Okra or Gumbo Soup

Okra Potage

Method

Take, for eight to ten persons, six quarts of light stock (that in which chicken, veal, or rabbit has been cooked will do well) and put it into a clean stewpan; put two cleaned leeks, one stick of celery, four finely sliced onions, and half a pound of raw, lean ham, with two ounces of butter in a sauté pan and fry for twenty minutes, taking care that they do not become discoloured; then add this to the stock with a bunch of herbs (thyme, parsley, bayleaf, &c.), a blade of mace, twelve black and white peppercorns, and six cloves, all tied up in a little piece of clean muslin; also add an old hen, or two cleaned rabbits, and a large green capsicum; then bring to the boil and skim it well; draw the pan to the side of the stove and let the contents simmer very gently for about one and a half hours, taking care that the stock does not boil quickly; then remove the chicken or rabbits and add two and a half pounds of tomatoes; thicken with three ounces of Brown and Polson’s cornflour, which has been first mixed with half a pint of light stock or water, then add one large tin of okra, or two and a half dozen dried okra that have been soaked in cold water for about two hours before using, remove the spice and herbs and boil up the soup again; then let it simmer for about twenty minutes; have the bones removed from the chicken or rabbits and pound the meat in a mortar till perfectly smooth; then add it to the soup and pass all through a tammy or tine hair sieve; replace in the stewpan in the bain marie to get quite hot, then, if obtainable, add one pint of warmed cream, which will greatly improve the flavour. Serve very hot.

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