef is scum'd, Mutton, Venison, Pork, Bacon, all the aforesaid in Gubbins, as big as a Ducks Egg, in equal pieces; put in also Carrots, Turnips, Onions, Cabbidge, in good big pieces, as big as your meat, a faggot of sweet herbs, well bound up, and some whol Spinage, Sorrel, Burrage, Endive, Marigolds and other good Pot-Herbs a little chopped; and sometimes French Barley, or lupins green or dry. Then a little before you dish out your Olio; put to your pork Cloves, Mace, Saffron, &c."
---The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May, facsimile 1685 edition with Forward, Introduction and Glossary supplied by Alan Davidson, Marcus Bell and Tom Jaine [Prospect Books:Devon] 2000 (p. 1-2)
[NOTES: (1) May also offers recipes for Olio, Marrow Pies and Extraordinary Olio, or Olio Royal. (2) "Gubbins" means small pieces. (3) Online version here Page through for additional Olio recipes]
"To make an Olio Podrida, or Spanish Olio.
---The Complete Practical Cook, or a New System of the Whole Art and Mystery of Cookery, Charles Carter, facsimile 1730 edition, [Gale ECCO Print edition] (p. 3-4)
"To Make an Olla--A Spanish Dish
Take 2 lbs. beef, 1 lb. mutton, a chicken or half a pullet, and a small piece of pork; put them into a pot with very little water; and set it on the fire at ten o'clock to stew gently. You must sprinkle over it an onion chopped small, some pepper and salt, before you pour in the water; at half after twelve, put into the pot two or three apples or pears peeled and cut in two, tomatas with the skin taken off, cimblins cut in pieces, a handful of mint chopped, lima beans, snaps, and any kind of vegetable you like, let them all stew together till three o'clockk; some cellery tops cut small and added at half after two, will improve it much."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 96-97)
[NOTE: A "cimblin" was a type of squash.]
"#753. An olio.--Boil, in a close-covered pot, a flowl, a couple of partridges, a piece of leg mutton, a knuckle of veal, and a few rump-steaks; also a pice of good bacon or ham. Brown the meat first; add boiling water; and when it has boiled an hour, add parsley, celery, young onions, pease, carrot, turnip, and a bit of garlic, if it is liked, with salt and mixed spices. Serve the whole together, first picking out the bacon. Seasoning herbs may also be used."
---The Cook and Housewife's Manual, Mistress Margaret Dodds, facsimile fourth edition, revised and enlarged 1829 [Roster Ltd.:London] 1988 (p. 375)
"Olio. --An Olio is a Spanish dish, and consitst of three or four kinds of meat and vegetables or four different kinds of meat and vegetables stewed in a simple recipe:--Truss a chicken for boiling, brown it lightly in a little hot butter, then drain it, and put it into a saucepan with a pound and a half of mutton, a pound and a half of veal, and a pound of good rump-steak, all slighly browned. Add a pound of streaky bacon, and pour in as much boiling water as will cover the whole. Simmer gently for an hour, then add half a head of celery, a bunch of parsley, a dozen young onions, half a dozen carrots and turnips, and a pint of green peas, if they are in season, and boil gently until the vegetables are cooked enough. Salt and pepper must be added as required, and a small clove of garlic, if the flavour is liked. It is better to take out the bacon before the meat is served. Time, two hours. Probably cost, 7s. Sufficient for a dozen persons."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 464)
[NOTES: (1) Recipe for "Olio of Vegetables" follows. (2) "Streaky bacon" alternates fat with lean meat.]
Related dishs? Hodge Podge.
Italian wedding soup
The general concensus among the food people is that Italian wedding soup (originally known as Minestra Maritata or Pignato Grasso) has nothing to do with wedding ceremonies. This particular "marriage" (maritata is the Italian word for marriage) is between vegetables...or...depending upon the region?...sometimes pork and vegetables, in soup. Minestra maritata is usually associated with the southern-most parts of Italy. Recipes with pork are said to have originated in Napoli [Naples]. The phrase "Italian wedding soup" appears to be a recent addition to our gastronomic vocabulary. Culinary evidence confirms recipes for soups of this type were simply called (at least in American cookbooks) minestrone.
"Minestra. Soup. At one time this term referred to any first course, but today it refers to soup, specifically one with pieces of vegetable or grain in broth...From [the word] minestare (to administer), probably because the food was portioned out as the only dish served at a meal. Minestra has a more liquid consistency than zuppa, which is often poured over roasted or fried stale bread...Minestra maritata (married soup) is a vegetable soup made in the south in various local ways. In Naples, it is called pignato grasso, and meat is added to the vegetables."
---Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p.154)
Minestra Maritata is thought to be based upon ancient Roman soup traditions. Culinary evidence confirms this statement. Although we do not find recipes with this exact name referenced by Apicius [Ancient Roman cooking text] or Platina [On the Right Pleasure and Good Health, 1475 Italian cook book] there is ample evidence of the existence of vegetable soup during these times. Soup has long been credited for nourishing the infirm and keeping hungry bellies full. Did you know the first modern public restaurants (18th century Paris) were places where soup was served to restore (from the French verb "restaurer") the patron's health? Some early soup recipes here:
ANCIENT ROME: "166. Minutal Apicianum
The Apician minutal is made as follows: oil, broth wine, leek heads, mint, small fish, small tidbits cock's fries or capon's kidneys and pork sweetbreads; all of these are cooked together. Now crush pepper, lovage, greeen coriander, or seeds, moistened with broth; add a little honey, and of the own liquor of the above morsels, wine and honey to taste; bring this to a boiling point skim, bind, stir well sprinkle with pepper and serve.
---Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, Apicius, edited and translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling [Dover:New York] 1977 (p. 115)
[NOTE: this book contains several other minutal (meaning a small dish composed of minutely cut foods) recipes served in broth. "Liquor" in these recipes means the liquid (broth) naturally occuring as the result of cooking, not a distilled alcoholic product.]
1475: "66. Minutal (soup)
Plunge green vegetables into boiling water, remove at once and cut up finely. When they are cut, pound them in a mortar, and when they are well pounded, make boil until cooked, with sugar added in the right amount. My friend Caelius, whose bowel is constricted, uses this, for even if it is of little nourishment and digests slowly, it nevertheless moves the bowels, increases fertility, and settles burning of the urine."
---On the Right Pleasure and Good Health, Platina, critical edition and translation by Mary Ella Milham [Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 342-3)
[NOTE: this book also contains recipes for Ius in Faba Recenti (Fresh Broad Bean Soup), Ius in Curcurbita (Gourd Soup), Minutal Herbaceum (Herb Soup), and Ius in Cicere Rubeo (Red Chick-Pea Soup).
The earliest print American reference we find for "Wedding Soup" does not claim a country of origin:
Have a good rich broth. Cook vermicelli until tender. Allow one egg yolk to each person to be served. Whip lightly in a bowl, add grated parmesan cheese and some soft butter. Pour the broth with the vermicelli in it slowly into the bowl, so that it does not lump."
---"Continental Dinner Gives You Savory Foreign Foods", Los Angeles Times, April 25, 1925 (p. B20)
[NOTE: The recipes in this article are specialties of Joseph Musso, Musso Cafe, Los Angeles.]
The Turkish connection?
1/4 pound ground beef
8 cups beef stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
Shape ground beef into small balls, add to 6 cups beef stock and heat to boiling. Mix salt, flour, egg yolks, and lemon juice to remaining 2 cups of cold beef stock; strain if necessary to remove any lumps. Add mixture to boiling beef stock, stirring constantly, and cook until soup thickens. Serve in individual soup tureens, adding a few meat balls to each. Melt butter, add paprika, and serve as garnish for soup."
---"Tasty Food-Turkish Style," Madeline Holland, Chicago Daily Tribune, January 30, 1959 (p. B1)
"Wedding Soup/Dugun Corbasi
Ingredients: 200 g yogurt, 2 tablespoons flour, 4 cups water, 250 g mutton, or one lamb neck cut into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes, 3 tablespoons butter, teaspoon red pepper, ground or flaked.
Preparation: Put the meat in a pot and cover with 2 cm of water. Brink to a boil and simmer. From time to time, remove the foam rising to the surface. When the meat is nearly tender, melt in another pot the 2 tablspoons butter, add the flour and stir wtihout browning for a minute or two and then mix in the yogurt. Cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens. When the meat is tender, add the broth slowly to the pot with the sauce, stirring constantly. If the neck is used, separate the meat from the bones; while the cubes of mutton should be cut up into smaller pieces. Add the meat to the soup and cook another 15 minutes. Divide among the serving bowls. In a small pan, heat one tablespoon butter until sizzling, add the red pepper and stir. Drizzle over the serving bowls and serve. Note: Instead of yogurt, a sauce of 2 egg yolks and the juice of 1/2 to a whole lemon may be mad by stirring the juice slowly into the well-beaten egg yolks. After the soup is cooked, mix the egg yolks and the lemon juice with a whisk in a glass or porcelain bowl. Gradually add a small amount of hot soup broth to this mixture, stirring constantly. Add this mixture slowly to the boiling soup, mixing thoroughly. Bring to a boil and serve."
---Turkish Cuisine In Historical Perspective, Deniz Gursoy, translated by Dr. Joyce H. Matthews [Olak Yayincilik ve Reklamcilik:Istanbul] 2006(p. 22)
[NOTE: This book does not offer any historical notes regarding this recipe, or its name.]
About Italian wedding soup in western PA
Western PA folks of Italian/American descent claim this soup is an "energy fortification" to the newly married couple in order to sustain them through the first night of wedded bliss.
"I had never heard of Italian Wedding Soup until I came to Pittsburgh in 1992 to marry my future wife, who grew up in Mt. Lebanon. The first time my father-in-law ordered wedding soup, I became hooked forever. "The problem is that outside of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, it is extremely difficult to garner up some of that chicken broth with beef meatballs, carrots, spinach, parsley, and of course, acini di pepi (pastina). All the Olive Gardens around Pittsburgh have wedding soup. If you go to any other Olive Garden in the country, they will not have it. In fact, most Italian restaurants outside Pittsburgh do not have it. The nation is being deprived of one, if the not the best, all-around soup in the world. "In your opinion, who has the best wedding soup in Steel Town? How about in The Strip? I'm coming to Pittsburgh in June for one week and I can't wait to have several authentic bowls of Italian Wedding Soup."
---"Mustard, Wedding Soup Stir Longings of Ex-natives," Woodene Merriman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania), March 23, 2000 (p. E2)
Fish (including shellfish) plays a critical role throughout the Christian calendar. "Meatless" day/periods were proscribed from ancient times forward for practical reasons: they regulated small early meat supplies and unified church members. The long, early spring meatless Lenten season is broken with Easter, featuring ham, lamb and eggs. For traditional Catholics in most countries, Christmas features meat. Christmas Eve, as with Lent, features fish. In Italy, the traditional Christmas Eve table features Seven Fishes. Baccala (salt cod) is front and center. Our research confirms Oyster Stew is indeed part of the Irish Christmas Eve tradition. Specifically, Irish-American. Likewise, Oysters (stew, stuffing, scalloped, etc.) play key roles other European cuisines, both at in original country and immigrant tables set in America. While we did not find any print reference confirming a French tradition of Oyster Stew on Christmas Eve, it is certainly likely. Oyster dishes of all sorts are regularly found on French tables. Northern French cuisine features many creamy, butter soups and stews. It is important to note that until recently (last half of the 20th century forwards), oysters were commonly consumed, especially by people living close to ocean shores. They were plentiful & cheap. Not the expensive delicacy we think of today.Oysters were indeed expensive for Inland folks, due to shipping costs.
The Irish connection
"Every Christmas Eve for the past century, the Fitzpatricks in my family have dipped into kettles of rich oyster stew for dinner. I've never quite understood the hallowed tradition. My mother can't explain it, either. Oyster stew -- made with oysters, whole milk, butter, salt and pepper -- is just something my mother grew up eating with her Irish grandparents on Christmas Eve. So we have always eaten it, too. Last Christmas, I mentioned the oyster stew to a friend, who found it a bit unusual. My mother always assumed the stew had something to do with Catholics not eating meat on Christmas Eve in years past. But the stew didn't ring any bells with my Catholic friend. I decided to explore this culinary mystery that is sentimentally followed by the Irish side of my family and by many other Irish-American families. I was especially intrigued because oysters today aren't universally considered prized shellfish, and in fact, they are strangely chewy. (The creamy, buttery stew itself is delicious.) Some people strongly dislike oysters but religiously eat oyster stew on Christmas Eve. Apparently, oyster stew is traditional in East Coast cities, where fresh oysters are plentiful. On Christmas Eve, many ethnic cultures enjoy seafood to save their appetites for Christmas Day dinner, according to food historian John Mariani. But oyster stew also is uniquely Celtic because it is a holiday connection to the old country -- an Irish-American adaptation of a traditional Christmas Eve stew that was made in Ireland with a chewy Atlantic fish called ling, said John Gleeson, coordinator of the Irish Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "This dried, salted fish would be hung up in a market -- this very large lump of fish -- and a piece would be cut off for a family's stew on Christmas Eve," said Gleeson. Dried ling was eaten only at Christmas, Gleeson said. The ling was stewed with milk (or buttermilk), parsley, salt and pepper because it was tough. It was similar in texture and flavor to the prized oysters that were an autumn delicacy of the Irish gentry, Gleeson said. The oyster stew tradition is as Catholic as it is Irish. Catholics for many years had to eat some sort of fish Christmas Eve because it was a day of abstaining from meat in order to receive Communion at midnight Mass. The Christmas Eve abstinence was discontinued by Vatican II in the mid-1960s, said Michael Maher, a Jesuit priest who grew up in Milwaukee eating oyster stew, even though he never really liked it. Sentiment apparently drives the oyster stew tradition. When the Irish began flocking to North America during the Great Potato Famine, during the 1840s and 1850s, they couldn't find ling in American fish markets, Gleeson said. So they picked the closest thing -- oysters -- to remind them of their families and Ireland on Christmas Eve, he said. (Ironically, oysters weren't even part of the gentry's Christmas Eve in Ireland because they were available only in September and October, in season, before modern refrigeration and electricity arrived in the countryside -- amazingly not until the 1960s -- Gleeson said.). Americans, in general, were "oyster mad" in the 1800s, according to Mariani. Oysters were plentiful and were a big part of urban life, especially in East Coast cities where hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants settled. Part of the appeal to Irish immigrants, Gleeson said, may have been that common folk in Ireland couldn't get oysters. But everyone in America could enjoy them. Oysters were even shipped by stagecoach on the "Oyster Line" from Baltimore to Ohio. Canned or pickled varieties were available as far west as St. Louis by 1856, Mariani said. But the high demand depleted the oyster beds in Chesapeake Bay by the 1880s, and the increase in water pollution in cities became so bad that many were concerned typhus would be spread by shellfish that were soaked in local water after delivery and before serving, Mariani said. New sources in the South were tapped, but the supply wasn't nearly as plentiful. That meant oysters were harder to get and were more expensive around the turn of the century, when my great-grandfather, John Michael Fitzpatrick, emigrated from County Kerry, Ireland, to Denison, Iowa. He was a young man, and his sister, Nora, was 13 when they left their family behind in Ireland. They never saw their parents again, according to my great-uncle Leo Fitzpatrick, who still lives in Denison, a small town in western Iowa surrounded by lush, rolling hills reminiscent of Ireland. The Christmas Eve stew tradition was important to the Fitzpatricks because it reminded them of home, Leo said. (He doesn't remember hearing anything about ling fish -- just oysters.). Leo's mother, Mary Frances "Mamie" Behen, whose family emigrated from County Clare, Ireland, in the 19th century, also had a strong tradition of oyster stew. There never was any doubt about what Leo's family would eat on Christmas Eve. "Oysters were always expensive, so it was a real treat," he said. "Sometimes, Pop would bring home oysters when he'd sell hogs and there was a little extra money, or after we finished picking corn (by hand). Pop liked oysters a lot." Leo is 92 now, and he and my great-aunt, Esther, are more like beloved grandparents than distant relatives. They treasure their shared Irish heritage, and traveled to Ireland for the first time four years ago, when Leo was 88. Like family before them, there never has been a question at Leo and Esther's house what they will have for dinner on Christmas Eve, even though neither of them much cares for the oysters in the stew. ("It always tastes better the next day," Esther said.). And there never will be any question at my house on Christmas Eve, either. Maher, the Jesuit priest who grew up in Milwaukee with the oyster stew tradition, said his Irish grandmother loved the stew. Maher's mother convinced him to eat it when he was a boy by telling him he might find an oyster pearl on the bottom of the bowl. To this day, Maher still eats the stew on Christmas Eve, as does his brother, John, the executive director of the Irish Cultural & Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave. John Maher remembers as a kid "feeling the sand in my mouth" from the oysters. "I was intrigued by it," he said. "I always thought (the stew) tasty, and it's one of those things . . . You like to support family traditions and keep them going." While oyster stew on Christmas Eve is not widely associated with Ireland, it's the same kind of holiday adaptation as corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, Gleeson said.Shortly after Gleeson emigrated from Dublin in 1980, he was invited to join a local Irish family for Christmas Eve dinner. Although he had eaten ling stew as a boy in Ireland, oyster stew was something new. "I wasn't really enamored with it," he recalled. But Gleeson appreciates the tradition. Ling stew on Christmas Eve has long disappeared from modern Ireland, Gleeson said, even though many Irish-Americans still hold oyster stew dear as a connection to the homeland. "The Irish (in Ireland) are quick to adopt new things," Gleeson said. "They're also very quick to throw the old tradition away." Gleeson hasn't tasted ling stew in 25 years, but thinking about it does make him nostalgic. "Now I'm longing for a piece of ling," said Gleeson, 55. Who knows, Gleeson said. Maybe ling stew will return to vogue in Ireland, just as St. Patrick's Day parades have been adopted there.... James Beard, who for decades was considered America's best-loved gourmet, described oyster stew in glowing terms. "If there is any traditional Christmas Eve dish in this country, I guess it is probably Oyster Stew," he once wrote. Beard suggested serving oyster stew with piles of crisp, buttered toast or crisp biscuits. He said it could be made as rich as desired with milk, milk and cream or whipping cream. Some recipes call for seasoning with Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper to taste. Beard also suggested heating the bowls and adding a pat of butter to each bowl, keeping the bowls hot until ready to serve. This recipe is the Fitzpatrick (and probably many an Irish family) version of oyster stew. Traditional Oyster Stew
1 quart shucked oysters, with liquor (oyster liquid)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 quarts whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
In skillet, combine oysters with butter over low heat until edges of oysters curl. Do not discard oyster liquor.
In large kettle, heat milk to simmer. Add oysters with their liquor, plus salt and pepper to taste. Continue simmering for at least an hour to enhance the flavor. Ladle into bowls and serve with oyster crackers. Makes about 8 servings."
---"A Christmas Eve mystery: An oyster-stew devotee tracks down the tale behind an Irish-American tradition," KAREN HERZOG Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin), December 22, 1999, Food Pg. 1
"It's said to have been started by Irish immigrants who had fled here during the potato famine in the mid-1800s. The immigrants had been accustomed to a Christmas Eve stew containing ling fish, which wasn't available here. John Gleeson, coordinator of the Irish Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was quoted in a 2001 article in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as explaining that the Irish substituted oysters, the closest facsimile in taste. A reason for a seafood dish on Christmas Eve was that eating meat the day before a religious feast was proscribed by the Catholic Church. (In Italy, fish soup, "zuppa di pesce," was likewise consumed.) In "True Christmas Spirit" (1955), Rev. Edward J. Sutfin wrote: "Since the vigil is a fast day, fish is in order. Whereas in Brittany the codfish takes the honors of the day, American custom associates piping hot oyster stew with Christmas Eve." In some homes Mexico, Oyster stew ("estofado de ostras") also came to be a dish served on Christmas Eve. Probably because oyster stew is a warming dish, ideal for winter nights, the custom of serving it on Christmas Eve spread throughout the United States, beyond the Irish and Catholic communities. Also from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is this information, contained in a 2002 article: "According to Jerry Apps, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emeritus and author of numerous books on Wisconsin history: 'By 1900, 50 different ethnic groups were here and each brought along its own costumes, recipes, approaches to the celebration. German celebrations always included, on Christmas Eve, oyster stew.'" That tradition did not emanate from Germany, the waters there being too cold for oysters to dwell in them. A Danish American recounts on the rootsweb.com website: "Christmas Eve at Grandpa and Grandma Johnson's always meant oyster stew with little crackers, celery sticks and dessert." A 1987 article in the Houston Chronicle mentions that in the Gulf area, oyster stew has been "a favorite Christmas Eve dish since the 1800s." "Oyster stew is what makes Christmas Eve complete for some families," a Cincinnati Post writer observed in a 2002 article, adding: "It's tradition!" Just as Christmas presents are opened in some families on Christmas Eve, and in others on Christmas morning, oyster stew is served by some as a Yule breakfast or dinner. According to a column last Christmas in the Roanoke (Va.) Times & World News, "The aroma of oyster stew on Christmas morning infiltrates many homes in the Roanoke Valley." The columnist, Cathy Benson, related that the tradition in that vicinage went back to the 19th Century. She wrote: "How to get oysters quickly from the Chesapeake Bay to the Roanoke Valley? The iron horse. According to my 82-year-old father, Jack Thomas, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, none other than the Norfolk and Western Railway carried those perishable but plentiful oysters to Roanoke. The transportation of oysters is also discussed in Bill Neal's Southern Cooking (1989). Neal recounts: "Before acceptance of refrigerated food transport (for meat only, first, and that was in the 1880s), inland food supplies depended on the weather. Even after the first frost warm spells threatened the integrity of almost any product, especially seafood. Only December, though the fourth 'R' month, guaranteed enough sustained cold weather for shipping. Then, from Baltimore, to Charleston, to New Orleans, oysters were shoveled onto the flat backs of horse-drawn wagons and packed down in wet straw and seaweed for an inland journey sometimes lasting two weeks or more. Far from the coast, oyster became a symbol of the arrival of the winter holiday season, appearing in the markets by Christmas Eve and on the tables that night as oyster stew." Difficult as it is to imagine, not everyone enjoys oyster stew. In the December, 2003 issue of an Arizona State University newsletter, Jerry Coursen, a faculty associate, wrote: "When I was a kid, my father (now deceased) continued a tradition celebrated in his family: the Christmas Eve meal was oyster stew. Growing up, I remember looking forward to oyster stew, then, maybe some caroling or a candlelight service, but the reverie was always quashed by the reality of the fuss that'd ensue as we sat down to the soup. My younger sister hated oyster stew with a passion. We hit kind of a happy compromise when she discovered that the cat would assist her in surreptitiously disposing of her hated oysters.""
---"REMINISCING (Column) With a Tureen of Oyster Stew, Christmas Eve Feast Begins," ROGER M. GRACE, Metropolitan News Enterprise (Los Angeles, California), June 17, 2004, Pg. 15
"Farm Journal asked farm families across the country to share with us the food traditions that make Christmas so special...They talked aobut Christmas Eve when oyster stew, all hot and steaming with a buttery top was served...Oyster stew has been served for Christmas Eve supper in Midwestern farm and ranch homes ever since refrigerated railroad cars began to chug along from the East to the Midwest. A retired rancher from Nebraska remembers going to the butcher shop with his dad to buy fresh oysters way bakc in 1904. 'They came in square tin cans with large openings in the otp that were snuggly sealed with a big cork,' he reminisces. 'They were big, fat oysters with lots of liquid and tasted so good. And they were expensive."
---"Maintaining Traditional Dining Rituals," Christmas in the Country, Part VI, Los Angeles Times, December 22, 1978 (p. OC C)
"Clarenbridge Oyster Stew
Ingredients: 2 oz. butter; 3 doz. oysters; 1 pt. milk (or half milk and cream); salt; pepper; paprika; 1/2 lemon; 4 oz. white bread crumbs; chopped parsley. Method: Open the oysters and de-beard--reserve the juices. Put the cutter into saucepan, when sizzling, add in the oysters and cook for 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, 1 bay leaf and mix well. Then add in milk and juices of oysters. Cook a further few minutes, just to boiling point, then, thicken slightly with the breadcrumbs. Remove bay leaf. Correct seasonings, add in the lemon juices and chopped parsley, serve with crisp bread."
---250 Irish Recipes: Traditional and Modern [Mount Salus Press:Sandymount Ireland] undated (p. 40)
Palestine soup (aka Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, Girasol Soup) first surfaces in early 19th century British and American cusine. Featuring Jerusalem Artichokes, this creamy meat stock and vegetable soup was fit for middle class family tables. Interesting to note: this recipe appears in Jewish cookbooks too. Claudia Roden, in The Jewish Book of Food, confirms Jerusalem artichokes are popular in their namesake city. (p. 94)
The Oxford English Dictionary, states recipes titled "Palestine Soup" date in print to 1834: "Palestine. The name of a territory on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean used in attribution to designate a cream soup made from Jerusalem artichokes. 1834 He told us that he had given Palestine Soup yesterday; he asked the B. of London the origin on the name..he told him it was because it was made of Jersualem Artichokes."
"Jerusalem Artichoke, Or Palestine Soup
Wash and pare quickly some freshly-dug artichokes, and to preserve their colour, throw them into spring water as they are done, but do not let them remain in it after all are ready. Boil three pounds of them in water for ten minutes; life them out, and slice them into three pints of boiling stock; when they have stewed gently in this from fifteen to twenty minutes, press them with the soup, through a fine sieve, and put the whole into a clean saucepan with a pint and a half more of stock; add sufficient salt and cayenne to season it, skim it well, and after it has simmered for two or three minutes, stir it to a pint of rich boiling ceram. Serve it immediately.
Artichokes, 3 lbs., boiled in water: 10 minutes. Veal stock, 3 pints; 15 to 20 minutes. Additional stock, 1 1/2 pint; little cayenne and salt; 2 to 3 minutes. Boiling cream, 1 pint.
Obs.--The palest veal stock, as for white soup, should be used fr this; but for a family dinner, or where economy is a consideration excellent mutton-broth, made the day before and perfectly cleared from fat, will answer very well as a substitute; milk too may in part take the place of cream when this last is scarce; the proportion of artichokes should then be increased a little."
---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1845 edition with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:Devon] 1993 (p. 35-36)
Stew a knuckle of veal, and a calf's food, and one pound of chorissa, and a large fowl, in four quarts of water, add a piece of fresh lemon peel, six Jerusalem artichokes, a bunch of sweet herbs, a little salt and white pepper, and a little nutmeg, and a blade of mace; when the flow is thoroughly done, remove the white parts to prepare for thickening, and let the rest continue stewing till the stock is cufficently strong, the white parts of the fowl must be pounded and sprinkled with flower or ground rice, and stirred in the soup after it has been strained, until it thickens."
---The Jewish Manual, by a Lady (Judith Montefiore), facsimile 1846 first edition, introduction by Chiam Raphael [Nightingale Books:New York] 1983(p. 8)
"Artichoke (Jerusalem) Soup (A White Soup)
Ingredients.--3 slices of lean bacon or ham, 1/2 head of celery, 1 turnip, 1 onion, 3 oz. of butter, 4 lbs. of artichokes, 1 pint of boiling milk, or 1/2 pint of boiling cream, salt and cayenne to taste, 2 lumps of sugar, 2 1/2 quarts of white stock.
Mode.--Put the bacon and vegetables, which should be cut into thin slices, into the stewpan with the butter. Braise these for 1/4 hour, keeping them well stirred. Wash and pare the artichokes, and after cutting them into thin slices, add them, with a pint of stock to the other ingredeints. When these save gently stewed down to a smmoth pulp, put in the remainder of the stock. Stir it well, adding the seasoning, and when it has simmered for five minutes, pass it through a strainer. Now pour it back into the stewpan, let it again simmer five minutes, taking care to skim it well, and stir it to the boiling milk or cream. Serve with small sippets of bread fried in butter.
Time.--1 hour. Average cost per quart, 1s. 2d.
Seasonable from June to October
Sufficient for 8 persons."
---Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management, Mrs. Isabella Beeton, facsimile 1861 edition, abridged, edited with an introduction and notes by Nicola Humble [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2000 (p. 80)
Take three dozen freshly-dug artichokes, peel them, and throw them into cold water as they are done, or they will become discoloured. Put them into a saucpan with four onions, the outer sticks of a head of celery, and three pints of white stock, and let them simmer gently for an hour. Take out the onions and the celery, and press the artichokes through a fine sieve; put the puree back into the saucepan, and when it is quite hot stir into it a pint of boiling cream, or if preferred, a mixture of cream and milk, season with salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg, simmer a minute or two, and serve immediately. Send fried bread, cut into small dice, to table n a separate dish. If liked, two bay leaves can be used instead of onions and celery."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations, [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875? (p. 299)
[NOTE: This book offers an alternative recipe for Palestine Soup using mutton and a recipe for Palestine Pudding which does not have Jerusalem artichokes in it.]
"Girasol Soup.--commonly called Palestine.
Peel and slice about a peck of them. Slice also four onions and a head of celery. Simmer them in a stewpan for an hour, with two ounces of butter, three pints of veal stock, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and an ounce of sugar. Pass it through a sieve, heat it over the fire, add a pint of hot cream, and serve it with fried crusts."
---Kettner's Book of the Table, E.S. Dallas, preface by Derek Hudson, 1877 facsimile edition [Centaur Press:London] 1968 (p. 219)
Have a knuckle of veal (wrighing about five pounds) for dinner. When all have dined, return the bones into the stewpan, with the liquor in which it was boiled, a nice white onion, and two turnips. Boil some Jerusalem artichokes in milk, (skim milk will do,) then beat up all with the liquor, which, of course, must be first strained, then thickend with a small quantity of flour rubbed smooth in a tea cup, with a little milk. Use white pepper for the seasoning, to keep the color pure."
---Jennie June's American Cookery Book, Mrs. J.C. Croly (Jennie June) [American News Company:New York] 1878 (p. 29)
Slice 800g Jerusalem artichokes and stew with 75 g butter. Add 25 g crushed roasted hazelnuts and 1 litre White Bouillon; simmer gently until cooked. Pass through a fine sieve and adjust the consistencey by thickening it with 40g arrowroot mixed with 2 1/2 dl cold milk. Bring to the boil then pass through a fine strainer; reheat and finish at the last moment with 150g butter. This soup may also be prepared as a Cream or a Veloute."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, A. Escoffier, [English translation of the 1907 edition of Le Guide Culinaire],recipe 695, (p. 92)
Three pounds of Jersualem artichokes, two quarts fo stock, one onion, one turnip, one head of celery, pepper and salt to taste. Peel and cut the vegetables into slices and boil them in stock until tender, then rub through a hair sieve. Beat the yolks of three eggs, add to the soup, and stir over the fire till just to the boiling point. The soup should be about the thickness of rich cream. If not thick enough, a little potato flour may be added."
---Jewish Cook Book, Florence Kreisler Greenbaum [Block Publishing Company:New York], 1918, ninth printing 1931 (p. 380-381)
[NOTE: This recipe appears in the Passover chapter.]
Peas have been consumed by humans from prehistory forwards. Recipes vary according to culture and cuisine. Soup and stews are generally enjoyed in cooler climates with ample fuel supply. These long simmering "one pot" meals were economical, filling, forgiving and nutritious. Medieval European peasants consumed pease pottage and pease pudding. Wealthy French aristocrats relished fine pea purees. Scandinavian cultures embraced pea soup (green, fresh & dried, old) to the point of national dish. Because the fresh pea season is short, split pea soup (dried peas) was a staple dish. Legume (pea, chick pea, bean) purees and sauces are also enjoyed in other parts of the globe. Indian Dhal is one example.
"In the days of the tinned processed pea and the frozen pea we have become acccustomed to pea soup being green, but until comparatively recently it was made from dried peas, usually yellow ones, and consequently had a characteristic yellowish-grey colour which inspired the application of pea soup and pea-souper to a thick sulphurous fog, particularly of the sort that regularly choked Londoners in the nineteenth cetury and the first half of the twentieth century...Formerly, pea soup was called pease pottage or pease porridge..."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 248-249)
"Pea soup has been one of the most common soups throughout history and almmost compulsory addition in cookery books from the medieval era to present. It was made from fresh or dried peas, cometimes with mint, and with or without the meat from which the stock was made. Shredded lettuce, onion, leek, carrot, and the like were added at the discretion of the cook. The peas were usually pressed through a sieve or mashed with a spoon to thicken the soup so that it was similar in consistency to a cream soup. Because any sort of meat or fowl could be used to make stock and dried peas were light in weight, nonperishable, inexpensive, and easy to carry, pea soup was often prepared outdoors. Unlike beans, which require soaking, dried peas could be put directly to cook which saved time in preparation and added to the popularity of pea soup in the outdoor kitchen. It was a popular Lenten dish. Peas found in Spirit Cave, on the border between Burma and Thailand, have been carbon dated to between 9000 and 6000 B.C. Several cultures have used peas since antiquity, including those of Iraq, Switzerland, China, and Egypt. Apicius included nine recipes for peas, some cooked with vegetables and herbs, others with meat or poultry, in his book. Pease porridge was a well-established dish by that time. The Greek dramatist Aristophanes (c. 446-c. 388 B.C.) worte of pea soup in The Birds. Anne Blencowe included 'Peas soop,'...in her 1690s reciept book."
---Soup Through the Ages: A Culinary History with Period Recipes, Victoria R. Rumble [McFarland & Company:Jefferson NC] 2009 (p. 33)
English Pea Soup
"Like many early cultures, the Anglo-Saxons ate one-pot meals such as soup and porridge, as their daily fare. Even a poor household could afford a single pot to hang over the fire. Legumes, onions and root vegetables, which are easy to grow in the kitchen garden, and grain provide a nutritional base to which a little meat could be added. Wealthier kitchens would of course, add more meat. One of the more common vegetable broths mentioned is pea broth."
---Tastes of Anglo-Saxon England, Mary Savelli [Anglo-Saxon Books:Norfolk UK  (p. 18)
Swedish Pea Soup
"Swedish pea soup is regarded as a real national dish. It has been served every Thursday in most Swedish homes for hundreds of years. During the cold winter it makes a very satisfying meal, economical as well as filling. The soup is served as a main course with boiled pork, The traditional dessert after pea soup is Swedish Panckakes or "Plattar", served with jam or lingonberries...It makes very good eating, although it is a bit on the heavy side for modern people...The exact cooking time of the peas is hard to say, some peas take longer than others. There is no harm in overcooking, so you can easily cook soup ahead of time."
---Swedish Cooking at its Best, Marianne Gronwall van der Tuuk [Rand McNally:Chicago] 1962 (p. 62)
Icelandic Pea Soup
"Split Pea and Salted Lamb Soup...This is a very traditional Icelandic dish. It is quite similar to Scandinavian pea soups, except it is always made with salted lamb, not pork...For many people, this is now a once-a-year treat, always served on Shrove Tuesday, called Sprengidagur (Bursting day) in Iceland...This soup is eaten with the eat as a main course but the meat is not served in the soup. The table is laid with dinner plates and soup plates side by side and each person will be served a piece of meat on his dinner plate. Many cut it up and add it to the soup but others prefer to eat a piece of eat and a spoon of soup alternately."
---Icelandic Food and Cookery, Nanna Rognvaldardottir [Hippocrene Books:New York] 2002 (p. 40)
[NOTE: Modernized recipe included; author observes salted lamb may be difficult to obtain outside of Iceland.]
Dutch Pea Soup
"Dutch Pea Soup. This is first cousin to the Swedish and the Danish pea soup and the Canadian habitant soup. All are lusty and sustaining soups, better cooked one day and eaten the next. The Dutch pea soup is diluted with enough water on the second day to give everyone a cup, and chopped parsley is added with fried croutons. It is then called green soup."
---The Art of Making Real Soups, Marian Tracy [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1967 (p. 114)
[NOTE: Recipe included.]
Pea Soups, Ancient Rome to present day
"Peas a la Vitellius (Pisam Sive Fabam Vitellianam)
Peas or beans in the style of Vitellius prepare thus:...the peas or beans are cooked, when carefully skimmed, add leeks, coriander and mallow flowers...when done, crush pepper, lovage, origany, and fennel seed moistened with broth...and put it...into a sauce pan with wine...adding oil...heat thoroughly and when boiling stir well; put green il on top and serve."
---Apicius, Book V, III, 193, Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, edited and translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling, facsimile 1936 edition [Dover Publications:New York] 1977 (p. 132)
"48. Soupe de quaresme...lenten Sops. Get pea puree, powdered cumin and saffron; put two quarts of puree and a goblet of wine--and if you use verjuice, put in less; some salt, judiciously. Boil. Pour it very hot over the sops."
---The Vivendier, a critical edition with English translation by Terence Scully [Prospect Books:Devon] 1997 (p. 71)
[NOTES:(1) Recipe 46: Cretonne de pois nouveaux (Cretonne of New Peas) cooks the legumes to mush then sautees in lard. Chicken pieces are added. The dish is served hot (p. 70). (2) Sops were stale bread (slabs/bowls) used for serving soup in Medival times.]
"Bean Porridge from Split Broad Beans.
Put split beans, well cleaned and washed, at the heart. When they begin to boil, press out the first water, put in fresh water, and let it come up a distance of two fingers, ading as much salt as is required. It is necesary that it boil, covered, far from flame on account of smoke, until it is cooked and reduced to a porridge. Then it ought ot be stirred in a mortar and mixed for a long time until a single mass forms. It should be put back in the pot and heated. When you want to transfer it to serving dishes, season in this way. Cook finely chopped onion in a pot boiling with oil, and put in a bit of sage and either figs or apples cut in bits. When these are really boiling, they ought to be put in bean dishes. Some sprinkle spices on top."
---Book VII, recipe 31, On Right Pleasure and Good Health, Platina, a critical edition and translation of De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine by Mary Ella Milham [Medieval & Renaissance Tets & Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 325)
[NOTE: We included this recipe because split beans and split peas (both dried legumes) are similar in culinary position and purpose.]
"47. Pottage of Green Puree of Common Peas
Cook old peas with water to do it most quickly; draw out your puree very thin. Whe you are ready to use it put into it parsley, chervil, fresh sorrel, butter and capers; then boil it with all these seasoning. Steep your bread in your puree. If you have nothing to garnish this with, garnish it with fried bread or rosettes. Serve. To serve it green, beet leaf greens or sorrels. Sprinkle some of these around your dish."
---"French Cook: XV: Lean Pottages," La Varenne's Cookery, La Varenne, a modern English tranlsation and commentary by Terence Scully [Prospect Books:Devon] 2006 (p. 256)
[NOTES: (1) Translator's notes reveal "old peas" are the dried ones. (2) Recipe 46 is Pottage of Puree of Green Peas. It is garnished with artichoke hearts.]
"To make peas soope.
Take about two Quarts of peas & boyl them down till they are thick; then put to them a leeke & a litle slice of bacon & a litle bunch of sweet herbs, & let them boyl till they are broke. The work them with ye back of a ladle thro a coarse hair seive; then take about 3 pints of your peas & mix with about 3 quarts of very strong broth & work them very well together. The sett them over a Stove & let them boyl very easyly. Then as for your herbs, take to the quantity of a gallon of soope; take a large handfull of spinage & one third of sorrill & one cabbage, Lettice, & a little charvell & Creases & a head or two of sallery & Indive, & ye heart of a Savoy, & a litle mint, but mince your mint very small if it be green, but if it be dry, then drie it before ye fire to powder, & sift it thro a seive, & mince ye herbs with one leeke very small, & put them into a brass dish or saspan with half a pound of butter, & let ym stove till they begin to be tender. Then put to them a quuart of good gravy or strong broth, but gravy is best, & when you have mix't it well then putt it into ye pot to ye peas & a little beaten cloves & mace. So let it stove about half an hour, then have a french roll, either dry'd in an oven or toasted by ye fire, in thin slices, then season ye soop to your palate & so serve it up. If you please you may put forcd meat balls into it, or any other thing, as pallates & sweetbreads or Combs."
---The Receipt Book of Mrs. Ann Blencowe, facsimile 1694 edition, introduction by George Sainsbury [Polyanthos:Cottonport LA] 1972 (p. 8)
"Common Peas Soup
Take three or four rump beef bones with a pound of bacon, put them into a gallon of soft water, and we the scum rises skim it well, put in a quart of split peas, four onions, three heads of cellery, two leeks, and two turnips cut small, a spoonful of dried mint, a little pepper and salt; stew it two hours, then rub it through a sieve, put it into your pot again, with four heads of scellery cut small and boiled; then boil it up ten minutes, and send it in a tureen or soup dish, with a handful of crispt bread in it."
---The New Art of Cookery According to Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R. Campbell, and B. Johnson:Philadelphia] 1792 (p. 31)
[NOTE: Recipes for Green Peas Soup, Another Green Peas Soup, White Peas Soup, Peas Soup for Winter and A Spanish Peas Soup (with Spanish peas, no tomatoes) are also included in this book.]
Boil a Quart of Split-peas in a Gallon of Water; when they are quite soft, put in half a Red Herring, or two Anchovies, a good deal of whole Pepper black and white, two or three Blades of Mace, four or five Cloves, a Bundle of Sweet Herbs a large Onion, and the green Tops of a Bundle of Salary [celery], a good Bundle of dried Mint, cover the cloase, and let the boil softly, till there is about two Quarts; then strain it off, and have ready the white Part of the Salary washed clean, and cut small, and stewed tender in a Quart of Water, some Spinage picked and washed clean, put to the Salary; let the stew till the Water is quite wasted, and put it to your Soop. Take a French Role take out the Crumb, and fry the Crust brown in a little fresh Butter, after it is biled and fill the Role; take the Crumb, cut it to Pieces, beat it in a Mortar with a raw Egg, a little Spinage, and a little Sorrel, a little beaten Mace, and a little Nutmeg, and an Anchovy; then mix it up with your Hand, and roll them into Balls with a little Flour, and cut some Bread into Dice, and fry them crisp. Pour your Soop into yoru Dish, put in the Balls of Bread, and the Role in the middle. Garnish your Dish with Spinage: If it wants Salt, you must season it to your Palate, rub in some dried Mint."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile first edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 76)
[NOTE: Recipes for Green Peas-Soup, Another Green Peas-Soup (p. 76), A Green Peas Soop, A White Peas Soop (p. 63-64) are also offered.]
"Dried Pea Soup.
Take one quart of split peas or Lima beans which are better, put them three quarts of very soft water with three onions chopped up, pepper and slat;; boil the two hours; wash them well and pass them through a sieve; return the liquid into the pot, thicken it with a large piece of butter and flour, put in some slices of nice salt pork, and a large tea-spoonfull of celery-seed pounded; boil it till the pork is done, and serve it up; have some toasted bread cut into dice and fried in butter, which must be put in the tureen before you pour in the soup."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition wtih historical notes and commetaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p.33-34)
"Peas Soup.--Pease soup may be made from dried peas either whole or split; the latter are to be preferred. Soak a quart of peas over night. The next day wash and drain them, and put the into a large saucepan, with six ounces of lean ham, three sliced carrots, two onions and three or four sticks of celery cut into small pieces. Pour over these three quarts of the liquor in which pork, beef, or mutton has been boiled. Simmer gently until the peas are reduced to pulp, stirring frequently then rub the whole through a hair sieve, and put the soup back into the stewpan. Let it boil, and skim it carefully. Add pepper and salt if necessary, stir in an ounce of butter, and serve as hot as possible. Send powdered mint or powdered sage to table on a separate dish. A table-spoonful of curry powder will greatly improve the soup. Time, four hours. Probable coast, 9d. per quart. Sufficient for eight or nine persons."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 530)
[NOTE: This book offers several variations on this recipe, including fresh peas and puree.]
"Dried Split-Pea Soup
Take a good beef marrow-bone or one or two pounds weight, or the remains of raost beef-bones and gravy; add a slice of ham. put these in a pot with a gallon of cold water; throw in the pot two cups of split peas or small white beans, two carrots, two turnips, two large onions or three small ones, a stalk of celery cut in pieces, a bunch of thyme, and a teaspoonful of mixed black and red pepper. When the vegetables are quite soft which will be in about two hours, take the soup from the fire, strain it through a sieve or coarse cloth; add salt, and put on the fire again and boil for a few moments; then pour it oer toasted bread."
---La Cuisine Creole, facsimile 2nd edition, [F.F. Hansell & Bro., Ltd:New Orleans] 1885 (p. 13)
"Split Pea Soup.
1 cup dried split peas.
3 pints cold water.
1 tablespoonful butter.
1 tablespoonful flour.
1/2 teaspoonful sugar.
1 teaspoonful salt.
1 saltspoonful white pepper.
Pick over and wash peas. Soak oer night, or for several hours in cold water. Put them on to boil in three pints of fresh cold water, and let them simmer until dissolved, adding enough more water, as it boils away, to keep three pints of liquid in the kettle. Keep it well scraped from the sides of the kettle. When soft, rub through a strainer and put on to boil again. Add either water, stock, milk, or cream to make the consistency you wish. It should be more like a puree than a soup. Cook one large tablespoonful of butter and one of flour together, and add to the strained soup when boiling. Add the salt and pepper and when it has simmered ten minutes, serve at once with fried dice of bread. This is delicious made in this simple way. It must always be strained, and thickened with the flour and butter, or it will separate as it cools. It will be smooth, perfectly free from grease; and those who like the natural taste of thepease prefer it to any other way of cooking. Do not think you must boil more or less salt pork with it, as most receipts advise. It may be varied in many ways, by adding half a can of tomatoes before straining, or by boiling with the peas a small onion which has been cut fine and fried in a little butter, or by adding any remnants of bone or meat, being careful to remove them before straining. Always use the split peas, as the hulls have been removed, and they cook much more quickly than the whole peas."
---Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, Mrs. D.A. Lincoln [Roberst Brothers:Boston MA] 1889 (p. 149-10)
"698. Puree de Pois aux Croutones--Pea Soup with Croutons
Cook together 400g (15 oz) green split peas 1 litre (1 3/4 pint or 4 1/2 US cups) water, a piece of knuckle of ha 10g (1/3 oz) salt, a Mirepoix comprised of 60g (2 oz) streaky bacon diced and blanched, 60g (2 oz) each of carrot, onion and green of leek, a small sprig ot thyme and a small piece of bayleaf. Simmer gently and when cooked, remove the knuckle, pass the remainder through very fine sieve and adjust the consistency with 3 dl (1/2 pint or 1 1/4 US cups) White Bouillon; reheat and finish at the last minute with 150g (5 oz) butter. Garnish: 2 tbs small Croutons of bread fried in butter at the last minute."
---The Complete Guide to Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, translated into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 1979 (p. 92)
[NOTE: Recipe 699 is Puree de Pois Frais--Fresh Pea Soup; recipe 700 is Puree de Pois Frais al la Menthe--French Pea Soup with Mint.]
Mutton or beef bones, a ham bone, or scraps of bacon, 4 or 5 carrots, 3 large onions, mace, peppercorns, spice, 3 bay leaves, 3 large potatoes peeled, 2 breakfastcupfuls of split peas (which should be soaked in water the night before using). Put all together into a saucepan with about 4 quarts of water, and boil till quite cooked, which will take about 4 or 5 hours slow boiling. When cooked strain through a sieve. Serve with small squares of fried bread or toast and dried mint."
---The Schauer Cookery Book, by Misses A. and M. Schauer [Edwards, Dunlop & Co. Ltd.:Brisbane] 1909 (p. 83)
"Split Pea Soup
1 cupful split peas
2 1/2 quarts water
2 slices onion
1/8 teaspoonful pepper
1 1/4 teaspoonfuls salt
3 tablespoonfuls flour
2 tablespoonfuls butter or substitute
1 pint milk
Soak the peas overnight; add soda and onion; and cook slowly until the peas are soft. Press through a strainer. Make a White Sauce of the remainder of the ingredients. Add the strained peas, heat and serve. Cooking a ham bone with the split peas changes the flavor."
---School and Home Cooking, Carlotta C. Greer [Ally and Bacon:Boston] revised edition, 1925 (p.237)
"Split Pea Soup.
1 c. dried split peas.
8 c. cold water.
1" cute, fat salt pork.
1 tb. chopped onion.
2 tb. flour.
1 T. salt.
1/2 T. pepper.
2 tb. butter.
2 c. milk.
1. Pick over and wash the peas; soak overnight in 1 qt. cold water, to which has been added 1/2 T. soda.
2. Drain; add 8 c. cold water, pork and onion; simmer until soft, 3 to 4 hours; rub through sieve.
3. Finish according to general method."
---Canadian Cook Book, Nellie Lyle Pattinson [Riverson Press:Toronto], 6th edition revised & enlarged, May 1930 (p. 114)
[NOTE: Recipe for Green Pea Soup (fresh peas) follows.]
"Pea and Celery Soup
1 cup dried green split peas
1 quart cold water
1 small onion
3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled
1 soup bone
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can condensed celery soup
1 cup milk
Soak peas in water overnight; drain, add cold water, vegetables, soup bone and salt. Remove bone and rub vegetables through sieve; add celery soup and milk, heat to boiling and serve. Approximate yield: 6 portions."
---America's Cook Book, compiled by the Home Institute of The New York Herald Tribune [Charles Scribner's Sons:New York] 1937 (p. 199)
[NOTE: Recipes for Pea Soup St. Germaine (p. 199) and Cream of Pea Soup (p. 193) are also offered in this book.]
"600. Canadian Pea Soup. Soup aux Pois a l'Habitant.
The cuisine of the Canadian shows its spiritual descent from French gastronomy by its rich and recondite sauces, by its slow simmerings--to extract all the nourishing parts of the food--and buy the refinements which make a meal an act of delicate sensuality. To make the genuine Canadian pea soup, the soup of the habitant, soak 2 cups (1 pound) of washed dried whole green or yellow peas overnight in 1 1/2 quarts of cold water. Next day, discard the water, and risne the peas several times in cold running water. Turn them into a soup kettle with 6 cups of fresh cold water, and add 2 small onions, each stuck with a whole clove; 1/2 pound of salt pork; 8 whole peppercorns, slightly bruised; 1 generous teaspoon of salt; and the real herbes salees, or if the latter is unobtainable, a bouquet garni, composed of 8 sprigs of fresh parsley, 2 sprigs of green celery tops (leaves), 1 large bay leaf, and 1 sprig of thyme, tied together with kitchen thread. Gradullay bring these to a boil, reduce the flamed, and allow to simmer very, very gently for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, the kettle being only half covered with the lid. Remove the salt pork, and keep it hot. The turn the contents of the kettle into a fine-meshed sieve, and rub till all the liquid, peas, and onions have been forced through into a fresh soup kettle. return the soup to the fire, and taste for seasoning. Reheat to the boiling point, then serve in hot soup plates, dropping into each plate a small square of salt pork and a few Croutons (No. 780)."
---The Soup Book, Louis P. DeGouy, facsimile 1949 edition [Dover Publications:New York] 1974 (p. 302-303)
"Split Pea Puree
Green or yellow split peas
4 or 6 oz fat bacon
1 or 2 cloves
1 bouquet garni
After soaking the peas overnight, put all the ingredients on to boil together. When done, remove the bacon, pass the other ingredients through a sieve after draining them well, and reserve the liquid, come of which will be used to moisten the puree to the desired consistency, and the remainder will be used for soup. Allow the puree to simmer gently by the side of the fire, after adding some of the liquid and a good tablespoonful of fresh butter. Serve hot with fried sausages, or with boiled Frankfort sausage.
"Split Pea Soup
1 pint split peas (soaked overnight)
2 quarts meat-stock or ham water
1 stick of celery
Put the pease in meat-stock, or in water with a ham-bone and cut vegetables. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the peas are soft enough to be rubbed through a fine sieve. Re-heat and add either a tablespoonful of butter at the time of serving, or, better still, two tablespoonfuls of thick cream, and serve hot. Small squares of fried stale bread added to this soup are an improvement."
---A Consice Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 110)
"Puree of fresh pea soup, called Saint-Germain. Potage Puree de Posi Frais, dite Saint-Germain.
Rub a quart (litre) of fresh peas, cooke dquickly in salted water and drianed through a sieve. Dilute the puree with 4 or 5 cups (8 or 10 decilitres) of white consomme. Bring to the boil and finish off with 4 tablespoons 960 grams) of fresh butter. Add 2 tablespoons of fresh garden peas, cooked in water and drained add some chervil leaves.
"Puree of split pea soup. Potage Puree de Pois Casses.
Pick over and wash 34 pound (350 grams) of split peas, soak them in cold water for 2 hoours, and cook in 1 1/2 quarts (litres) of cold water. Bring to the boil, skim. season, and add a mirepoix composed of 2 ounces (50 grams) of lean bacon, diced, blanched and fried lightly with 2 tablespoons of the red part of carrot and 1 tablespoon of onion cut in dice. Put in a bouquet garni, adding to it the green part of 2 leeks. After cooking, rub through a sieve, put the puree back into the pan, lighten with a few tablespoons of consome and finish off with fresh butter and a tablespoon of chervil leaves. Serve with small croutons, fried in butter. Note. This soup can also be prepared as a Lenten dish, by omitting the bacon and diluting the puree with milk."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne, edited by Charlotte Turgeon and Nina Froud [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 912-913)
[NOTE: If you want the original 1938 version (in French) let us know.]
"Swedish Pea Soup with Pork (Alter Med Flask)
1 1/2 cups dried yellow Swedish peas
2 1/2 quarts water
1 pound lightly-salted side prk or 2 pounds fresh shoulder (with bone)
2 medium onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon leaf marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
Pick over and rinse peas. Turn into saucepan. Add wateer and soak overnight. Do not change water. Set covered saucepan over high heat and bring quickly to the boiling point. Remove shells floating on top of water. Cook about 2 hours. Add pork, onions and seasonings except salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently until pork and peas are tender, about 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove pork. Cut into slices and serve separately with mustard. Makes 4 servings."
---Swedish Cooking at its Best, Marianne Gronwall van der Tuuk [Rand McNally:Chicago] 1962 (p. 62)
[NOTE: This book also offers a recipe for Fresh Pea Soup (Farsk Artsoppa) on p. 64.]
"Puree of Fresh Pea Soup (Potage Puree de Pois Frais or Potage Saint-Germaine). Cook 3 cups fresh green peas (or frozen peas) in boiling salted water until they are tender (you may add a few leaves of fresh mint to the peas if this sounds good to you). Drain the peas, mash them, and mix them with 2 cups White Stock. Rub through a sieve or puree in the blender. Return the puree to the cleaned saucepan, add white stock if necessary to obtain a medium-cream consistency, and heat just until the soup boils. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the fire and stir in 6 tablespoons butter. Garnish with green peas and shredded chervil."
---French Cooking for the American Table, Rene Verdon with Carl Lyren [Doubledayy & Company:Garden City NY] 1974 (p. 175)
Pepper Pot is not one recipe, but a family of spicy meat-based soups and stews originating in West Africa. Introduced to the New World by African cooks relocated to the West Indies, this delicious tradition was embraced by Colonial Americans. In the West Indies, the term pepper pot also means a concenstrated syrup composed of cassareep. In the USA, Philadelphia Pepper Pot is often credited for providing sustenance to General George Washington and his starving troops in Valley Forge. Food historians generally agree it was not invented there. The traditional accompaniment to pepper pot are dumplins (dumplings).
What is "Pepper pot?"
"Pepper pot has two overlapping meanings. In the West Indies it means a savoury stew, often highly seasoned, incorporating various vegetables and (for example) pieces of pig's tail and stewing beef. However, no one recipe can be identified as 'the recipe'...The second meaning, which goes back to the 18th century in the USA, was at first equally general and indeed may have migrated from the West Indies to the mainland. Later, however, it referred to a particular version known as Philadelphia pepper pot, which apparently incorporated sea turtle meat for a while in the 19th century by then adopted tripe as a less expensive substitute. In this sense the dish always lives up to its name by being highly seasoned with crushed peppercorns."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 596)
What is West Indian pepper pot?
This thick syrup is made from cassareep, a derivative of cassava. "...cassareep...is used in making the famous pepper-pot of Guiana. Just why this delectable dish should be called 'pepper-pot' is an unsolved mystery, for it never contains pepper and is not hot or peppery. In fact any form of vegetable placed in the cassareep will ruin it. But it has the strange property of preserving meat and rendering it tender and if heated every few days it will keep indefinately. Every Indian family and every white man's home in Guiana has its jar of pepper-pot. Some were first started years, perhaps generations, or for all I know to the contrary, centuries abo, for the older the pepper-pot th better. All that is necessary is to keep adding meat, the tougher the better, and fresh cassareep as fast as the contents are used. But beware o adding fish or vegetables or allowing water to enter the jar. Even a minute quantity of water, a tiny bit of fish or a single vegetable will completely ruin the entire pepper-pot and render it unfit for human consumption. But properly made it is a most delicious dish with a rich, peculiar flavor quite impossible to describe... In Trinidad and other West Indian islands it is customary to add pepper sauce and red peppers as well as okra, to cassareep when it is served on the table or on food. Hence many persons think that the cassareep with it means its meat is 'hot' and contains peppers."
---Foods America Gave the World, A. Hyatt Verill [L.C. Page & Company:Boston MA] 1937 (p 63-64)
"Mrs. Randolph's recipe could be presented as a classically pure version of Philadelphia Pepper Pot, of which apocryphal tales place the 'invention' during the War of Independence to feed a hungry General Washington at Valley Forge. Pepper pot was, however, a well-known dish from the British West Indies, a great soup or stew the ingredients of which were infinitely varied, and thickened or not with cassareep (prepared cassava); its unvarying characteristic was the seasoning with cayenne pepper. OED cites Thomas Brown, about 1702: 'That most delicate palate-scorching soop called pepper-pot, a kind of devil's broth much eat in the West Indies.' A century later, Mrs. Rundell gives a typical English interpretation that calls for mutton, pickled pork, mixed vegetables, lobster or crab, seasoned with 'salt and Cayenne,' and served with suet dumplings. But I believe that southern colonist had known the dish long before its appearance in cookbooks by way of black cooks."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 283-284)
"Another interesting soup is Miss Rutledge's 'Pepper Pot'...in that it seems to come directly from the British West Indies, complete with several meats, yams, plantains, spinach, potatoes, optional seafood, dumplings, and the obligatory characterizing 'long red peppers [cayenne],' only lacking the cassareep, a cassava preparation, for total authenticity...This authenticity is not surprising, given the strong South Carolina connections with Barbados and the Bahamas,,...It is interesting to compare it to the spartan version that came to be considered classic in the United States, consisting of tripe, veal bone, suet dumplings, and the characterizing 'pod of pepper'; this version is always claimed by Philadelphia, although the earliest receipt I know for it is given by Mary Randolph in 1824, entitled simply 'Pepper Pot.' But it was originally an infinitely varied festival dish; Mrs. Rundell [A new System of Domestic Cookery] actually understood it very well."
---The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection, Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1992 (p. 112)
"Philadelphia pepper pot soup is a mixture of meat, tripe, vegetables and dough balls in a spicy broth. It came to the city by way of West Indian immigrants in the mid-18th century--not by way of George Washington at Valley Forge--whose original recipes were changed to fit the tastes of the city. Many versions, including one made with spinach to resemble turtle soup, were popular..."
---The Larder Invaded: Reflections on Three Generations of Philadelphia Food and Drink, Mary Anne Hines, Gordon Marshall and William Woys Weaver, Joint exhibition held 17 November 1986 to 25 April 1987 [The Library Company of Philadelphia & The Historical Society of Pennsylvania] 1987 (p. 56)
"Pepperpot is an old term for a family of hot, spicy soups originating in the West Indies as cultural hybrids of Spanish and West African cooking traditions. Essentially, Philadelphia pepperpot is gumbo without the okra although the earliest surviving recipes (from the 1760s) contain not only okra, but also chopped sunflowers and other curious ingredients. In any case, the pepperpot soup we know today, made with tripe and potatoes, is only one member of this large and diverse family, and certainly the least exotic."
---35 Recipes from The Larder Invaded, William Woys Weaver [Library Company of Philadelphia & The Historical Society of Philadelphia] 1986 (p. 69)
Pepper pot creation myths
Most cultures offer traditional recipes for thick soups and spiced stews reflecting local taste and indigenous ingredients. Dutch Hutspot, Creole Gumbo, Provencial Bouilibaisse and Hungarian Goulash all descend from this venerable tradition. Which begs the question: If Pepper Pot is a West Indies dish, why do so many Web sites state it was invented at Valley Forge for General Washington or that was originally Pennsylania Dutch dish? When unsubstantiated stories are repeated enough, they become "fact." Colonial Philadelphia was home to a large West Indian population, many of whom were professional cooks. Spicy West Indian dishes provided a tasty juxtopostion to classic English, Quaker and German foods. By the time Valley Forge happened most folks in the area had enjoyed pepper pot for a very long time. This historian accurately debunks the Valley Forge myth but fails to make the West Indian connection.
"Pepper Pot, a Philadelphia specialty, was hawked in the streets in the nineteenth century and is still featured in many fine restaurants. The story has been told, over and over again , that it was first made at Valley Forge. According to most accounts, George Washington and his men were starving. The general's cook, desperate to provide a decent meal for the great man, took a piece of tripe, some spices, and very little else and created a masterpiece. But the tale does not bear close scrutiny. In the first place it is an all too obvious imitation of the story of Napoleon and Marengo, food stories, like other stories, tend to repeat themselves. Besides, Washington was never starving. As a Virginia aristocrat, while he had a sincere concern for his men's welfare, he took for granted his own comfortable lifestyle as an officer and a gentleman. It is much more likely that the thrifty 'Pennsylvania Dutch' brought the idea of tripe soup with them when they came from Germany. Moreover, there is a tripe an pepper soup well known in Poland even today, and the border between that country and German has changed so often as to have little meaning, at least where culinary customs are concerned."
---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens OH] 1998 (p. 52)
William Woys Weaver, in his book Sauerkraut Yankees [2nd edition Stackpole Books:Mechanicsburg PA, 2002 (p. 38-39)], confirms tripe was a common ingredient in Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. He also mentions local tripe is used in Pepper Pot. He does not state, however, this dish descends from European roots. The inclusion of Philadelphia Pepper Pot in Pennsylvania Dutch cookbooks seems to perpetuate the myth. Presumably, the recipe was included because it was enjoyed by people living in the greater Philadelphia area.
Is there a connection between Mulligatawny soup and Pepper pot?
"'Mulligatawny Soup...is, of course, from India. The name is from Tamil milagu-tannir, meaning 'pepper water,' so that it can be said to be a dish parallel to pepper pot. Because they do share certain characteristics, it is tempting to suggest a connection, especially since 'Pepper Pot' is specific to another British colony in the West Indies...There are myriad versions of both dishes. (I should note that descriptions of pepper pot (1704) and even receipts for it, antedate the arrival of large numbers of Indians who brought to the West Indies by the British in the nineteenth century, so that if there is a connection, it is not that simple.)."
---The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection, Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1992 (p. 112-113) ?
Pepper Pot recipe sampler
"A West-India Pepper Pot
Take two pounds of lean veal, the same of mutton, cut then small, with a pound of lean ham, put them in a stew-pan, and about four pounds of brisket of beef cut in square pieces, with six onions, two carrots, four heads of cellery, four leeks, two turnips, well washed, a bundle of sweet herbs, some all-spice, cloves and mace, and half a pint of water; sweat them well for half an hour, then pour four quarts of boiling water into it, and skim it well; boil it gently for three hours, then strain it off, take out the pieces of beef, then put a quarter of a pound of butter in the stew-pan and melt it, put two spoonfuls of flour, and stir it about till it is smooth; then by degrees pour our soup in, and stir it about to keep it from lumping, put the pieces of beef in; have ready two large carrots cut in quarters, and four turnips in quarters, boiled till tender, take the spawn of the large lobster and bruise it fine, and put it in to colour it, with a dozen heads of greens boiled tender; make some flour and water into a paste, and make it balls as big as a walnut, boil them well in water, and put them in; boil it up gently for fifteen minutes, and season it very hot with Cayan pepper and salt; put it in a soup-dish and send it up hot, garnished with sprigs of cauliflowers round the dish, or carrots, or any thing else you fancy."
---The Art of Cookery According to Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R. Campbell and B. Johnson:Philadelphia] 1792 (p. 35-36)
"A Pepper-pot, to be served in a Tureen
To three quarts of water put vegetables according to the season; in summer, peas, lettuce, and spinach; in winter, carrots, turnips, celery, and onions in both. Cut small, and stew with two pounds of neck of mutton, or a fowl, and a pound of pickled pork, in three quarts of water, till quite tender. On first boiling, skim. Half an hour before serving, add a lobster, or crab, cleared from the bones. Season with suit and Cayenne. A small quantity of rice should be put in with the meat. Some people choose very small suet dumplings boiled with it. Should any fat rise, skim nicely, and put half a cup of water with a little flour. Pepper-pot may be made of various things, and is understood to be a due proportion of fish, flesh, fowl, vegetables, and pulse."---(p. 100) "A Pepper Pot To three quarts of water, put such vegetables as you choose; in summer, peas, lettuce, spinach, and two or three onions; in winter, carrot, turnip, onions, and celery. Cut them very small, and stew them with two pounds of neck of mutton, and a pound of pickled pork, till quite tender. Half an hour before serving, clear a lobster or crab from the shell, and put it into the stew. Some people choose very small suet-dumplings boiled in the above. Season with salt and Cayenne. Instead of mutton, you may put a fowl. Pepper-pot may be made of various things, and is understood to be a proper mixture of fish, flesh, fowl, vegetables, and pulse. A small quantity of rice should be boiled with the whole."
--- A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Rundell 1807 (p. 207)
Boil two or three pounds of tripe, cut it in pieces, and put it on the fire with a knuckle of veal and a sufficient quantity of water, part of a pod of pepper, a little spice, sweet herbs according to your taste salt, and some dumplins; stew it till tender, and thicken the gravy with butter and flour."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 96)
Take as much spinach as will fill a good sized dish, put it in a saucepan without any water, put it in a saucepan without any water, set it on the fire, and let it boil; then drain off all the liquor, chop the spinach very fine, and return it to a saucepan, with the water just drained from it, more water, onions, three or four potatoes, a lettuce or head of endive cut small, the bones of any cold roast meat, if you have them, and half a pound of bacon; put the whole on the fire, and when it has boiled for about an hour, put in a few suet dumplings; leave it twenty or thirty minutes longer; season it well with cayenne, and serve."
"Pepper Pot in a Tureen
Stew gently in four quarts of water, till reduced to three, three pounds of beef, half a pound of lean ham, a bunch of dried thyme, two onions, two large potatoes pared and sliced; then strain it through a cullender, and add a large fowl, cut into joints and skinned, half a bound of pickled pork sliced, the meat of one lobster minced, and some small suet dumplings, the size of a walnut. When the fowl is well boiled, add half a peck of spinach, that has been boiled and rubbed through a cullender; season with salt and cayenne. It is very good without the lean ham and fowl."
---The Cook's Own Book: Being a Complete Culinary Encyclopedia, Mrs. N. K. M. Lee, facsimile 1832 edition [Arno Press:New York] 1972 (p. 137-138)
Take four pounds of tripe, and four ox feet. Put them into a large pot with as much water as will cover them, some whole pepper, and a little salt. Hang them over the fire early in the morning. Let them boil slowly, keeping the pot closely covered. When the tripe is quite tender, and the ox feet boiled to pieces, take them out, and skim the liquid and strain it. Then cut the tripe into small pieces; put it back into the pot, and pour the soup or liquor over it. Have ready some sweet herbs chopped fine, some sliced onions, and some sliced potatoes. Make some small dumplings with flour and butter. Season the vegetables well with pepper and salt, and put them into the pot. Have ready a kettle of boiling water, and pour on as much as will keep the ingredients covered while boiling, but take care not to weaken the taste by putting too much water. Add a large piece of butter rolled in flour, and lastly put in the dumplings. Let it boil till all the things are thoroughly done and then serve it up in a tureen."
---Directions for Cookery in Its Various Branches, Miss [Eliza] Leslie [Carey & Hart:Philadelphia] 1849 (p. 87-88)
"Pepper Pot M. P. Martin
Take 4 tbsp of tripe, 1/2 plain 1/2 honeycomb, well boiled the day before, put into a pot with one half of a large shin bone, a small red pepper, add few onions, 4 small potatoes cut up, and small dumplings, if wished, --thyme, salt. Thicken, or not, as preferred--Let it boiled slowly from breakfast until dinner, cut the tripe & meat in small pieces.--Manuscript recipe book, Lizzie Martin, Library Company of Philadelphia [Philadelphia ca. 1890], p. 73."
---35 Recipes from The Larder Invaded, William Woys Weaver [Library Company of Philadelphia & The Historical Society of Philadelphia] 1986 (p. 69)
"Pepper Pot (a Hotch-Potch)
Put four quarts of cold water into a large stew-pan, with a micutre of any meats that may be preferred--either three pounds of gravy beef and half a pound of lean ham or three pounds of the neck of mutton and half a pound of pickled pork; add half a cupful of best rice, a bunch of savoury hergs, two large onions, and three large potatoes coarsely grated. Skim the liquid carefully during the first half hour, and let it simmer gently until all the goodness is drawn our of the meat. This will rquire form four to six hours. Strain the soup and let it stand until cold, so that the fat may be enirely removed. Put the liquid into the stew-pan, with a large flow cut into joints, then boil very slowly. When the fowl os almost tender, put in a dizen small, light, wuet dumpings, and a pint and a half of whatever vegetables are in season cut up into small pieces. In summer these will consist of peas, caulif,owers, French beans, lettuces, or spinach; and in winter of carrots, turnips, or celery. Season with cayenned and salt, if required. When the vegetables are done enough, serve the entire preparation in a tureen. In the West Indies, where this dish is a great favourite, it is so highly seasoned that it is universally known as 'pepper pot.' Time, about an hour after the fowl is put in."
---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894 (p. 57-58)
"Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup
1 veal joint
4 pound tripe
1 bunch herbs
2 teaspoons of minced parsley
1 cup beef suet
1/2 lb beef suet
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 red pepper
2 cups flour
This is a two-day job of cookery.
Scrape tripe, wash in three waters (cold). Put in cold water to boil for 7 or 8 hours, then after tripe is cool cut into 1/2 inch squares. The next day simmer for 3 hours the veal with bones in 3 quarts of cold water; and skim off the scum. Separate meat from bones and dice. Strain the broth, add bay leaves, chopped onions, and simmer for another hour. Add then the potatoes, diced, the herbs, parsley and red pepper, cut. Add the meat, salt, cayenne, add also dumplings made of the beef suet flour and salt, mixed, and made to a paste consistency with cold water. Roll in flour the dumplings, only 1/2 inch in diameter. Drop into soup and simmer five minutes more."
---Pennsylvania Dutch Cookery, J. George Frederick, 1935 facsimile Business Bourse edition [Favorite Recipes Press:Louisville KY] 1966 (p. 23)
"Pepper Pot Soup, Northumberland
1 soup bone
1 cup flour
1 small red pepper
1 teaspoon minced parsley celery tops, etc.
Cook the soup bone until tender and rich in broth. Remove the meat and dice it moderately fine. Meantime have ready a paste made of the flour mixed with some water, rolled out thin and dried a little. Cut this into small squares, which put into the broth and cook, together with a small hot red pepper, the parsley, celery tops, or other summer savory. Serve hot."
---ibid (p. 34)
"Philadelphia Pepper Pot
(This is an old Berks County favorite brought from the Quaker City many years ago)
2 pounds honeycomb tripe
2 bounds plain tripe
1 knuckle of veal
1 bunch pot herbs
4 medium-sized potatoes
1 large onion
1 bay leaf
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 cup beef suet, chopped fine
2 cups flour
Cook the tripe the day before using. Wash thoroughly, place in kettle and cover with water. Boil 8 hours. Remove the tripe. When cooled, cut into pieces about 1/2 inch square. The next day wash the veal knuckle, cover with 3 quarts of cold water and simmer about 3 hours, removing scum as it rises. Remove meat from bones and cut into small pieces. Strain the broth and return to kettle. Add the bay leaf and onion and simmer about 1 hour. Then add the potatoes, which have been cut in squares, and the pot herbs. Add the meat and tripe and season with salt the cayenne pepper (if desired). Make dumplings by combining the suet, flour, salt and enough water to permit rolling the dough into dumplings, about the size of marbles. Flour well to prevent sticking and drop into the hot soup. Cook about 10 minutes, add some chopped parsley and serve at once."
---Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes [Culinary Arts Press:Reading PA] 1936 (p. 19)
"Pepperpot soup (Jamaica)
1 pound shin of beef, cubed
1/2 pound corned beef or salt pork, cubed
2 quarts water
1 pound kale, or collard greens, chopped
1 pound callaloo, or spinach, or Chinese spinach, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 scallions, chopped green and white parts
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 fresh hot green pepper, chopped
1/2 pound yam, peeled and sliced
1/2 pound coco (taro) peeled and sliced
Salt, freshly ground pepper
1 dozen okras
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces small cooked shrimp
1 cup coconut milk
Put the meats on to cook in a large saucepan, or soup kettle with 6 cups of water. Simmer, covered for 1 hour. Put the kale and callaloo with 2 cups of water into another saucepan and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Rub the kale and callaloo through a sieve, or puree in an electric blender. The add, with all the liquid to the meats, together with the onion, garlic, scallions, thyme, pepper, yam, coco, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and simmer until the meats are tenders and the cocoo and yam are done. Slice the okras. heat the butter in a small frying pan and saute the okras until lightly browned. Add to the soup. Add the shrimp and the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Dumplins...may be added to the soup in the last 15 minutes of cooking, if liked. Serves 6 to 8."
---The Complete Book of Caribbean Cooking, Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz [M. Evans and Company:New York] 1973 (p. 75)
Pepper pot (stew)
"Pepper Pot Soup...should not be confused with pepperpot stew, containing cassareep, which comes originally from Guyana and has spread to Trinidad, Barbados and beyond."
---The Complete Book of Caribbean Cooking, Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz [M. Evans and Company:New York] 1973 (p. 75)
1 oxtail or tough fowl or duck, or any game in season
3 lb. fresh lean pork
1 lb. pickled pork
1 bunch thyme
1 lb. onions
2 heaped Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 to 1 gill (1/4 to 1/2 glass) casseripe
Clean and cut meat into small pieces. Put in a large canaree (casserole) and cover with plenty of water. Cover and simmer for 2 hr. Add peppers (tied in a net bag), thyme, sliced onions, sugar, and casseripe. Simmer again till meat is tender. Boil up every day to prevent food turning bad. Add fresh meat from time to time (the neat must be unseasoned, and nothing starch may be put in, or pepper pot will turn sour).
---West Indian Cookery, E. Phyllis Clark, published for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago [Thomas Nelson:London] 1945, 1967 (p. 85)
"Pepperpot (Trinidad, Barbados, St. Kitts)
This meat stew is a very ancient Amerindian dish from Guyana that has spread throughout the English-speaking Caribbean islands... The ingredient which gives the dish its distinctive character is cassareep, which the Guyanese pronounce cassarip. It is made by grating raw cassava and squeezing out the juice, which is then boiled down. When it begins to turn brown, it is flavoured with salt, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves and the boiling continued until the cassareep has the consistency of a thick, dark brown syrup. Some cooks add a little gravy-browning to get the rich colour needed. Commercially bottled cassareep can be bought in some West Indian markets. Cassareep keeps indefinitely, and the 'trash', the squeezed dry grated raw cassava can be used to make cassava bread, or biscuits. Cooked and drained, it can be adapted for the cassava in the Cuban dish, Brazo Gitano, a baked cassava roll with a corned beef filling. All sorts of stories are told about cassareep. It is said to be a meat tenderizer, and/or a preservative and since meats can be added to the pot daily there are stories of pepperpots keep going from generation to generation. It should not be confused with Jamaican pepperpot, which is a soup.
1 pound oxtail, cut into joints
1 calf's food, quartered
2 pounds lean pork or beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 stewing chicken, cut into serving pieces
1/2 pound salt beef
1/2 cup cassareep
2 or 3 hot peppers, tied in cheesecloth
Put all the ingredients into a large casserole or soup kettle with enough cold water to cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer gently until the meats and the chicken are tender and the sauce quite thick. Remove the hot peppers before serving. Serves 8 to 10. Serve with boiled rice."
---The Complete Book of Caribbean Cooking, Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz [M. Evans and Company:New York] 1973 (p. 185)
Another popular regional soup? Callaloo.
Creamy bisque-type shellfish soups descend from northern French culinary heritage. In the USA, crab soups connected with the South. Most notably: cities settled by the French. Think: South Carolina. Recipes for George Washington's Crab Soup surface in the late 19th century.
Our survey of historic American cookbooks returns several crab soup recipes. Most of then don't mention the sex of the crab. The also confirm female crabs were thought to be more tender than their mates. The crab's roe (eggs) provided a slightly sour taste and pinkish tint to the finished product. Recipes calling for "she-crabs" predate the actual recipe moniker. He-crab soup is the latest addition to this particular table. Possibly provoked by gender rivalry?
"She-crab soup. A soup made from blue crabs, crab roe, sherry, and vegetables. It is a specialty of Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, both of which claim credit for the dish's creation, probably at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The female crab's roe gives the soup a slightly sour, tangy flavor that marks it as distinct from other crab soups. State law, however, forbids taking she-crabs with mature eggs, so cooks often use male crabs and immature females and then add eggs from unfertilized females (which are allowed to be caught). Crumbled egg yolk is sometimes used to give the traditional orange color of the roe to the soup."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 292)
"A culinary icon of Charleston, South Carolina, she-crab soup was traditionally a rich combination of cream, crabmeat, roe (eggs), and a splash of sherry. The meat from a female crab is said to be sweeter, but it was the addition of her red-orange roe that created the dish's depth of flavor and beautiful pale color and resulted in the name "she-crab" soup. These days, roe is not harvested in an ecological effort to preserve the supply of crabs. Is it still she-crab soup if there's no roe? Yes-and no. The heart of the recipe remains the same. But when you can, try it made with roe, and savor every precious spoonful. You'll find some variations, but purists know the basic recipe is the true Southern tradition. Fresh crabmeat is essential. For all of you lucky enough to catch your own crabs, you'll need about a dozen. If you remove the shell of the female crab and discover what looks like a mass of tiny red-orange beads inside, you've struck gold-I mean roe. Remove it carefully; stir it into the soup with the crabmeat. (Note: Female crabs with roe on the outside must be returned to the water.) Whether your crabmeat is from crabs you caught yourself or from the super-market, enjoy a taste of the region."
---"She Crab Soup," Andria Scott Hurst, Southern Living, June 2003 (p. 220)
He Crab Soup?
Cookbooks do not include recipes for "He crab" soup. They only references we find are on the Internet. The recipe appears to be the same as she-crab soup.
Shore Style Crab Soup
Tomato-based (red) crab soup recipes are generally classifed as gumbo or "shore style."
American Crab soup recipes through time
"To Stew Crabs
Choose three or four Crabs, pick the Meat clean out of the body and claws, take care no spungy part be left among it or any of the Shell, put this clean meat into a stew pan, with a little white wine, some pepper and salt, and a little grated Nutmeg, heat all this, well together, and then put in some Crums of Bread, the yolks of two Eggs bet up and one Spoonfull of Vinegar. Stir all well together, make some toasted Sippets, lay them in a plate and pour in the crabs. Send it up hott."
---A Colonial Plantation Cookbook: The Receipt Book of Harriott Pinckney Horry, 1770, edited with an introduction by Richard J. Hooker [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 10)
Take the meat of two dozen boiled crabs, cut it small, and give it a boil in two quarts of milk. Season it with powdered mace, nutmeg, and a little cayenne, and thicken it with butter mixed in flour; or, make the flour and butter into little dumplings. Have ready half a dozen yolks of hard-boiled eggs, and crumble them into the soup just before you take it from the fire. Add the heart of a fresh green lettuce, cut small and strewed over the surface of the soup, after it is poured into the tureen."
---Miss Leslie's New Cookery Book, Eliza Leslie [T.B. Peterson:Philsadelphia] 1857 (p. 72-3)
4 c. milk
3 tb. butter
2 tb. flour
1 t. minced parsley
1 doz. crabs 1 tb. grated onions
1 t. salt
1/16 t. cayenne
Cook onion and butter unti onion is tender, add flour, salt and pepper and rub to a paste, which should be blended with 1/2 cup cold milk. Put 3 1/2 cups milk in kettle and allow to reach boiling point, add the minced crabs and boil in double boiler for 10 minutes. Add the binder (flour, butter and milk) 5 minutes before serving."
---Culinary Echoes From Dixie, Kate Brew Vaughn [McDonald Press:Cincinnati OH] 1914 (p. 15)
"The Crabman charges ten cents a dozen extra for 'she' crabs with the eggs in. The crab eggs are picked and put with the crab meat and give a delicious, glutinous quality to the soup which makes it very different from regular crab soup. 'She' Crab Soup belongs especially to the Rhett family and has been served by Mrs. Rhett for presidents and princes. It is prepared always now by Mrs. Rhett's able butter, William Deas, who is one of the great cooks of the world. It is impossible to get 'she' crab except in the laying season; and it is difficult to get it at any time except in places like New York where the markets have everything...
1 dozen she crabs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion
Black pepper and salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon flour
1 tablespoon sherry
Cook the crabs until tender--about twenty minutes in boiling, salted water. Pick the meat from the shells and put the crab meat with the crab eggs into a double boiler. Add the butter, onion and a little black pepper. Let simmer for five minutes. Heat the milk and add to the mixture. Stir together and add the cream and the Worcestershire sauce. Thicken with the flour, add the sherry and salt to taste. Cook over a low flame for one-half hour. Six servings.---William's Recipe."
---200 Years of Charleston Cooking, Recipes gathere by Blanche S. Rhett, introduction and explanatory matter by Helen Woodward [Random House:New York] revised edition, 1934
"She Crab Soup
1 dozen she crabs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon butter
1 small onion
black pepper and salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon flour
1 tablespoon sherry
Cook crabs until tender--about 20 minutes in boiling, salted water. Pick the meat from the shells and put the crab meat with the crab eggs into a double boiler. Add the butter, onion and a little black pepper. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Heat the milk and add to the mixture. Stir together and add the cream and the Worcestershire sauce. Thicken with the flour, add the sherry and salt to taste. Cook over a low flame for a few minutes. Serves 6.---Mrs. Marie A. Hamilton, Charleston County."
1 1/2 pounds crab meat
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
grated rind 1 lemon
1 quart rich milk
2 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 cup sherry
Mash eggs through strainer, blend with the butter and flour and grated rind. Add to scalded milk, and cook in the top of double boiler. When thick, add crab meat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add sherry just before serving.---Mrs. Louise Vickers, Beaufort County."
---The Souh Carolina Cook Book, Collected and edited by the South Carolina Extension Homemakers Council and the Clemson Extension Home Economics Staff, revised edition [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1954 (p. 199)
"Carolina or She Crab Soup
1 pint milk
4 blades whole mace
2 pieces lemon peel
1 pound white crab meat
1/2 stick butter
1 pint cream
1/4 cup cracker crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sherry
Put milk in top of double-boiler with mace and lemon peel and let simmer for a few minutes. Then add crab, butter, and cream and cook for 15 minutes. Thicken with cracker crumbs; season with salt and pepper and allow to stand on back of stove for a few minutes to bring out the flavor. Just before serving, add sherry. This same soup can be made with shrimp, which should be ground. Serves 6. (From Charleston Receipts.)"
---"Classic Charleston Cooking," Early American Homes, October 1998 (p. 41)
George Washington's Crab Soup?
From 1890--1930s we find recipes for George Washington's Crab Soup. Every recipe is unique. None offer headnotes regarding the Washington connection. There are no crab soup recipes in Martha Washington's Book of Cookery. Mrs. Washington provides a recipe for stewing, which might apply to crabs, though. Wondering? If this was President Washington's "go to" choice while on the road. We're still searching for print evidence.
"Gen. Washington's Soup
Boil and pick four dozen large hard crabs (equal to two cans). Boil them with half a pound of bacon, streak of lean and streak of fat; cut into small pieces in two gallons of water. Boil down to one gallon. Boil one gallon of sweet cream or rich milk, slightly thickened with four ounces of butter and a little flour. Add this to the soup while it is boiling, and just before it is served. Dress with balls of forcemeat and hard-boiled eggs, and season to the taste with salt and pepper."
---Warm Springs Receipt Book, E.T. Glover [B.F. Johnson Publishing:Richmond VA] 1897 (p. 20)
Martha Washington's Recipe
Fifteen crabs thrown alive into boiling water. Boil until done, then pick the meat up fine. Put into two quarts of water in which one pound of middling meat has been boiled until done. Heat one pint of rich milk, sand stir in the well-beaten yolks of two eggs. Pour into the boiling crab soup, but do not let it come to a boil any more. Cook five minutes. Season with salt and cayenne pepper, pour into hot tureen and serve."
---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride & Co.:New York] 1930(p. 9)
"Mrs. George Washington's Crab Soup
1 qt. milk
8 hard-shell crabs
2 hard-boiled eggs
grated peel of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup sherry
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper
Pick out the meat of the crabs, which have been boiled half an hour, and set aside until needed. Mash the hard-boiled eggs to a paste with a fork and add to them the butter, flour, grated lemon peel, and a little pepper. Bring the milk to a boil and pour it gradually onto the well-mixed paste of eggs, etc. Put over a low fire, add the crab meat, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cream and bring to the boiling-point again, then add sherry, salt, and Worcesterhire sauce. Heat sufficiently to serve, but do not boil after the sherry has been added. If picking the meat out of crabs is too much of an undertaking, the picked-out meat sold in tins may be used; half a pound of this will be enough."
---The National Cookbook: A Kitchen Americana, Sheila Hibben [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1932 (p. 71-2)
Related soup? Chowder.
Stracciatelle & zanzarelli
This delicate egg drop soup goes by different names in different regions. In Rome, it is called Stracciatelle (stracciatella). Food historians trace the genesis to 15th century recipes titled Zanzarelli. Pelligrino Artusi called it Paradise soup. Historic recipes, 15th-20th centuries, follow our general notes. Note: Stracciatelle can also mean chocolate chip ice cream.
"Stracciatelle is one of the many names --from the stracciatelle of Rome to the zanzarele of Veneto (recalling the zanzarelle of Martino in the 1460s), the sansarelis or cianciarelis of Fruiti (perhaps all linked to the word for rags, cenci), and the grattinato of Pisa (from grattare, to grate, nothing to do with gratin)--for a mixture of stale breadcrumbs, cheese, and eggs swirled into a boiling broth, creating ragged streaks in clear liquid."
---The Oxford Companion to Italian Food, Gillian Riley [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2007 (p. 515)
"That Martino's zanzarelli are a precursor to the modern-day stracciatella seems evident...The name of the dish is most probably a northern Italian pronunciation of the word ciancerelle, from the onomatopoeic ciance...meanting idle chatter, and by extension, when in verb form, from cianciare, 'to chew with difficulty' or 'to fiddle around.' The entry for ciancerelle in John Florio's posthumously revised Italian- English dictionary (1690) gives the following definition: 'also a kind of pottage made of herbs, eggs, cheese, and spices.' The name for the modern version of the dish, stracciatella, is a diminutive of the Italian straccio, meaning 'rag,' from stracciare, 'to rip,' which in turn comes from the spoken Latin extratiare, literally 'to pull off.' In Artusi's great nineteenth-century cookbook, this dis is called minestra del paradiso, or 'paradise soup,' because of its 'heavenly' streak."
---The Art of Cooking: The First Modern Cookery Book, Maestro Martino of Como, edited and with an introduction by Luigi Ballerini, translated and annotated by Jeremy Parzen with fifty modernized recipes by Stefania Barzini [University of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2005 (p. 64)
"The most Roman of soups is probably stracciatelle (little rags), which you may know as egg-drop soup; into hot consomme (in ascending order of goodness, vegetable, beef, chicken or beef-and-chicken) you drop, just before serving, a thin batter of eggs, flour, grated Parmesan cheese and grated lemon peel, which splits up into little tatters in the soup--hence its name."
---The Food of Italy, Waverly Root [Vintage Books:New York] 1971, 1977 (p. 87)
"Straccetti...Christmas lunch in the Marches region of Italy always begins with a delicate soup flavored with strands of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese bound together with egg yolks. It reminds Romans of stracciatella and natives of Modena and Bologna of soup with passatelli, although this version has a fine lemony flavor found nowhere else."
---Celebrating Italy: The Tastes and Traditions of Italy as Revealed Though its Feasts, Festivals, and Sumptuous Food, Carol Field [Harper Perennial:New York] 1990, 1997 (p. 262)
[NOTE: Recipe for Straccetti is offered in this book.]
"How to Make Zanzarelli
To make ten servings take eight eggs and a half a libra of grated cheese, and a grated loaf of bread, and mix together. Then take a pot of meat broth made yellow with saffrom and place over heat; and when it begins to boil, pour the mixture into the pot and stir with a spoon. When the dish has begun to thicken, remove from heat and serve in bowls, topped with spices.
Do as above, but do not add the saffron, using instead the herbs used in the above--mentioned green broth.
"How to Make Zanzarelli Dumplings
To make white, green, or yellow zanzarelli dumplings, prepare the mixture as described above for the desired color, but make it thicker; and when the broth begins to boil, shape the mixture into dumplings as big as fava beans using a small spoon; and drop them into the broth one by one.
"How to make White Zanzarelli
To prepare the white zanzarelli, take a little almond milk and grated white bread, and some egg whites, and mix them together with some good meat broth, or better yet, fatty pullet broth in a pot with a little almond milk. Then cook as above."
---The Art of Cooking: The First Modern Cookery Book, Maestro Martino of Como, edited and with an introduction by Luigi Ballerini, translated and annotated by Jeremy Parzen with fifty modernized recipes by Stefania Barzini [University of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2005 (p. 64)
[NOTE: Modernized recipe appears on p. 151.]
"22. Giusello or Zancarelli
To make ten servings of this Giusello, get eight fresh eggs and half a pound of grated cheese and one loaf of bread, grated, and mix all this together; then get a pot of meat broth, set it on the fire and, when it begins to boil, put this mixture into it and stir it with a spoon, adding a little saffron; and when you see it thickening, take it off the fire and dish it up, with spices on top [and mixed in.].
---Cuoco Napoletano: The Neapolitan Recipe Collection (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS Buhler, 19), a critical edition and English translation by Terence Scully [University of Michigan Press:Ann Arbor MI] 2000 (p. 179)
"Book II, No. 182: To prepare a thick soup of called cianciarelle
Beat twelve eggs with a pound of flour, pepper, cinnamon and saffron, and put all that through a strainer into a pot where a fat broth is boiling. When it is cooked, serve it hot with cheese, sugar and cinnamon over top. Onto the mixture you can also put grated cheese."
---The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi, L'arte et prudenza d'un maestro Cuoco, translated with commentary by Terence Scully, 1570 edition [University of Toronto Press:Toronto] 2008 (p. 232)
"Minestra del Paradiso (Paradise Soup)
Beat four egg white stiff, then blend in the yolks. Add four not very full tablespoons of fine bread crumbs made from dry bread, and equal amount of Parmesan cheese, and a hit of nutmeg. Stir the mixture gently so that it remains fluffy, and drop it by small spoonfuls into boiling broth. Allow it to boil for seven or eight minutes and send it to the table. These amounts serve six people."
---Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, Pellegrino Artusi, translated by Murtha Baca and Stephen Saratelli, introduction by Lorenza de Medici [Marsilio Publishers:New York] 1997 (p. 48)
Grate three dry rolls and beat into them two eggs; then pour slowly into three pints boiling stock and continue to stir until the egg-crumb mixture has the appearance of barley. Let boiled a few minutes and serve with a grating of nutmeg."
---The Economy Administration Cook Book, Susie Root Rhodes and Grace Porter Hopkins editors [W.B. Conkey Co.:Hammond IN] 1913 (p. 587)
[NOTE: Recipes in this book were solicited from wives and daughters of Congressmen, ambassadors and high ranking US government officials. They reflect distinct global culinary exposure not generally found in an "average middle class" cookbook. This particular recipe is not credited to a particular person.]
"Soup of Paradise
This is a substantial and delicious dish, but as for its heavenly quality, that seems a little far-fetched to me. Beat up four whites of eggs and add the yolks to them, four tablespoonfuls of hard finely-grated bread and four spoonfuls of grated parmesan cheese. Flavor all with nutmeg. Mix slowly so that the compound will remain soft and pour it, one spoonful at a time, into boiling soup. Let it boil for seven or eight minutes, and serve. The above quantity is sufficient for six people."
---Italian Cook Book, adopted form the Italian of Pellegrino Artusi by Olga Ragusa, third edition [S.F. Vanni:New York] 1945 (p. 19)
1 quart beef or chicken broth or bouillon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons semolina
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Combine eggs, salt, semolina, cheese and 3 tablespoons cook broth in mixing bowl and beat with fork 5 minutes. Bring rest of broth to boiling point and add egg mixture slowly, stirring constantly. Continue stirring while soup simmers 5 minutes. Serves 4."
---The Talisman Italian Cook Book, Ada Boni, translated and augmented by Matilde Pei [Crown Publishers:New York] 1950, 1955 (p. 12)
"Stracciatella/broth with beaten egg
Stracciatella is translated literally as 'torn to rags,' because when eggs, flavored with cheese and nutmeg, are beaten and dropped into boiling broth, they shred as they cook. Raggedy is certainly the way they look. Classic stracciatella is made with a chicken-beef broth...as fat-free as possible. To achieve the same taste using canned broths, the proportion should be 1 1/2 quarts of chicken broth to 1/2 quart of beef broth. There are a number of versions of this soup, and the second most commonly found uses bread crumbs instead of flour, but we find the results less delightful. For an even lighter soup, leave out the flour entirely.
1 tablespoon flour
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 quarts chicken-beef broth
Beat the eggs well, adding the flour and half the Parmesan cheese and a dash of nutmeg as you beat. Bring the broth to a boil, add the beaten eggs, stirring constantly with a wire whisk for half a minute or so to make sure all the eggs have been cooked by the broth. Remove from the heat, pour into a soup tureen, and if the eggs tend to cling together again, whisk once more. Serve with a sprinkle of the remaining cheese on each dish."
---The Romagnolis' Table: Italian Family Recipes, Margaret and G. Franco Romagnoli [Atlantic Monthly Press Book:Boston] 1975 (p. 55-56)
Compare with: Avgolemono.
Turtle meat was highly prized by English diners from the 18th century forward. This exotic meat was the focal point of for wealthy feasts. Preparations were complicated; presentations were exquisite. Early recipes were served in the orginal shell. Mock turtle soup, substituting calve's heads for the title meat, surface shortly thereafter. Advertised as tasting like the "real thing," mock versions were readily consumed by middle class persons on both sides of the pond. Canned turtle soups (regular & mock) were introduced in the last quarter of the 19th century.
"The earliest recipes for dressing sea turtle were given by Richard Bradley (1732), and ascribed by him to a Barbados lady. ..He did not mention turtle soup, but this soon became a standard feature of English cookery books; it appeared, for example in the 4th edition (1751) of Hannah Glasse's famous book, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. Turtle soup, prepared from the calipee (flipper meat) was elevated in the 19th century to become a 'must' for civic banquets and suchlike occasions; and, since it was difficult and expensive to make, recipes for Mock Turtle soup, of which first seems to have been in Hannah Glasse's 6th edition (1758), became increasingly frequent."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 711)
"An innovation in the middle years of the eighteenth century was turtle soup. At that time it was discovered that West Indian green turtles, siad to be far superior to the other local varieties in wholesomeness and rareness fo taste, could survive the shipboard journey to England if kept in tanks of fresh water. With them came recipes for cooking them 'in West India fashion', to furnish the feasts of the wealthy. A turtle of sixty or a hundred pounds was large enough to provide a whole first course in itself. Its belly and back were boiled and baked respectively, and laid out at the top and bottom of the table, the fins and guts were strewed in rich sauces to provide corner dishes, while a tureen of turtle soup, made from the head and lights, had the place of honour in the centre. Only a few people could aspire to turtle dinners; but mock turtle made its appearance in the cookery books almost as soon as the genuine article."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago IL] 1991 (p. 225)
"Perhaps the most appreciated soup was turtle. The green sea turtle, so named because of its greenish fat, has been consumed for several hundred years and was once a major source of fresh food for exploring Europeans and pirates. Pliny write about cave-dwellers who ate turtle flesh although they worshipped the turtle. Throughout the 1600s and beyond, seafarers caught he great turtles and kept them on ships until they were killed and cooked...Turtle soup's virtue was that it did not 'cloy.' or produce ill effects, no matter the quantity eaten, even though it was often richly spiced...Isabella Beeton later pronounced turtle soup 'the most expensive soup brought to the table,' and advised that when live turtle was too dear [costly], many cooks used tinned turtle meat."
---Soup Through the Ages: A Culinary History with Period Recipes, Victoria R. Rumble [McFarland& Company:Jefferson NC] 2009 (p. 112-113)
"Turtles were found in abundance in the New World, and they were eaten from the beginning of European settlement. Terrapin turtles were particularly prized. Female turtles, or cow turtles, were treasured for the meat. The male, or bull turtles, had little value and were generally used for making soup. As turtle meat used in soup making was bland, it was usually spiced with red pepper. Turtles were easy to transport long distances and were held in pens until sold. Prior to the Civil War, they were so plentiful as to be considered slave food in the South. In the North, turtle meat and turtle soup were prized. The French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin enjoyed turtle soup in New York City during his stay in America in the 1790s. From the earliest American cookbooks, directions for making turtle soup were included. For instance, the longest and most complicated recipe in Amelia Simmon's American Cookery (1796) is for dressing turtles. She also includes a simpler recipe for preparing calf's head in the fashion of a turtle. Randolph's Virginia House-wife includes directions for making turtle soup...Turtle soup was difficult to prepare at home. As soon as turtles were killed, they had to be cooked. Because many turtles were extremely large, frequently weighing three hundred pounds, they were sold to cafes, taverns, and restaurants that had a high volume of business."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 464-5)
Turtle soup recipes
"To dress a turtle the West Indian way
Take the turtle out of the water the night before you intend to dress it, and lay it on its back, in the morning cut its throat or the head off, and let it bleed well; then cut off the fins, scald, scale and trim them with the head, then raise the callepy (which is the belly or under-shell) clean off, leaving ot it as much meat as you conveniently can; then take for the back-shell all the meat and intrails, excpet the monsieur, which is the fat, and looks green, that must be baked to and with the shell; wash all clean with salt and water, and cut into pieces of moderate size, taking from it the bones, and put them with the find and head in a soop-pot, with a gallon of water, some salt, and two blades of mace. When it boils skim it clean then put in a bunch of thyme, parsley, savoury and young onions, and your veal part, except about one pound and a half, which must be made force-meat of as for Scotch collops, adding a little Cayan pepper; when the veal has boiled in the soop about an hour, take it out and cut it in pieces and put to the other part. The guts (which is reckoned the best part) must be split ovpen, scraped and made clean, and cut as the other parts, the size you think proper; then put them with the guts and other parts, except the liver, with half a pound of good fresh butter, a few shalots, a bunch of thyme, parsley, and a little savoury, seasoned with salt, white pepper, mace, three or four cloves beaten, a little Cayan pepper, and take care not to put too much then let it stew about half an hour over a good charcoal fire, ane put in a pint and a half of Madeira wine and as much of the broth as will cover it, and let it stew until tender. It will take four or five hours doing. When almost enough, skim it, and thicken it with flour, mixt with some veal broth, about the thickness of a fricasey. Let your force-meat balls be fried about the size of a walnut, and be stewed about half an hour with the rest; if any eggs, let thembe boiled and cleaned as you do knots of pullets eggs; and if none, get twelve or fouteen yolks of hard eggs: then put the stew (which is the callepash) into the back-shell, with the eggs all over, and put it into the oven to brown, or do it with a salamander. The callepy must be slashed in several places, and moderately seasoned, with pieces of butter, mixt with chopped thyme, parsley and young onions, with salt, white pepper and mace beaten, and a little Cayan pepper; put a piece on each slash and then some over, and a dust of flour; then bake it in a tin of iron dripping-pan, in a brisk oven. The backhesll (which is called the callepash) must be seasoned as the callepy, and baked in a dripping-pan, set upright, with four brickbats, or any thing else. An hour and a half will bake it, which must be done before the stew is put in. The fins, when boiled very tender, to be taken out of the soop, and put into a stew-pan, with some good veal gravy, not high-coloured, a little Madeira wine, seasoned and thickend as the callepash, and served in a dish by itself. The veal part may be made fiandos, or Scotch collops of. The liver should never be stewed with the callepahs, but always drest by itself, after any manner you like; except you separate the lights and heart from the callepash, and then always serve then together in one dish. Take care to strain the soop, and serve it in a tureen, or clean china bowl. Dishes. A Calleply, Lights, &c.--Soop-- Fins, Callepash. N.B. In the West Indies they generally souse the fins, and eat them cold, omit the liver, and only send to table the callepy, and soup. This is for a turtle about sixty pounds weight."
---The Art of Cooking Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse, "Additions, as printed in the Fifth Edition," [Prospect Books: Devon] 1995 (p. 167)
[1847: South Carolina]
Take the whole of the turtle out of its shell; cut it in pieces, that it may be more easily scalded. Throw these pieces, with the fins, into the pot, and when scalded, take off the coarse skin of the fins and lay them aside to make another dish. The thick skin of the stomach must also be take off; under it lies the fat, or what is termed the citron. Thus prepared, it is ready for making the soup. Take a leg of beef, and boil it to a gravy, cut up the turtle in small pieces, throw them into the pot with the beef, and add as much water as will cover the whole about two inches. Let it boil slowly for about three hours. The seasoning and the citron should be put in when the soup is half done. To two quarts and a half of soup (which will fill a large tureen,) add half an ounce of mace, a desert-spoonful of allspice, a tea-spoonful of cloves, and salt and pepper, black and cayanne, to your taste. Tie up a bunch of parsley, thyme, and onions, and throw them into the soup while boiling; when nearly done, thicken with two table-spoonfuls of flour. To give it a good color, take about a table-spoonful of brown sugar and burn it; when sufficiently burnt, add a wine-glass of water. Of this coloring, put about two table-spoonfuls in the soup, and just before serving, throw in half a pint of Madeira wine."
---The Carolina Housewife, Sarah Rutledge, originally published in 1847 [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1979 (p. 39-40)
Turtle Soup, Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management (recipe 189)
Green Turtle Soup, Sanderson's Complete Cook
Green Turtle Soup, Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book...canned turtle meat
Turtle soup recipes (2), La Cuisine Creole
Melokhia is a meat and vegetable soup possibly dating to the ancient Egyptians. Recipes vary through time and family. The primary ingredient, melokhia (aka Jew's Mallow) is the culinary connector.
"Melokia is one of Egypt's national dishes. It is an ancient peasant soup, the making of which is believed to be portrayed in Pharaonic tomb paintings. The medieval melokhia seems to have been a little richer, incorporating fried ground meat and chicken balls. Today, only a few families add these. This soup has the quantities of the Egyptian peasant: his timelessness and his harmony with nature, the seasons, and the soil....Peasant women prepare this soup almost daily...Melohkia has recently acquired a symbolic and patriotic importance in Egypt, for it represents the national, popular taste as opposed to the more snobbish and cosmopolitan taste of the old regime. Most families have their own special way of preparing it and the proportions vary according to the financial means, position, and preferences of the people who make it. Here is a traditional recipe:
7-10 cups chicken, rabbit, goose, duck or meat stock
Salt and black pepper
2 ls. fresh melokhia or 1/4 lb. dried melokhia leaves
2-3 cloves garlic
2 1/2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 tablespoon ground coriander
Cayenne pepper. To make the stock: boil a whole chicken or rabbit half a goose a duck or a piece of lamb, beef or veal (I suggest knuckle of beef or veal) for 2 to 3 hours, removing scum from time to time. Season with salt and pepper. You can do this before you cook the soup. Remove the bird or piece of meat, bone it if necessary, and discard the bones. If you are using fresh leaves, cut off the stalks. Wash and drain the leaves, and spread them out on a cloth to dry. With a mezzaluna chopper or whatever chopping knife you are used to chop the leaves on a board until almost reduced to a puree. If you are using dried melokhia, crush the leaves with your hands into a large bowl or use an electric blender, and our a little hot water over them. Let them swell until doubled in bulk sprinkling with a little more water if necessary. (If the leaves are not brittle enough to be crushed, try drying them out by putting them scattered over a large baking sheet, in a turned-off hot oven for 5 minutes). Stain the stock into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the prepared melokhia leaves and stir well. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes if fresh, and 20 to 30 minutes if fried leaves have been used. Prepare the taklia (garlic sauce). Crush the garlic with a little salt, using more or less garlic as you prefer. Fry it in butter or oil (in Egypt samna, a clarified butter, is used). When the garlic is golden brown, add the coriander and a good pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly to a paste and fry a little longer. Add this preparation to the soup, cover the pan tightly, and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the leaves from falling to the bottom, and do not overcook for the same reason. The melokhia should stay suspended throughout the stock. Taste and adjust the seasoning. This can be served on its own first as a soup then accompanied by plain rice (which can be cooked in some of the stock), and finally with pieces of the meat used for making the stock. Cut into serving pieces and reheated. I like to make a richer stock by adding 2 leeks 2 turnips, 2 tomatoes, skinned and quartered, 1 onion, and a clove of garlic at the start. When the stock has cooked for a few hours, remove the vegetables together with the meat and proceed as described above."
---A Book of Middle Eastern Food, Claudia Roden [Vintage Books:New York] 1968, 1972 (p. 111-114)
Mock Turtle soup
Cheaper than the "real thing" but just as complicated to prepare. Victorian era cookbooks typically offer several recipes for mock turtle soup. They substituted inexpensive/obtainable calf's heads. It was no accident Alice met the Mock Turtle. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Lewis Carroll]. Mock Turtle's "Beautiful Soup" song captured contemporary socio-economic issues using a popular culinary context. Brilliant. Commercial mock turtle soups surfaced in the USA in 1882. Imitation mock turtle (vegetarian alternative) surfaces 5 years later.
"Mock Turtle Soup.
Take a calve's head with the skin on and scald it in the following maner. Put it in some cold water, beat some rosin fine, and rub all over it; then put it in scalding weater, and keep turning it about till you find the hair will slip off; then take it out, and as quick as you clean off all the hair, and wash it well after, put it into a pot and boil it half an hour; then take off all the skin close to the bone and cut the tongue out and peel it, take an break the bones to all pieces and put them into a soup-pot, with a shin of beef cut into pieces with two gallons of water; when it boils skim it well, and put in some allspice, six onions, a carrot, two turnips, four leeks, six hjeads of cellery, washed well, and a bundle of sweet herbs; stew it gently for four hours, then strain it into a pan: in the mean time cut your skin into square pieces, about an inch long, put them into a soup-pot with the soup, chop twelve shallots fine, tie up a large bundle of basil, marjoram, winter savory and thyme, twelve cloves, six blades of mace, twelve corns of all-spice beat very fine, put all these in and stew it till tender; mix a bottle of Madeira wine with four large spoonfuls of flour very smooth and put in, but be sure to stir it well about; season it high with Vayenne pepper and salt, take out the sweet herbs, and squeeze the liquor out between two plates in the soup, and stew it half and hour; then put in two dozen of forcemeant balls and two dozen egg balls, and squeeze in two lemons; boil it up for two or three minutes, then serve it in tureens."
---The New Art of Cookery According to the Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R. Campbell and B. Johnson:Philadelphia PA] 1792 (p. 25-26)
"Calf's Head, or Mock Turtle.
(1) Parboil a calf's head, take off the skin and cut it in bits about an inch and a half square, cut the flesh parts in bits, take out the black part of the eyes, and cut the rest in rings, skin the tongue, and cut it in slices, add it all to three quarts of good stock, and season it with cayenne, two or three blades of mace, salt, the pepper of half a lemon, and half a pint of white wine, with about a dozen forcemeat balls; stew all this an hour and a half, rub down with a little cold water, two table-spoonfuls of flour, mix well amongst it half a pint of the soup, and then stir it into the pot; put in the juice of half a large lemon, and the hard-boiled yolks of eight eggs; let it simmer for ten minutes, and then put it all in the tureen."
---The Cook's Own Book, Mrs. N. M. K. Lee, facsimile 1832 edition [Arno Press:New York] 1972 (p. 202)
[NOTE: This book offers three Mock Turtle Soup recipes in all.]
"Mock Turtle or Calf's Head Soup
This soup will require eight hours to prepare. Take a large calf's head, and having cleaned, washed, and soaked it, put it into a pot with a knuckle of veal, and the hock of a ham, or a few slices of bacon; but previously cut off and reserve enough of the veal to make two dozen small force-meat balls. Put the head and the other meat into as much water as will cover it very well, so that it may not be necessary to replenish it: this soup being always made very rich. Let it boil slowly four hours, skimming it carefully. As soon as no more scum rises, put in six potatoes, and three turnips, all sliced thin; with equal proportions of parsley, sweet marjoram, and sweet basil, chopped fine; and pepper and salt to your taste. An hour before you send the meat to table, make about two dozen small force-meat balls of minced veal and beef-suet in equal quantities, seasoned with pepper and salt; sweet herbs, grated lemon-peel, and powdered nutmeg and mace. Add some beaten yolk of egg to make all these ingredients stick together. Flour the balls very well, and fry them in butter. Before you put them into the soup, take out the head, and the other meat. Cut the meat from the head in small pieces, and return it to the soup. When the soup is nearly done, stir in half a pint of Madeira. Have ready at least a dozen egg-balls made of the yolks of hard boiled eggs, grated or pounded in a mortar, and mixed with a little flour and sufficient raw yolk of egg to bind them. Make them up into the form and size of boy's marbles. Throw them into the soup at the last, and also squeeze in the juice of a lemon. Let it get another slow boil, and then put it into the tureen. We omit a receipt for real turtle soup, as when that very expensive, complicated, and difficult dish is prepared in a private family, it is advisable to hire a first-rate cook for the express purpose. an easy way is to get it ready made, in any quantity you please, from a turtle soup house."
---Directions for Cookery, Eliza Leslie
Turtle Soup, Mock (another way).
Take a half a calf's head, a quarter of a pound of butter, a quarter of a pound lf lean ham, two table-spoonfuls of minced paresley, a little minced lemon thyme, a little sweet marjoram and basil, two onions, a few chopped mushrooms, two shallots, two table-spoonfuls of flour, one dozen and a half forcemeat balls about the size of a nutmeg, cayenne and salt to suit your taste, the juice on one lemon, a Seville orange, one dessert-spoonful of pounded sugar, and three quarts best stock."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Peter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 1020)
[NOTE: This book offers eleven different Mock Turtle Soup recipes. Some are made with alternate heads: cow, pig and knuckle of veal. This suggests the recipe was extremly popular at the time of publication.]
"Mock Turtle Soup
1 calf's head and 2 feet
2 veal cutlets
1 pt. browned flour
A little savory, thyme and marjoram
5 eggs boiled hard
A few spices
2 wineglasses port or sherry.
One calf's head and two feet; boil in plenty of water until the bones draw out. Boil two veal cutlets in the same water until tender for forecemeat balls. To the liquor then put brown flour, onions cut in thin slices and fired in butter with salt, pepper, and spices. Before skimming the soup put in savory, marjoram and thyme. Chop with the veal for balls a very little spice. Take the pieces of cheek which boil off the head and cut in little squares and add to soup. Boil four or five eggs hard. Chop the whites and put yolks whole in the soup. When you serve the soup put in wine to taste, port or sherry, say two wineglasses, and slices of lemon, or squeeze and stir the juice in."
---The American Home Cook Book, Grace E. Denison [Barse & Hopkins:New York] 1913 (p. 20)
"Mock Turtle Soup
2 cans condensed mock turtle soup, undiluted
1 1/2 c. cold water
1 beef bouillon cube
4 whole cloves
1/4 c. light cream (optional)
2 teasp. Worchetershire sauce
2 shelled hard-cooked eggs
4 or 5 tablesp. sherry
4 or 5 thin slices lemon
Combine first 4 ingredients, cover, and simmer for 10 min. Add cream and Worcestershire and reheat. Press hard-cooked eggs through a sieve and divide among the serving bowls, adding the sherry (1 or 2 tablesp. to a portion). Strain the soup over the egg and sherry stir, and float on it a slice of lemon garnished wtih a clove and a dash of paprika. Serves 4-5."
---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Completely Revised Edition [Farrar & Rinehart:New York] 1944(p. 147)
Commercial turtle/mock turtle soups
"By 1882 canned turtle soup was regularly sold in grocery stores."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 464-5)
The earliest print reference we find for turtle soups manufactured by the Campbell Soup company is from 1890. These were produced under the Franco-American label, owned by Campbell. There were three choices: Terrapin, Green Turtle and Mock Turtle. Our research confirms the Mock Turtle product remained available until about the 1930s. An article from the mid-1950s indicates an attempt to revive the product. The effort failed. Turtle Soup (mock & otherwise) took its place on the pantry shelf of history.
"Within five years of its first five soups, the Joseph Campbell's Company had expanded its line to include twenty-one varieties. (It is not clear what was magical about the number twenty-one, but despite occasional additions and subtractions, for the next thirty years the company manufactured exactly that number of soups). The initial repertoire of Campbell's Soups would probably have pleased Escoffier. (All, with the exception of Mock Turtle and Pepper Pot, are included in his famous 1904 cookbook A Guide to the Fine Art of French Cuisine.) When advertised, these first soups were usually listed alphabetically: Asparagus, Beef, Bouillon, Celery, Chicken, Chicken Gumbo, Clam Bouillon, Clam Chowder, Consomme, Julienne, Mock Turtle, Mulligatawny, Mutton, Oxtail, Pea, Pepper Pot, Printanier, Tomato, Tomato Okra, Vegetable, Vermicelli-Tomato...Mock Turtle seems to have been created to make up for the unavailability in many parts of the country of the real thing: ocean-going terrapin"
---America's Favorite Food: The Story of Campbell Soup Company, historical text by Douglas Collins [Harry N. Abrams:New York]1994 (p. 65-66, 69)
"Franco American Food Company's French Soups...Mock Turtle...Green Turtle...Terrapin."
---display ad, Lowell Sun [Lowell, MA], May 10, 1890 (p. 10)
"Franco American...Green Turtle...Terrapin...Mock Turtle..."
---display ad, The State [Columbia, SC]. May 28, 1897 (p. 8) [note: soups were sold in quart cans] 
"Campbells...21 kinds 10c a can...Mock Turtle."
---display ad, New York Times, November 11, 1909 (p. 6)
"We specially recommend it to you--Campbell's Mock Turtle Soup. With a light dinner, a company luncheon or supper, or with any family meal which is not too hearty, you will find this one of the most satisfying soups you could name. It is thick and very nourishing; made of white calves-heads meat, daintily spiced, and combined with vegetables and spices in a rich beef stock which is blended with whole-tomato puree and flavoed with a dry Spanish sherry specially imported by us."
---display ad, Los Angeles Times, September 23, 1913 (p. II5) 
"How many have you tried as Campbell's makes them now?...Mock Turtle."
---display ad, New York Times, February 20, 1938 (p. 139)
"Campbell borrowed an old Philadelphia recipe for a snapper turtle soup that is prepared in a frozen, concentrated form. About 35 cents for a ten and a quarter ounce tin in many stores, the soup combined the meat of the snapper turtle with beef stock, tomatoes, sherry and several vegetables."--- "Food: Best Among Year's Products," June Owen, New York Times, December 26, 1956 (p. 30)
[NOTE: Campbell's Soup Company confirms they discontinued Mock Turtle Soup in 1955.]
Imitation mock turtle?
Begs the question: "Does imitation mock produce original product?" The answer (in this case) is no.
"A very palatable imitation mock turtle soup is made out of the ordinary black bean."
---"Gastronomical Tidbits," Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette [IA], December 23, 1887 (p. 25)
"Imitation Mock Turtle Soup. One quart of black beans, boiled in 5 quarts of water with a small joint of veal or beef. When the beans are thoroughly done, put them in a colander and mash well. Return all the pulp to the soup kettle, and add cloves and spcie to your taste, one silver skin onion chopped fine, one lemon sliced thin, one teacup of sweet pickle vinegar, and one large wineglass of sherry. Boil fully 6 hours. E.B.J."
---Tidewater Virginia Cook Book: A Collection of Good, Reliable Recipes, Reid Memorial Association of Norfolk VA. [landmark Publishing Co."Norfolk VA] 1891 (p. 8)
Most food historians generally attribute the creation of this cold soup to Louis Diat, Chef at the Ritz-Carleton in New York in 1917. There are, however, some conflicting facts that make this story interesting. Was Mr. Diat the first to make French-style cream of leek and potato soup? Culinary evidence suggests not. Recipe 696 in Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire (1907) provides instructions for Puree Parmentier. Jules Gouffe's Royal Cookery Book ( 1869) contains a recipe for Potato and Leek Soup. The difference? Escoffier's and Gouffe's soups were served hot. Mr. Diat's Vichyssoise was served cold. If there is a connection to Vichy (beyond the name) it has not been preserved for posterity.
"Vichyssiose a chilled potato and leek cream soup created by a French chef, Louis Diat, in New York early in the 20th century. Of those who identify 1917 as the year of its creation, none gives chapter and verse. Hofler gives as the first occurrence in print in French a reference in an issue of La Revue culinaire of 1923, where the dish is identified as an item of American cuisine."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 826)
"Vichyssoise was created by Chef Louis Diat at the Ritz in New York City. In American Food (1975) Evan Jones said the soup was first served in 1910, while The American Heritage Cookbook (1980) adds, "[The soup] was served for the first time to Charles Schwab, the steel magnate" for the opening of the hotel's roof garden. But there are several things wrong with these assertions: Diat did come to work at the Ritz-Carleton sometime in 1910, but the restaurant did not open until December 14 of that year, and this was not the roof-garden restaurant in any case....the menu for that opening night's meal was listed in The New York Times the next day; the soup served was a turtle soup, not leek and potato...Diat himself remarked, in his book Louis Diat's Cookbook (1946), that "one of my earliest food memories is of my mother's good Leek and Potato soup...When I first came to this country I actually couldn't find any [leeks]. I finally persuaded one of my vegetable suppliers to find someone who would grow leeks for me." It is unlikely that Diat found someone to grow leeks quickly enough to have them in time for the opening in 1910...Curiously enough, Diat does not mention his famous soup by name in his 1946 cookbook...Elizabeth David...in her French Provincial Cooking (1960), gave, without comment, the date 1917 as the year of the soup's creation."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 340)
Mr. Gouffe's recipe, circa 1869
"Potato and Leek Soup
Trim and was 3 good-sized leeks, say 4 oz., as above;
Fry, moisten, and season as for leek soup;
Add 1/4 lb. Of good mealy potatoes, peeled, and washed, and cut in large pieces;
Boil gently, till the potatoes are done to a puree;
Add: 1 oz. Of bread, cut in thin slices; and 1 1/2 oz. of fresh butter;
Stir up, till the butter is melted; and serve."
--- The Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, and Marston:London] 1869 (p. 40)
Mr. Diat's recipe, circa 1941
"Cream Vichyssoise Glacee
4 leeks, white part
1 medium onion
2 ounces sweet butter
5 medium potatoes
1 quart water of chicken broth
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups milk
2 cups medium cream
1 cup heavy cream
Finely slice the white part of the leeks and the onion, and brown very lightly in the sweet butter, then add the potatoes, also sliced finely. Add water or broth and salt. Boil from 25 to 40 minutes. Crush and rub through a fine strainer. Return to fire and add 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of medium cream. Season to taste and bring to a boil. Cool and then rub through a very fine strainer. When soup is cold, add the heavy cream. Chill thoroughly before serving. Finely chopped chives may be added when serving."
---Cooking A La Ritz, Louis Diat [J.B. Lippincott:New York] 1941 (p. 68)
[NOTE: this book has another recipe for Cream of Leek and Potato (Potage Parmentier), p. 69
About Cold soup; Gazpacho & Fruit Soup.
Food historians tell us mulligatawny soup is an Anglo-Indian recipe originating in 18th century India. The Oxford English Dictionary records the first print reference as 1784. Mulligatawny soup recipe was introduced throughout the British Empire, including the American colonies. Pepper Pot soup, of West Indian origin, appears to be a related recipe.
"Mulligatawny. This hot spicy soup first entered British cuisine at the end of the eighteenth century; it had found favour with employees of the East India Company on station in the subcontinent, and when they returned home they brought it with them--although the soup it has evolved into in British hands, heavily dependent on commercial curry powder, bears little resemblance to its aromatic South Indian original. The name comes from Tamil milakutanni, a compound of milaku pepper' and tanni, water'. It standardly includes meat of meat stock, but Eliza Acton gives a vegetarian version made from marrows, cucumbers, and apples or tomatoes. In the early nineteenth century the word, or its abbreviation mull, was used in Anglo-Indian slang for members of the government service in Madras..."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 220)
"Mulligatawny soup is an ingenious adaptation necessitated by the British requirement for soup as a separate course, a concept unknown to India...Hobson-Jobson explains the etymology: The corruption of the Tamil milagu-tannir, "pepper-water"; showing the correctness of the popular belief which ascribes the origin of this excellent article to Madras.' ..The simple concept of pepper water was greatly elaborated in some recipes for mulligatawny (which might call for a score of ingredients) but the basic prescription was always for some chicken or mutton, fried onion, curry powder, and stock or water."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 20)
"[Milligatawny] may be described as a cock-a-leekie without the leeks and the prunes, but with rice instead, and with spices, which are of the curry class."
---Kettner's Book of the Table, E.S. Dallas, facimile 1877 edition [Centaur Press:London] 1968 (p. 306)
"Among the low-caste poor of southern India it was a common practice to add to their pepper water a tiny salt fish known as karavat, but naturally it never occurred to the predominatly vegetatrian Hindus of southern India to beef up the soup with meat stock and add small pieces of meat to the finished product. When the British came along and did just that, mulligatawny soup was born. The name of this most celebrated of Anglo-Indian dishes is a corruption of two Tamil words, milagu and tunni, meaning simply 'pepper water.' The dish evolved in the Madras Presidency. Its composition resembles a Madras curry and one some formal memus of British India we find the soup translated into French as potage de Madras. The residents of Madras were even nicknamed 'Mulls' after their famous creation. Mulligatawny became popular with army officers, who carried it in flasks on expeditions in the hills as fortification against the cold. At its simplest, milligatawny consists of little more than meat, onions, curry powder and stock or water...In the early nineteenth century retired East India Company merchants sparked off a fashion for mulligatawny back in England. Inevitably, the soup began to take on the stamp of the English kitchen: apple was substituted for mango juice of Indian recipes, and the freshly ground spice mixtures repaced by curry powder. Indeed, the recipe was originally dubbed 'curry soup', as the inimitable Dr Kitchiner indicates in The Cooks Oracle in 1817...A measure of its popularity was the appearance on the market, about the middle of the century, of tins of 'mulligatawny paste'--condiments to be mixed with meat stock, garlic and onions. All the great cookery writers of the period gave their own recipes: Eliza Acton, in her Modern Cookery for Private Families, included a meatless version with marrow, cucumber and apple while Mrs Beeton replaced the coconut with ground almonds. Alexis Soyer, the celebrated chef at the Reform Club, concocted a Frenchified version which bore very little relation to the original, incorporating hame, thyme and apple, while Escoffier's was virtually unmanagable. In general, it is the Anglo-Indian variations which remain the most interesting. There also appeared on menus a clear mulligatawny, also known as consomme mulligatawny or, in the rather contrived French of Victorian menus in India, as consomme a l'Indienne."
---The Raj at Table, David Burton [Faber and Faber:London] 1993, 1994 (p. 94-97)
"Mulligatawny. Literally, pepper water (milagu-thannir) in tamil; this was the rasam of south India, which was adopted with such modifications as the addition of meat stock as a soup by the colonial. A British prisoner of Hyder Ali in AD 1784 sang mournfully; "In vain our hard fate we repine, In vain our fortunes we rail; On Mullighy-tawny we dine, On Conjee, in Bangalore jail." In fact the colonials who lived in Madras were derisively referred to as Mulls..."
---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford Unviversity Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 166)
Mulligatawny Soup recipes through time
"Curry, or Mallaga-tawny Soup.--(No. 249)
Cut four pounds of breast of veal into pieces, about two inches by one; put the trimmings into a stew-pan with two quarts of water, with twelve corns of black pepper, and the same of allspice; when it boils, skim it clean, and let it boil an hour and a half, then strain it off; while it is boiling, fry of a nice brown in butter the bits of veal and four onions; when they are done, put the broth to them; put it on the fire; when it boils, skim it clean; let it simmer half an hour; then mix two spoonfuls of curry, and the same of flour, with a little cold water and a tea-spoonful of salt; add these to the soup, and simmer it gently till the veal is quite tender, and it is ready; or bone a couple of fowls or rabbits, and stew then in the manner directed above fo the veal, and you may put in a bruised eschalot, and some mace and ginger, instead of black pepper and allspice."
---The Cook's Oracle and House Keeper's Manual, William Kitchiner, facsimile 1830 edition [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] (p. 222-223)
Boil slowly in two quarts of water one pound of split peas, half an ounce of butter, two onions sliced, a little salt, cayenne, and two blads of mace. When the peas are tender, put in a large fowl, cut in joints and skinned, two quarts of boiling water, or stock, if the soup be required very rich; twnety imnutes before serving, add a large spoonful of curry-powder, and the same of ground rice." (p. 117)
(1) Put half a pound of fresh butter, with six large onions sliced, three cloves of garlic, some chopped parsley, and sweet marjoram, into a stewpan, let it stew over a slow fire till of a light brown color; cut in small pices five pounds of lean beef, and let that stw till the gravy be extracted, and then put in three quarts of boiing water, and half a pound of Scotch barley, and let it simmer four hours very slowly; mix four tablesponfuls of curry-powder with cold water, and add it to the stock; take out the beef, and rub the barley thorugh a sieve, to thicken the soup. Cut a fowl in joints, skin it, and put it in a stewpan with the piece of butter, and let it stew till quite tender; the stewpan must be kept closely covered; this to be added to the soup, the last thing, with a pint of boiling milk and the juice of two lemons. Boiled rice must always be served with this soup.
(2) Make a strong stock of the bones of roasted beef, mutton, and fowl; while it is preparing, put into a stewpan, with six ounces of butter, three quarts of sliced turnip, two quarts of carrots, and eight large onions also sliced; let them stew upon the stove till tender; then add three quarts of the prepared sock, a large slice of the crumb of bread, and two table-spoonfuls of curry-powder; let them stew four or five hours; strain it thorugh a tammy cloth, with two wooden spoons, taking care that no bones be eft amongst the vegetables; if too thick to go through, add more stock. Then cut a fowl in pieces, fry it in a frying-pan with butter, and add it to the soup. after it has boiled a little, draw it to the side of the stove, and let it simmer, that the grease may be taken off. A little good beef stock, in addition to that made of the bones will be an improvement. it is sometimes thickeined with white or ground rice, instead of bread, and ought to be made upon a stove."
---The Cook's Own Book: Being a Complete Culinary Encyclopedia, Mrs. N. K. M. Lee, facsimile 1832 edition [Arno Press:New York] 1972 (p. 206)
Slice, and fry gently in some good butter three or four large onions, and when they are of a fine equal amber-colour lift them out with a slice and put them into a deep stewpot, or large thick saucepan; throw a little more butter into the pan, and then brown lightly in it a young rabbit, or the prime joints of two, or a fowl cut down small, and floured. When the meat is sufficently browned, lay it upon the onions, pour gradually to them a wquart of good boiling stock, and stew it gently from three quarters of an hour to an hour; then take it out, and pass the stock and onions thorugh a fine sieve or strainer. Add to them two pints and a half more of stock, pour the whole into a clean pan, and when it boils stir to it two tablespoonsful of currie-powder mixed with nearly as much of browned flour, and a little cold water or broth, put in the meat, and simmer it for twenty minutes or longer should it not be perfectly tender, add the juice of a small lemon just before it is dished, serve it very hot, and send boiled rice to table with it. Part of a pickled mango cut into strips about the size of large straws, is sometimes served in this soup, after being stewed in it for a few minutes; a little of the picle itslef should be added with it. We have given here the sort of receipt commonly used in England for mullagatawny, but a much finer soup may be made by departing from it in some respects. The onions, of which the proportion may be increased or diminished to the taste, after being fried slowly and with care, that no part would be overdone, may be stewed for an hour in the first quart of stock with three or four ounces of grated cocoa-nut, which will impart a rich mellow flavour to the whole. After all of this that can be rubbed through th sieve has been added to as much more stock as will be required for the soup, and the currie-po0wder and thickening have been boiled in it for twenty minutes, the flesh part of a calf's head, prefious stewed almost tender, and cut as for mock turtle, with a sweetbread also parboiled or stewed in broth, and divided into inch-squares, will make and admirable mullagatawny, if simmered in the stock until they have take the flavour of the currie-seasoning. The flesh of a coupe of calve's feet, with a sweetbread or two, may, when more convenient, be substituted for the head. A large cupful of thick cream, first mixed and boiled with a teaspoonful of flour or arrow-root to prevent its circling, and stirred into the soup before the lemon-juice, will enrich and improve it much.
Rabbit, `1 or the best joints of, 2, or fowl, 1; large onions, 4 to 6; stock, 1 quart; 3/4 to 1 hour; 1/2 pints more of stock; currie powder, 2 heaping tablespoonsful, with 2 of browned flour; meat and all simmered together 20 minutes or more; juice of lemon, 1 cmall; or part of pickled mango stewed in the soup 3 to 4 minutes." (p. 48-49)
"A Good Vegetable Mullagatawny.
Dissolve in a large stewpan or thick iron saucepan, four ounces of butter, and when it is on the point of browning, throw in four large mild onions sliced, thre pounds weight of young vegetable marrow cut in large dice and clared from the skin and seeds, four larbe or six moderate-sizced cucumbers, pared, split, and emptied likewise of their seeds, and from three to six large acid apples, according to the taste; shake the pan often, and stew these over a gentle fire until they are tolerably tender; then strew lightly over the mix well amongst them, three heaped tablespoonsful of mild currie powder, with nearly a third as much of salt, and let the vegetables stew form twenty to thirty minutes longer; then pour to them gradually sufficient boiling water (broth or stock if preferred) to just cover them, and when they are reduced almost to a pulp press the whole through a hair-sieve with a wooden spoon,and heat it in a clean stewpan, with as much additional liquid as will make two wquarts with that which was first added. Give any flavouring that may be needed, whether of salt, cayenne or acid and serve the soup extremely hot. Should any butter appear on the surface, let it be carefully skimmed off, or stir in a small dessertspoonful of arrow-root (smoothly mixed with a little cold broth or water) to absorb it. Rice may be served with this soup, at pleasure, but as it is of the consistence of winter peas soup, it scarcely requires any addition. The currie powder may be altogether omitted for variety, and the whole converted into a plain vegetable potage; or it may be rendered one of high savour, by browning all the vegetables lightly, and adding them to rich brown stock. Tomatas, when in season, may be substituted for apples, after being divided, and freed from their seeds.
Butter, 4 oz; vegetable marrow, pared and scooped, 3 lbs.; large mild onions, 4; large cucumbers, 4; or middling-sized, 6; apples, or large tomatas, 3 to 6; 30 to 40 minutes. Mild currie-powder, 3 heaped tablespoonsful; salt, one small tablespoonful; 20 to 32 minutes. Water, broth, or good stock, 2 quarts." (p. 50) ---Modern Cookery of Private Families, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1845 edition with an Introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1993
Take two chickens, cut them up small, as if for fricassee, flour them well, put them in a saucepan with four onions shred, a piece of clarified fat, pepper, salt, and two table spoonsful of curry powder; let it simmer for an hour, then add three quarts of strong beef gravy, and let it continue simmering for another hour; before sent to the table the juice of a lemon should be stirred in it; some persons approve of a little rice being boiled with the stock, and a pinch of saffron is also sometimes added."
Take a knuckle of veal, stew it till half done, then cut off the greatest part of the meat, and continue to stew down the bone in the stock, the meat must be cut into small pieces and fried with six onions thinly sliced, and a table spoonful of curry powder, a desert spoonful of cayenne pepper and salt, ad the stock and let the whole gently simmer for nearly an hour, flavouring it with a little Harvey's sauce and lemon pickle."
---The Jewish Manual, edited by a Lady [Judith Montefiore], facsimle 1846 edition [NightinGale Books:New York] 1983 (p. 4-5)
As Made in India.
Take a quarter of an ounce of China turmeric, the thrid of an ounce of cassia, thre drachms of black pepper, two drachams of cayenne pepper, and an ounce of coriander seeds. Thee must all be pounded fine in a mortar, and well mixed and sifted. They will bame a sufficient curry powder for the following quantity of soup: Take two large fowls, or three pounds of lean of veal. Cut the flesh entirely from the bones in small pieces, and put it into a stew-pan with two quarts of water. Let it boil slowly for half an hour, skimming it well. Prepare four large onions, minced and fried in two ounces of butter. Add to them the curry powder, and moisten the whole with broth from the stew-pan, mixed with a little rice flour. When thoroughly mixed, stir the seasoning into the soup, and simmer it till it is as smooth and thick as cream, and till the chicken or veal is perfectly tender. Then stir into it the juice of a lemon; and five minutes after take up the soup, with the meat in it, and serve it in the tureen. Send to table separately, boiled rice on a hot-water dish to keep it warm The rice is to be put into the plates of soup by those who eat it. To boil rice for this soup in the East India fashion:-- Pick and wash half a pound in warm water. Put it into a saucepan. Pour two quarts of boiling water over it, and cover the pan closely. Set it in a warm place by the fire, to cook gradually in the hot water. In an hour pour off all the water, and setting the pan on hot coals, stir up and toss the rice with a fork, so as to separate the grains, and to dry without hardening it. Do not use a spoon, as that will not loosen the grains sufficiently."
---Directions for Cookery in Its Various Branches, Miss [Eliza] Leslie [Carey & Hart:Philadelphia] 1849 (p. 29-30)
"198. Mulligatawny Soup.
Cut up a knuckle of veal, which put into a stewpan, with a piece of butter, half a pound of lean ham, a carrot, a turnip, three onions, and six apples, add half a pint of water; set the stewpan over a sharp fire, moving the meat round occasionally, let remain until the bottom of the stewpan is covered with a brownish glaze, then add three tablespoonfuls of curry powder, one of curry paste, and half a pound of flour, stir well in, and fill the stewpan with a gallon of water; add a spoonful of salt, the half of one of sugar, when b0iling, place it at the corner of the fire, and let it simmer two hours and a half, skimming off all the fat as it rises, then pass it through a tammy into a tureen; trim some of the pieces of veal, and put it back in the stewpan to boil, and serve with plain boiled rice separate. Ox-tails or pieces of rabbits, chickens, &c., left from a previous dinner may be served in it instead of the veal. The veal is exceedingly good to eat."
---The Modern Housewife or Menagere, Alexis Soyer, edited by an American Hosuekeeper [D. Appleton& Company:New York] 1850 (p. 85)
Take four or five cloves of garlic, slice them very fine, and put them into a stewpan, with a quarter of a pound of butter. Take two chickens, or a rabbit, a fowl, some beef, or mutton, and cut them as for fricassee; season with a little white pepper; lay the meat upon to onions; cover the stewpan closely, and let it simmer for half an hour. Having prepared the following ingredients well ground or pounded in a mortar, add them with two quarts of clear gravy, and let it summer for half an hour, adding during the last five minutes, the juice of a lime with a little flour or arrowroot."
---Indian Domestic Cookery and Receipt Book, R. Riddell, facsimile 1860 edition, Madras India (p. 74)
[NOTE: This book offers three additional Mulligatawney soup recipes; two for fowl and one for pea-fowl.]
Ingredients.--2 tablespoonfuls of curry powder, 6 onions, 1 clove of garlic, 1 oz. of pounded almonds, a little lemon-pickle, or mango-juice, to taste; 1 fowl or rabbit, 4 slices of lean bacon; 2 quarts of medium stock, or, if wanted very good, best stock. Mode.--Slice and fry the onions of a nice colour; line the stewpan with the bacon; cut up the rabbit or fowl into small joints, and slightly brown them; put in the fried onions, the garlic, and sotck, and simmer gently till the meat is tender; skim very carefully, and when the meat is done, rub the curry powder to a smooth batter; add it to thes oup with the almonds, which must be first pounded with a little of the stock. Put in seasoning and lemon-pickle or mango-juice to taste, and serve boiled rice with it.
Time.--2 hours. Average cost, 1s. 6d. per quart, with [medium] stock.
Seasonable in winter. Sufficient for 8 persons.
Note.--This soup can also be made with breast of veal, or calf's head. Vegetable Mullagatawny is made with veal stock, by boiling and pulping chopped vegetable marrow, cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes, and seasoning with curry powder and cayenne. Nice pieces of meat, good curry powder, and strong stock, are necessary to make this soup good."
---Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, Isabella Beeton, facsimile 1861 edition [Oxford University Press:Oxford], ] edited with an introduction and notes by Nicola Humble 2000 (p. 90)
This is soup of any kind flavoured with curry powder. It is highly stimulating, gives tone and vigor to the digestive organs, and is frequently accetable in very hot or very cold climates. Nevertheless we do not recommend its frequent use, though it may occasionally be resorted to on festive occasions. When made in India, the curry powder is largely mixed with coriander, cassia, cayenne pepper, black and white pepper, curmeric [turmeric], garlic mixed with lemon-acid or sour apples, mangoes, tamarinds, or other acidulous fruit; but it is now needless to prepare and mix all these ingredients, as a large or small botttle of well-purposed curries, to suit and palate, may be purchased at any oilman's store. If a clain curry or mullagatawny soup is preferred, mix the powder with equal quantity of browned flour and a little cold stock or broth, which may be put in with the meat of the soup hlaf an hour before serving. Soft meats, flow., &c., may be wholly stewed in this curry stock, though the finer sorts of curries will not admit this, mangoes, tamarineds, &c., taking only a few minutes; but the exprienced cook will readily distinguish and determine on such additions. With a plain curry there should be a flavouring of lemon-acid just before serving. It is almost impossible to devine precisely what should be the several ingredients of the more complex curries--the cook must study the likings of the guests-- some do not like coriander-seed, others dislike garlic; cassis in some cases is disagreeable; though, when all those ingredients are carefully proportioned with just sufficient cayenne to stimulate, it should be found a most enjoyable soup. The housekeeper will readily understand that any good stock soup may be converted into mullagatawny or curry soup, but as it usually occupies considerable space in every cookery-book, we add a few examples, pointing from the simple soup above mentioned to more expensive dishes." (p. 430)
"Indian Mullagatawny Soup.
For this favourite Indian soup take a couple of chickens, a large fowl, a knuckle of veal, or a calf's head, with the trimmings, bones, and gristles of the breast of veal. Make a good strong stock; this must be carefully attended to. Cut the meat in pieces--mouthfuls-- or the fouwl into small joints, and simmer gently in about half a gallon of water. Fry six midle-sized onions and a couple of cloves of garlic shred fine, in two ounces of butter. Pound and mix well together an ouince of coriander seed, a quarter of an ounce each of chives, turmeric, and cassia, two drachms of cayenne, and rather more of black pepper. Put these ingredients with two large spoonfuls of rice flour into a basin, mix them with some of the broth the meat has been boiled in, and strain to the rest. Simmer until the soup is aobut the thickness of cream. Before taking it off the fire add the juice of a lemon to flavour it. Some people use sour apples or other acids in mullagatawny, but the lemon-juice is preferable. Serve the meat in the soup and boiled rice separately; cut lwmons on a plate. Time, simmer from two to three hours. Probable cost, 2s. per quart. Sufficient for eight persons." (p. 326)
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875
[NOTE: This book also offers Mullagatawny Soup recipes for Calf's Head, Fowl, Household, Rabbit, and Vegetable.]
Slice three onions and fry them without colouring in 1 unit of butter. Add one apple, cut into slices, and let it dissolve over a low fire. The mix in 1 unit of curry powder and flour, ad 40 of medium stock, and simmer for an hour. Pass through a sieve, and serve with any remains of cold poultry cut into slices and warmed in the soup. Rice, and lemons in slices, to be handed with it."
---The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook, F. A. Steel and G. Gardiner, facsimile 4th edition published by William Heinemann, 1898 [Oxford University Press:Oxford] edited with an introduction and notes by Ralph Crane and Anna Johnston, 2010 (p. 237)
[NOTE: This recipe appears under the heading "Thickened Soups."]
Three quarts of stock, 1 rabbit, a chicken, 2 large onions, 1 large green apple, 2 tablespoonfuls curry powder, 1 cup of cream or good milk, 1 large tabelspoonful of butter, 1 tablespoonful flour, few drops of lemon juice, 1 teasp[oonful ginger, pepper, salt, and a good pinch of cayenne pepper, boiled rice to serve with it. Disjoint the rabbit or chicken, and fry in a little of the butter; quickly add the apple, onions, curry powder, and stir over the fire about five minutes with an iron spoon; add the stock, allow to simmer gently about one hour, remove meat from soup, take out bones, and cut the meat into neat pieces for serving in the soup. Rub the soup thorugh a sieve, return with a tablesppnful of butter to a saucepan. Mix in a tablespoonful of flour, then add the soup that has been rubbed through. When boiling add the cream carefully off the fire, the sugar, salt to taste, pepper, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Put the meat or chicken, or rabbing in the soup tureen, pour hot soup over, and serve nicely boiled rice with this soup."
---The Schauer Cookery Book, Misses A. and M. Schauer [Edwards, Dunlop & Co. Ltd.:Brisbane] 1909 (p. 92)
1 Onion. 1 1.2 oz, Butter.
1 large Cooking Apple.
1 tablespoofful Dessicated Cocoa-nut.
1 large tablespoonful Creme-de-riz.
1 small tablespoon Curry Powder.
1 teaspoonful Curry Paste.
1 tablespoonful Chutney.
1 1/2 pints Stock.
1 saltspoonful Salt.
Utensils--Knife, stewpan, basin, hair sieve, saucepan, wooden spoon, measuring spoons, pint measure.
Peel the onion and the apple, and chop them finely. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the chopped onion and apple, and fry until they are a golden brown. Mix the creme-de-riz, the curry powder, and curry paste with a little cold stock. Add these to the onion and apple, and cook together for another 10 minutes. The add the remainder of the stock, also the chutney, and desiccated cocoanut and the salt. Bring to the boil, and continue boiling for 1/2 hour. Then rub it all through a fine hair sieve. Rinse out the saucepan, pour the soup back into it, and return to the fire until it boils. It is then ready to serve. Plainly boiled rice, dished on a hot plate lined with a lace paper d'oyley, and sprinkled with coralline pepper, can be handed with the soup."
---Cookery Illustrated and Household Management, Elizabeth Craig [Oldhams Press Limited:London] 1936 (p. 115)
"Mulligatawny and Curry Soups
The curry soups vary considerably in the degree of spiciness, but they should not, for the normal palate, be over-peppery--certianly not so pepper as a curry itself may be. Some of theme may be quite bland in seasoning, tasting of nuts and spices and agreeable to the most sensitive palate. If you like cooking and like spices you will not be satisfiled with having just a tin of curry-pwoder and one of paste in your store-room, but you will have, as mentioned in the curry chapter, the individual spices which together make the generally accepted curry-powder; and you will certainly have desiccated nuts of some kind, preferably coco-nut and almonds. There are three distinct types of mulligatawny; it can be in the form of
(b) gravy broth
(c) thick soup
The base of the first is a good bouillon or stock, and the flavouring is imparted to it by the infusion in it by whole spices. The following recipe calls for beef bouillon, but Mulligatawny Maigre, which is not the real thing, may be made exactly the same way, using vegetable stock.
3 pints well-flavoured beef bouillon (see page 119)
1/2 lb. minced gravy beef
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons good Madeira
Spices for infusing
1/2 oz. each of coriander and cardamon
1/4 oz. each of cumin seed and fenugreek
1 clove garlic
thinly peeled rind of 1 lemon
3 oz. rice
1/4 oz. butter
a little turmeric
quarters of lemon
Bruise of pound lightly the spices and garlic, and put together with lemon rind and bay-leaf into a muslin bag tied tightly at the neck so that they cannot escape. Put the bag into the bouillon; bring to boil and keep at simmering-point until the liquid is well flavoured with spices. This takes from 40 minutes to an hour. Remove the bag; allow the bouillon to cool, and clarify in the following manner. Put the minced beef into an enamel or tin-lined pan, add whites whipped to a froth and the bouillon. Whisk over moderate heat until it boils. Then stop whisking and allow the liquid to boil up. Draw aside and set on very low heat for half an hour. Strain carefully through a we cloth, season, add Madeira, and reheat without allowing soup to boil. Hard boiled rice, mixed with butter and coloured lightly with the addition of a little turmeric, and also quarters of lemon."
---Constance Spry Cookery Book, Constance Spry & Rosemary Hume [J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd:London] 1956 (p. 109-110)
[NOTE: This book also offers two recipes for Thick Mulligatawny and one for Thin Mulligatawny or Gravy Broth.]
pease porridge (aka peas pottage). New England baked beans was another popular early American combination.
What are "navy" beans?
"Navy bean is the American name for the small white haricot bean, the bean used for baked beans. It presumably arose from the bean having formed an important element in the navy's shipboard diet."
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 225)
"Navy bean. Also called 'pea bean' or 'beautiful bean.' The navy bean is one of several varieties of kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). The name comes from the fact that it has been a standard food of the United States Navy since at least 1856."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 216)
"Beans have...long been associated with navies, as the name navy bean suggests. They were probably the food the crew was forced to endure once the fresh food ran out. Once the beans themselves were gone that would have been the end, and the saying in French 'la find des haricots' meaning the absolute end of everything may derive from this recognition...It might seem off that beans would find a place where fuel would be a precious resource and cooking time would have to be kept to a minimum. But according to Pablo Perez-Mallaina, beans (chickpeas mostly at first) were a regular provision on Spanish ships crossing the Atlantic from the earliest voyages. The brisk stoves would be kept on the lower deck away from wind and set in sand to prevent anything from catching on fire. And with plenty of time, there was little problem with soaking the beans. A typical week's rations for a sailor on the US Navy in 1799 would include 7 pounds of bread in the form of hard tack, 2 pounds of pickled beef, 3 of pork, 1 of salt fish, and one and a half pints of peas or beans, plus potatoes, turnips and the daily half pint of rum. The term navy bean comes from the fact that since the mid-nineteenth century, they were issued regularly to US warships...For similar reasons, beans made an ideal army food."
---Beans: A History, Ken Albala [Berg:New York] 2007 (p. 169-170)
[NOTE: this is be BEST source for learning the history of beans; includes recipes. Ask your librarian to help you obtain a copy.]
About navy bean soup
Bean soups are ancient. American bean soups made with specifically with navy beans surface in the the mid-nineteenth century. The earliest print American reference we have for a recipe titled "navy bean soup" was published in the Dubuque Daily Herald [IA]. October 6. 1900 (p. 8): "It is easy to imagine these old weatherbeaten sailors strolling along the wharves of Albany relating their naval adventures. And how they fought with Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay...And how they swapped their navy bean soup for the luscious fruits of the Indies."
Serving forth this historic survey of (navy) bean soup recipes:
To make Peas Pottage. Take a quart of white peas, a piece of neckbeef, and four quarts of fair water; boil them till they are all to pieces, ands train them thro' a colander; then take a handful or two of spinach, a top or two of young colworts [cabbage], and a very small leek; shred the herbs a little, and put them into a frying pan or stew pan, with three quarters of a pound of fresh butter, but the butter must be very hot before you put in your herbs; let them fry a little while, then put in your liquor, and two or three anchovies, some salt and pepper to your taste, a sprig of mint rubb'd in small, and let it all boil together till you think it is thick enough; then have in readiness some forc'd meat, and make three or fourscore balls, about the bigness of large peas, fry them brown, and put them in the dish you serve it in, and fry some thin slices of bacon, put some in the dish, and some on the rim of the dish, with scalded spinach: fry some toasts after the balls are brown and hard, and break them into the dish; then pour your pottage over all, and serve to the table."
---The Compleat Housewife, Eliza Smith, facsimile 1753 London editon [T. J. Press:London] 1968 (p. 30-31)
Get a quart of peas, boil them in two gtallons of water till they are tender; then have ready a piece of salt pork or bef, which has been lain in water the night before, put it into the pot, with two large onions peeled, a bundle of sweet herbs, cellery if you have it, half a quarter of an ounce of whole pepper; let it boil till the meat is enough, then take it up, and if the soup is not enough, let it boil till the soup is good; then strain it, set it on again to boil, and rub in a good deal of dry mint. Keep the meat hot. When the soup is ready, put in the meat again for a few minutes, and let it boil; then serve it away. If you add a piece of the portable soup it will be very good."
---The New Art of Cookery According to the Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R Campbell, and B. Johnson:Philadelphia] 1792 (p. 426-427) [NOTE: this recipe appears in the chapted titled "Directions for Seafaring Men"]
"Potage Puree with Dry Beans, Lentils, or Peas.--
Soak in lukewarm water a quart of dry beans, lentils, or peas, drain and ptu them in a crockery kettle, with two leeks, half a head of of celery, two middling sized onions, one carrot, two cloves, salt, and pepper, half a pound of bacon, or four ounces of butter; cover entirely with cold broth, set on the fire and boil gently till the whole is well cooked; then take from the fire, throw away the cloves, and put the bacon aside, mash the beans and seasonings, strain them, and put back in the kettle with the broth in which they have been cooked; in case there should not be enough to cover the whole, add a little to it, set again on the fire, stir, give one boil, pour on croutons and serve."
---What to Eat and How to Cook It, Pierre Blot [D. Appleton:New York] 1863 (p. 37)
Senate Bean Soup (made with navy beans)
"Navy Bean Soup.
Cook together a cup of beans and a slice of onion; add five cups of water and simmer until the bean may be put through a sieve. Season and serve with the addition of butter."
---"Vegetarian Dishes," Postville Review [IA], April 12, 1912 (p. 3)
"Navy Bean Soup
One slice raw ham (about 1/2 pound), three-fourth cupful finely chopped onion, three quarts boiling water, one pound navy beans, one and one-half teaspoonfuls salt, pepper, bit of red pepper, bit of bay leaf, one tall can evaporated milk. Cut ham in small bits. Cook slowly in soup kettle to try out fat, then add onion and continue cooking five minutes. Add boiling water and the beans that have been soaked several hours and drained. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper and by leaf and boil gently three to four hours. Add milk just before serving. Yield, three and one-fourth quarts."
---"Requested Recipes," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, January 9, 1933 (p. A6)
"Navy Bean Soup. Soak a pound of navy beans over night. Put on to boil Saturday morning with three quarts of water and one-fourth pound lean bacon, a small onion with two cloves stuck in it, one carrot cut in strips and one or two stalks celery cut small. Cook slowly until the beans are broken up and nearly dissolved then take out the bacon and put the rest through a sieve, forcing as much of the vegetable as possible. Thicken soup with two tablespoons butter and two tablespoons flour. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain again and after cooling keep in a cold place until wanted, then reheat, strain and serve with croutons and a little sweet cucumber pickles."
---"Bud's Little Girl Cooks," Chicago Defender, October 12, 1935 (p. 17)
[NOTE: If you know who "Bud" is please fill us in.]
Navy Bean Soup
(Yield: Approx. 6 gallons. Portion: 1 cup (approx. 8 ounces)
Beans, Navy, dried: 3 1/4 quarts
Water, cold: to cover
Ham Stock: 5 gallons
Onions, chopped: 1 1/2 pints
Ham bones: 8
Cloves, whole: 1 teaspoon
Flour: 1 pint
Water, cold: 1 quart
Pepper: 2 teaspoons
Salt, if needed: 1/2 cup.
Pick over, wash and soak beans, in water to cover, 2 to 3 hours. Add ham stock, onions, bones and cloves. Heat to boiling temperature. Let simmer 2 to 3 hours. Remove bones. Blend together flour and water to a smooth paste. Stir into soup. Add pepper, and salt if needed. Reheat to boiling temperature."
---The Cook Book of the United States Navy, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, NAVSANDA Publication No. 7 [revised 1944] (p. 225)
[NOTE: recipe variation for "Bean Soup with Tomatoes" included.]
Navy bean soup, U.S. Navy
"Bean soup is almost a staple with Navy cooks at sea or on shore bases. each Year bean shippers of Michigan sponsor a contest to find the best bean soup recipe in the Navy. First prize this year went to J.T. Ventura aboard the destroyer escort McGinty based in Portland, Ore....
"SS McGinty Navy Bean Soup
1 1/2 cup dried navy beans
5 1/2 cups water
4 oz. pork sausage, diced
3 tablespoons grated carrot
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 cup canned tomato soup (undiluted)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant mashed potato
1 cup water
1 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
Combine beans, 5 1/2 cups water, sausage, carrot, onion and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 2 hr. Let cool 1 hr., then drain, saving liquid. Grind or mash bean mixture and add to bean liquid with tomato soup, salt, pepper, potato granules mixed with 1 cup water and monosodium glutamate. Cook over low heat 30 min., stirring now and then. Makes 8 to 10 servings"
---"Prize Recipes: Navy Bean Soup Wins Landlubbers' Kudos," Los Angeles Times, January 11, 1962 (p. A7)
"Navy Bean Soup
1 beef bone
1 1/2 qt. water
1/2 lb. white beans
1 cup diced ham
1 med. onion, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. monosodium glutamate.
Combine beef bone and water, bring to a boil and simmer 20 min. Add beans and simmer 1 hr. Add ham, onion, salt, pepper and monosodium glutamate and simmer 1 hr. longer, or until beans are tender. (Add a little more water if soup becomes too thick.) Makes 8 servings."
---"Chow Shapes Up for Men Who Ship Out," Rose Dosti, Los Angeles Times, June 2, 1966 (p. G3)
The first recipes for Pocket soup (aka "veal glue," "portable soup," "quick soup," or "cake soup") appear in cookbooks shortly after the publication of Denys Papin's 1681 scholarly treatise on steam cooking A New Digester or Engine for Softening Bones. High-pressured steam cooking efficiently reduced meat products to concentrated gelatinous forms of various textures. Arguably, Veal Glue and Portable Soup are the progenitors of today's gravy starters. Pocket soup withstood additional processing, rendering a hard substance similar to today's bouillon cube. The end results were lightweight, portable, easily reconsituted, nutritious, and filling. Not so very different from today's "add water" commercial food products.
Late 17th-early 18th century homes were not physics laboratories. Forward thinking cook book authors somehow found a way to achieve similar results with common household items. Early pocket soup recipes were time consuming and complicated, suggesting it was not commonly made at homne or found in family pantries. Lewis & Clark were famous for stocking mass quantities of commercial pocket soup to ensure their expedition crew would not starve. By the mid-nineteenth century, scientific advances (dehydration) and industrialization permitted the mass production of several foods based on pocket soup. Meat biscuits, dessicated vegetables were produced in factories and provided to Union Civil War soldiers. Knorr marketed dried soups to the general public in the 1870s.
"With the vogue [late 17th century] for thin soup based on chicken or veal broth came a new invention. Its earliest name was 'veal glue', and it was the forerunner of the bouillon cube. Strong veal stock was slowly stewed for many hours, strained and simmered again, allowed to set, scrapted free of sediment, and then gently cooked...It was a great deal of work for such a small output. But veal glue, its name later changed to 'pocket' or 'portable' soup, continued in demand all through the eighteenth century. Jam or beef or sweet herbs were now often boiled with the veal, to give a tastier flavour."
---Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 (p. 224)
a product which achieved some prominence in 18th-century English cookery books, was a precursor (and a relatively sophisticated and refined one) of 19th century Meat Extracts and 20th-century stock cubes....Hannah Glasse (1747) gave two recipes, one lifted from an earlier work...Both state that a piece of the 'Glew' the size of a walnut is enough for a pint of water. The second recipe, listing the various dishes and ways in which it can be used, could be translated without great difficulty into tips on use' to be printed on a modern stock cube or 'instant soup' packet. Portable soup in its original form survived, at least in recipe books, into the 19th century. How many travellers actually carried it around in their pockets or in little tin boxes, as recommended, is a question which seems unlikely ever to receive a satisfactory answer."
---Oxford Compantion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 625)
How did they make pocket soup?
"To Make Veal Glew
Take a Leg of Veal & when ye [the] fat is cut clean off, make a very strong broth of it & strain it thro a fine sieve that it may be clear. When this is done ot ye broth into a bread flat stew pan that will hold it all, & set it on a high Chaffindish of Charkcoal, & stir it continually about that it may neither burn nor boyle ye whole time 'tis on ye fire, which must be about seven hours. After you set it by in your pan for a day or two, then put it out & scrape off the settlement if any. Put ye clean jelly into a China Dish & into a China Dish & place it in a Stewpan of hot Water, placing it on a Chaffin of Charkcoal; then ye hot water in ye pan must be kept boyling, till by ye steam ye jelly grow of a Glewish substance, which it will do in two or three yours.--Your may know when it is done enough by putting a Little by to be cold, & if 'twill cut like a soft cheese it is as it could be.--Put it into little sweetmeat pots till it is quite cold; then you may take it out & wrap it in flanell & afterward in paper & it will keep many years.--A piece ye bigness of a Nutmeg will make half a pint of broth. The whole Leg of Veal, unless very large, will not make on make a piece of Glew gibber than your hand. It is made into broth by pouring hot Wate of it."
---The Receipt Book of Mrs. Ann Blenowe, facsimile 1694, introduction by George Satinsbury, preferace by Leander W. Smith [Polyanthos:Cottonport LA] 1972 (p. 23)
"To make Pocket Soop.
Take a Leg of Veal, strip off all the Skin and Fat, then take all the muscular or fleshy Parts clean from the BOnes. Boil this Flesh in three or four Gallons of Water till it comes to a strong Jelly, and that the Meat is good for nothing. Be sure to keep the Pot close covered, and not do too fast; take a little out in a Spoon now and then, and when you find it is a good rich Jelly, strain it through a Sieve into a clean earth Pan. When it is cold, take off all the Skim and Fat, strain it through a Sieve into a clean earthen Pan. When it is cold, take off all the Skim and Fat from the Top, then provide a large deep Stew-pan with Water boiling over a Stove, then take some deep China-cups, or well glazed Earthen Ware, and fill theses Cups with the Jelly, which you must take clear from the Settling at the Bottom, and set them in the Stew-pan of Water. Take great Care none of the Water gets into the Cups; if it does, it will spoil it. Keep the Water boiling gently all the time, till the Jelly becomes thick as Glew; then take them out, and let thems tand to cool; then turn the Glew out into some new coarse Flannel, which draws out all the Moisture; turn thenm in six or eight Hours on fresh Flannel, and so do until they are quite dry. Keep it in a dry warm Place, and in a little time it will be like a dry hard Piece of Glew, which you may carry in your Pocket, without getting any Harm. The best Way is to put it into little Tin boxes. When you use it, boil about a Pint of Water, and pour it on a Piece of Glew about as big as a small Walnut, stirring all the time till it is melted. Season with Salt to your Palate; and if you chuse any Herbs, or Spice, boil them in the Water first, then pour the Water over the Glew."
"To make Portable Soop.
Take two Legs of Beef, about fifty Pounds Weight, take off all the Skin and Fat as well as you can, then take all the Meat and Sinews clean from the Bones, which Meat put into a large Pot, and put to it eight or nine Gallons of soft Water; first make it boil, then put in twelve Anchovies, an Ounce of Mace, a Quarter of an Ounce of Cloves, an Ounce of whole Pepper black and white together, six large Onions peeled, and cut int two, a little Bundle of Thyme, Sweet Marjoram, and Winter-savory, the dry hard Crust of a Two-penny Loaf, stir it all together, and cover it close, lay a Weight on the Cover to keep it close down, and let it boil softly for eight or nine Hours, then uncover it, and stir it together. Coer it close again, and let it boil till it is a very rich good Jelly, which you will know by taking a little out now and then, and let it cool. When you find it is a thick Jelly, take it off and strain it through a coarse Hair-bag, and press it hard; then strain it through a Hair-sieve int a large Earthen Pan, when it is quite cold, take off all the Skim and Fat, and take the fine Jelly clear from the Settlings at Bottom, and put the Jelly into a large deep well-tinned Stew-pan. Set it over a Stove with a low Fire, keep stirring it often, take great Care it neither sticks to the Pan, or burns; and when you find the Jelly is very stiff and thick, as it will be in Lumps about the Pan, take it out, and put it into large deep China-Cups, or well-glazed Earthen Ware. Fill the Pan two Thirds full with Water, when the Water boils, set in your Cups, be sure no Water gets into the Cups, keep the Water boiling softly all the time, till you find the Jelly is like a stiff Glew; then take out the Cups, and when they are cool, thurn out the Glew into coarse new Flannel. Let it lay eight or nine Hours, keeping it in a dry warm Place, and turn it on fresh Flannel till it is quite dry, and thew Glew wil be quite hard; then put it into clean new Stone-pots, keep it close coloured [covered] from Dust and Dirt, and in a dry Place, where no Damp can come to it. When you use it, pour boiling Water on it, and stir it all the time till it is melted. Season it with Salt to your Palate; a Piece as big as a large Walnut, will make a Pint of Water very rich; but as to that you are to make it as good as you please; if for Soop, fry a French Rile and lay in the Middle of the Dish, when the Glew is dissolved in the Water, give it a boil, and our it into a Dish; if you chuse it for Change, you may boil either Rice, Barley, or Vermicelli, Salary [celery] cut small, Truffles or Morels; but let them be very tenderly boiled in the Water before your stir in the Glew, and then give it a boil all together. You may, when you would have it very fine, add Force-meat Balls, Cock's Combs, or a Palate boiled very tender, and cut into little Bits; but it will be very rich and good without any of these Ingredients. If for Gravy, pour the boiling Water on what Quantity you think proper; and when it is dissolved, add what Ingredients you please, as in other Sauces. This is only in the room of a rich good Gravy; or you may make your Sauce either weak or strong, by adding more or less."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition with introductory essays by Jennifer Stead and Pricilla Bain, glossary by Alan Davidson [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 67-68)
Take three legs of veal and one of beef, with ten pounds of lean ham, all cut very small, put a quarter of a pound of butter at the bottom of a large pot or cauldron, and the meat and ham in, with four ounces of anchovies, two ounces of mace, a bunch of celery, six carrots washed well, a large bunch of sweet herbs, a spoonful of whole pepper, and a hard crust of a penny loaf; sweat it over a slow fire till you find all the juices are drawn out of the meat, then cover it with boling water, and skim it well; let it boil gently for four or five hours, then strain it off to settle, pour it into a pot, and boil it till it is a strong jelly, and as stiff as glue, season it with Cayan pepper and salt, then pour it into little tin moulds; let it stand till cold, then turn it out on plates, and dry it in the sun, or at a great distance before the fire, keep turning it often till it is quite dry; then put it in tin boxes, with a piece of writing paper between each cake; put them in a dry place for use. This is a very useful soup for travellers, or large families; for by putting one small cake into a pint of boiling water, and giving it a boil up, it will make a pint of good soup; or a little boiling water poured on a cake, will make a good gravy for a turkey or two fowls. It possesses one good quality, it never loses any of its virtue by keeping."
---The New Art of Cookery According to Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R. Campbell and B. Johnson:Philadephia] 1792 (p. 52-53)
Related item? Dry soup mix.
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3 January 2015