Place a gallon of water on the fire (more or less according to the quantity of soup required), and when it boils, throw in a moderate-sized tablespoonful of salt, and two or three onions, thickly sliced, a faggot of sweet herbs, a root of celery, and three or four large carrots split down into many divisions, and out into short lengths. Boil these gently for an hour and a half, or two hours, and then strain the liquor from them. When time will permit, let it become cold; then for each quart, take from three to four ounces of well washed rice, pour the soup on it, heat it very slowly, giving it an occasional stir, and stew it gently until it is perfectly tender, and the potage quite thick. A moderate seasoning of pepper, and an ounce or two of fresh butter well blended with a teaspoonful of flour, may be thoroughly stirred up with the soup before it is served; or, in lieu of the butter, the yolks of two or three new-laid eggs, mixed with a little milk, may be carefully added to it.
It may be more quickly prepared by substituting vermicelli, semoulina, or soujee for the rice, as this last will require three quarters of an hour or more of stewing after it begins to boil, and the three other ingredients—either of which must be dropped gradually into the soap when it is in full ebullition—will be done in from twenty to thirty minutes; and two ounces will thicken sufficiently a quart of broth.
A large tablespoonful of Captain White’s currie-paste, and a small one of flour, diluted with a spoonful or two or two of the broth, or with a little milk or cream, if perfectly mixed with the rice and stewed with it for fifteen or twenty minutes before it is dished, render it excellent: few eaters would discover that it was made without meat.
Good beef or mutton broth can be used instead of water for the above soup, and in that case the vegetables sliced small, or rubbed through a strainer, may be added to it before it is served.