Portable Soup

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

portable soup a product which achieved some prominence in 18th-century English cookery books, was a precursor (and a relatively sophisticated and refined one) of 19th-century meat extracts and 20th-century stock cubes. It was first proposed by Sir Hugh Plat in the early years of the 17th century. Bradley (1736) explained in his agreeable prose the benefits of the product, describing it as:

[a] curious Preparation for the use of Gentlemen that travel; the use of which I esteem to be of extraordinary Service to such as travel in wild and open Countries, where few or no Provisions are to be met with; and it will be of no less Benefit to such Families as have not immediate Recourse to Markets, for the Readiness of it for making of Soups, or its Use where Gravey is required; and particularly to those that travel, the lightness of its Carriage, the small room it takes up, and the easy way of putting it in use, renders it extremely serviceable. This is what one may call Veal-Glue.