From Stock to Soup

Noodles, Dumplings, Meatballs, Sauces, and other Good Things

Appears in
Soup: A Way of Life

By Barbara Kafka

Published 1998

  • About
Soup is the best dressed of foods, sporting sprigs of herbs, thin streams of olive oil, or plump grains of rice. Consommé or its precursor, stock, has a particularly rich assortment of furbelows. I use stock for many things, but I sometimes think that most people make it for the things they can put in it.
From stock to soup is a very short distance—a noodle’s width, a vegetable’s square, a dumpling’s diameter, or a crouton’s cube.

The Viennese have a word for these things, einlagen, or “inlay.” As Lillian Langseth Christensen indicated in Gourmet’s Old Vienna Cookbook, the word doesn’t mean something from the dentist but rather garnishes for clear soup. These garnishes were variously placed neatly in the individual soup bowls before the soup was added, or put into a tureen along with the soup, or simply served in the soup.