A Cheap Green Peas Soup

Ingredients

  • Pea-shells, 3 quarts
  • water, 3 quarts: 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Liquor from these, 2 quarts
  • full-sized Green peas, 1 quart
  • large cucumbers, 2 or 3
  • lettuces, 3
  • onion, 1 (or more)
  • little parsley
  • mint, 12 leaves
  • seasoning of salt and pepper or cayenne: stewed 1 hour.

Method

Wash very clean and throw into an equal quantity of boiling water salted as for peas, three quarts of the shells, and in from twenty to thirty minutes, when they will be quite tender, turn the whole into a large strainer, and press the pods strongly with a wooden spoon. Measure the liquor, put two quarts of it into a clean deep saucepan, and when it boils add to it a quart of frill grown peas, two or even three large cucumbers, as many moderate-sized lettuces freed from the coarser leaves and cut small, one large onion (or more if liked) sliced extremely thin and stewed for half an hour in a morsel of butter before it is added to the soup, or gently fried without being allowed to brown; a branch or two of parsley, and, when the flavour is liked, a dozen leaves of mint. Stew these softly for an hour with the addition of a small teaspoonful, or a larger quantity if required of salt, and a good seasoning of fine white pepper or of cayenne; then work the whole of the vegetables with the soup through a hair-sieve, heat it afresh, and send it to table with a dish of small fried sippets. The colour will not be so bright as that of the more expensive soaps which precede it, bat it will be excellent in flavour.

Obs.—The cucumbers should be pared, quartered, and freed from the seeds before they are added to the soup. The peas, as we have said already more than once, should not be old, but taken at their full growth, before they lose their colour: the youngest of the shells ought to be selected for the liquor.