A perfectly seasoned soup is a stimulating and enjoyable first course for either a luncheon or dinner. The secret of making soup is the liquid used, called “stock.” Stock is made from beef, veal, mutton, fish, poultry or game, separately or in combination.
Brown stock can be made from beef (lean meat, bone and fat). White stock is made from veal or chicken. Fish stock is actually the water in which a fish has been cooked. It can also be made from fish bones and head or bits of fish simmered 30 minutes in bouillon and strained.
Vegetable stock is the water in which vegetables have been cooked. It is rich in food values. Use it in place of water in making soup, stock or sauces.
Most cookbooks have recipes for making stocks. Bouillon, with the exception of clam bouillon, is made of brown stock delicately seasoned and cleared.
Broth is the liquid that you get when you simmer meat in water.
Consomme is usually made from two or more kinds of meat such as veal, beef or chicken. It is usually highly seasoned, strained and cleared.
Bisque is usually made of shellfish, milk and seasonings. Tomato bisque is so called because it looks like crab or oyster bisque.
If a thin liquid and milk are combined to make a soup, they may separate or curdle unless blended with a thickening agent. Using the amounts stated in the recipe, melt the fat, stir in the flour, cook together until smooth, then stir into the soup. Stir until soup thickens.
Chilled soups are especially welcome during warm weather. If the soup itself is the main course, allow 1 cup per person. In place of an evening snack, serve a clear, hot broth in bouillon cups in place of coffee. Do not overcook canned bouillons and beef and chicken stocks which can help the harried cook create delicious soups with little preparation.
How to make soup – soup recipes
Quick curry soup
Simmer apple and onion with consomme for 20 minutes. Strain. Add cream. Season. Serves six.
This is a hearty soup that uses the less expensive bony cuts of meat, such as neck, flank or breast. Use rice in place of barley, if preferred, adding it half an hour before serving.
Cut lean meat in 1-inch cubes. Put meat and bones in kettle. Cover with cold water. Bring to boiling and add barley. Simmer 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender. Remove bones, cook and skim fat.
Saute vegetables in butter/oleo for 5 minutes. Add to soup, season to taste and cook until vegetables are soft. Add parsley just before serving. Add more water if soup is too thick.
Queen Victoria soup
This is a modern adaptation of a rich, famous English recipe.
Melt butter, add onion and cook until yellow. Add mushrooms and celery; cook 10 minutes. Add stock, tapioca, chicken, ham and seasonings. Cook 20 minutes.
Add eggs, chopped fine, and cream. Serve in big bowls with chopped parsley on top. Serves eight. To simplify, use a can of cream of mushroom soup in place of fresh mushrooms and cream, and canned luncheon meat in place of ham. This is a good emergency shelf item.
Leek and potato soup
Cook leeks and celery 10 minutes in 3 tablespoons butter, stirring constantly. Add milk and cook in double boiler for 40 minutes. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water 10 minutes.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter, add flour, milk with vegetables. Cook until potatoes are soft and season. Can strain or not, as preferred. Serves six to eight.
Spring vegetable soup
Boil 8 cups water with some of the leek greens, chard sterns and parsley.
Creme fraiche is available in cartons in the dairy counter of many large supermarkets.
Warm butter or oil in soup kettle, add leeks, potato and celery, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup water. Cover kettle and stew the vegetables over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Stir once or twice to make sure the vegetables aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pot; if they are, add more water.
Next add peas, parsley or chervil, lovage leaves or sorrel leaves, spinach or chard, cover, and continue to cook until the greens have wilted, about 5 minutes.
Add the 6 cups water or stock and bring to a boil; simmer for 10 minutes. Let soup cool briefly, then transfer it to a blender and puree. If all the string has not been removed from the peas, the soup may be fibrous. Check to see if it is smooth, and if not pass soup through a food mill or chinoise. Season soup to taste with a few scrapings of nutmeg or vinegar. Add salt if needed. Thin it with cream, if desired, or serve it with creme fraiche and freshly ground pepper.
Gently reheat soup before serving. Little croutons fried in butter or garnish of chive blossoms make a nice finish to this soup. Makes four servings.