Potage à la Reine

A Delicate White Soup


For Stock

  • veal, 4 lbs.
  • ham, 6 oz.
  • water, 4 quarts
  • bunch of herbs
  • carrots, 2
  • onions, 2:
  • mace, large blade
  • peppercorns, ½ teaspoonful
  • salt: Fowls, 2, or pullets, 3: ¾ to 1 hour; stewed afterwards 1 to 1½ hour.
  • Crumb of bread, 4 oz.
  • cream, 1 to 1½ pint
  • arrow-root (if needed), 1 ½ oz.


Should there be no strong veal broth, nor any white stock in readiness, stew four pounds of the scrag or knuckle of veal, with a thick slice or two of lean ham, a faggot of sweet herbs, two moderate-sized carrots, and the same of onions, a large blade of mace, and a half-teaspoonful of white peppercorns, in four quarts of water until reduced to about five pints; then strain the liquor, and set it by until the fat can be taken entirely from it. Skin and wash thoroughly, a couple of fine fowls, or three young pullets, and take away the dark spongy substance which adheres to the insides; pour the veal broth to them, and boil them gently from three quarters of an hour to an hour; then lift them out, take off all the white flesh, mince it small, pound it to the finest paste, and cover it with a basin until wanted for use. In the mean time let the bodies of the fowls be put again into the stock, and stewed gently for an hour and a half; add as much salt and cayenne as will season the soup properly, strain it off when sufficiently boiled, and let it cool; skim off every particle of fat; steep, in a small portion of it, which should be boiling, four ounces of the crumb of light stale bread sliced thin, and when it has simmered a few minutes, drain or wring the moisture from it in a clean cloth, add it to the flesh of the chickens, and pound them together until they are perfectly blended; then pour the stock to them in very small quantities at first, and mix them smoothly with it; pass the whole through a sieve or tammy, heat it in a clean stewpan, stir to it from a pint to a pint and a half of boiling cream, and add, should it not be sufficiently thick, an ounce and a half of arrow-root, quite free from lumps, and moistened with a few spoonsful of cold milk or stock.

Remark.—This soup, and the two which immediately follow it, if made with care and great nicety by the exact directions given here for them, will be found very refined and excellent.

Obs.—Some cooks pound with the bread and chickens the yolks of three or four hard-boiled eggs, but these improve neither the colour nor the flavour of the potage.