Ingredients which May all be Used for Making Soup of Various Kinds—Beef—Mutton—Veal—Hams—Salted Pork—Fat Bacon—Pigs’ Ears and Feet —Venison—Black and Moor Game—Partridges—Pheasants—Wild Pigeons—Hares—Rabbits—Turkeys—Fowls—Tame Pigeons—Sturgeon—Conger Eel, with all sorts of Fish usually eaten—All Shell-Fish—Every kind of Vegetable and Herb fit for food—Butter—Milk—Eggs—Rice—Sago—Arrow-Root—Indian Corn—Hominy—Soujee—Tapioca—Pearl Barley—Oatmeal—Polenta*—Macaroni—Vermicelli—Semoulina, and other Italian Pastes.
* The name given in English commerce to the maize-flour or meal of Italy.
The art of preparing good, wholesome, palatable soups, without great expense, which is so well understood in France, and in other countries where they form part of the daily food of all classes of the people, has hitherto been very much neglected in England;* yet it really presents no difficulties which a little practice, and the most common degree of care, will not readily overcome; and we strongly recommend increased attention to it, not only on account of the loss and inconvenience which ignorance of it occasions in many households, but because a better knowledge of it will lead naturally to improvement in other branches of cookery connected with it in which our want of skill is now equally apparent.
* The inability of servants to prepare delicately and well even a little broth suited to an invalid, is often painfully evident in cases of illness, not only in common English life, but where the cookery is supposed to be of a superior order.
It is best suited to the colder seasons of the year when thickened well with rice, semoulina, pearl barley, or other ingredients of the same nature; and adapted to the summer months when lighter and more refreshing. Families who have resided much abroad, and those accustomed to continental modes of service, prefer it usually in any form to the more solid and heavy dishes which still often supersede it altogether at our tables† (except at those of the more affluent classes of society, where it appears, as a matter of course, in the daily bills of fare), and which are so oppressive, not only to foreigners, but to all persons generally to whom circumstances have rendered them unaccustomed diet; and many a housekeeper who is compelled by a narrow income to adopt a system of rigid domestic economy, would find it assist greatly in furnishing comfortable meals in a very frugal manner, if the proper modes of making it were fully comprehended as they ought to be.‡
† The popular taste in England, even at the present day, is far more in favour of what is termed “substantial” food, than of any kind of pottage.
‡ We are unable to give further space to this subject here, but may probably resume it at another part of the book if practicable.
The reader who desires to understand the principles of soup-making is advised to study with attention the directions for “Baron Liebeg’s Extract of Beef,” in the present chapter, and the receipt for bouillon which follows it.