Take at their fullest size, but before they are of bad colour or worm-eaten, three pints of fine large peas, and boil them as for table (see Chapter XVII) with half a teaspoonful of carbonate of soda in the water, that they may be very green. When they are quite tender, drain them well, and put them into a couple of quarts of boiling, pale, but good beef or veal stock, and stew them in it gently for half an hour; then work the whole through a fine hair-sieve, put it into a clean pan and bring it to the point of boiling; add salt, should it be needed, and a small teaspoonful of pounded sugar; clear off the scum entirely, and serve the soup as hot as possible. Au elegant variety of it is made by adding a half pint more of stock to the peas, and about three quarters of a pint of asparagus points, boiled apart, and well drained before they are thrown into it, which should be done only the instant before it is sent to table.
Obs.—When there is no stock at hand, four or five pounds of shin of beef boiled slowly down with three quarts of water to two, and well seasoned with savoury herbs, young carrots, and onions, will serve instead quite well. A thick slice of lean, undressed ham, or of Jewish beef, would improve it.
Should a common English peas soup be wished for, make it somewhat thinner than the one above, and add to it, just before it is dished, from half to three quarters of a pint of young peas boiled tender and well drained.