Three Things That You Should Know About Soups.

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Broadly speaking, soups are of three kinds - clear soups, thick soups, and purées.

A clear soup is made by boiling fruit or vegetables (celery, for example) until all the nourishment is extracted, and then straining off the clear liquid. A little sago or macaroni is generally added and cooked in this. When carrots and turnips are used, a few small pieces are cut into dice or fancy shapes, cooked separately, and added to the strained soup.

Here are 2 examples of clear soup recipes:
Barley Broth Soup

1 carrot
1 turnip
4 leeks or 3 small onions
4 sprigs parsley
4 sticks celery
1 tea-cup pearl barley
3 qts. water.

(The celery may be omitted if desired, or, when in season, 1 tea-cup green peas may be substituted.)

Scrub clean (but do not peel) the carrot and turnip. Wash celery, parsley, and barley. Shred all the vegetables finely; put in saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil and slowly simmer for 5 hours. Add the chopped parsley and serve.

Cream of Barley Soup
Make barley broth as in the recipe above. Then strain it through a wire strainer. Squeeze it well, so as to get the soup as thick as possible, but do not rub the barley through. Skin 1/2 lb. tomatoes, break in halves, and cook to a pulp very gently in a closed saucepan (don't add water). Add to the barley soup, boil up once, and serve.

Thick soups always include some farinaceous ingredients for thickening (flour, pea-flour, potato, etc.).

Here is an example of a thick soup recipe:

Chestnut Soup

1 lb. chestnuts
1-1/2 oz. nutter or butter
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon wholemeal flour
1-1/2 pints water

First put on the chestnuts (without shelling or pricking) in cold water, and boil for an hour. Then remove shells and put the nuts in an enamelled saucepan with the fat. Fry for 10 minutes. Add the flour gradually, stirring all the time, then add the water. Cook gently for half an hour. Lastly, add the parsley, boil up, and serve.

It is rather nicer if the flour is omitted, the necessary thickness being obtained by rubbing the soup through a sieve before adding the parsley. Those who do not object to milk may use 1 pint milk and 1 pint water in place of the 1-1/2 pints water.

Purées are thick soups composed of any vegetable or vegetables boiled and rubbed through a sieve. This is done, a little at a time, with a wooden spoon. A little of the hot liquor is added to the vegetable from time to time to assist it through.

Here is an example of a Purée soup:

Purée Fresh Vegetable Soup

2 cup Fresh Vegetables, chopped (any combination)
3 Tbs Green Onion, minced
1/2 tsp Leaf Thyme, crumbled
1 1/2 cup Water
2 tsp Butter or Margarine
3 Tbs Parmesean Cheese, grated
Salt
Ground Pepper
Lemon Juice

Combine vegetables, onion, thyme and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in butter and cheese. Blend smooth in a blender or food processor and add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Soup will be thick.

Copyright 2006.

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