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Best Soup Recipes for the Picky Palate

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Best Soup Recipes for the Picky Palate

  1. 1. Best Soup Recipes for the Picky Palate So many good soups—tinned, frozen, dehydrated—are on the market that it would seem idle to have a section on that subject in a book designed to assist in the rapid preparation of memorable menus. This is all the more true, if anything can be said to be all the "more true," because most good soups require a very long time to prepare. There are, however, a number of things one can do to already prepared soups to make them much better, and there are several ways of combining two or more commercial soups which will make the final product a thing of beauty and, if not a joy forever, at least a joy every time you taste it. And finally there are included here one or two soups of my own which will keep your guests guessing as to the contents, which can be constructed quickly, and which, above all, taste good. There are a number of food combinations and drink combinations which, like man and wife, should never, or at least hardly ever, be put asunder. Bacon and eggs, fish and biscuits, artichokes and melted butter, raw oysters and lemon juice, gin and dry vermouth are some of them. The same is true of soup and sherry. Few indeed are the soups which are not improved by the addition of a little sherry. The sherry should be dry and it should be good; there should be enough, not too much, but enough of it. A teaspoonful to a cup will do little; a tablespoonful will metamorphose the soup. A glass of sherry to drink with the soup will add even more to its enjoyment. Originally it was planned to offer in this book either a round dozen—whatever that is—or two dozen recipes in each section. Somehow my arithmetic failed in this instance, and we have here a baker's dozen of 25 recipes. Aside from depriving the reader of a bonus recipe, a churlish act, I felt that to remove one would be as dangerous as to alter my socks when I had inadvertently put them on wrong side out. We have, therefore, the magic number of thirteen soups. If that particular number bothers you, you eliminate one. There is an old Belgian adage which seems to apply, or can be made to apply, here. It is said of a young man when he is courting a girl that he always pays careful attention to the soup he
  2. 2. is served in her house, because he knows that if the soup is good, everything else will be good. It is a point to remember when preparing the following recipes. ▼▼▼ ALLIGATOR TAIL SOUP SERVES 4 During World War II, when there were more vital foods than soup on which to expend one's blue ration points, a man decided he could still serve soup to his guests if he made it out of bouillon cubes and water, both of which were point-free. The recipe below was the result. It proved successful enough to merit a name. He chose Alligator Tail out of pure whim. It was in fact good enough to keep on using after the wartime necessity had passed and is useful when you are in haste to prepare a dinner for people who have "eaten everything." The ingredients can be put together quickly, placed on the low burner, and allowed to simmer without attention until you are ready to serve. 6 BEEF BOUILLON CUBES 1 QUART WATER 1 TABLESPOON LIQUID GARLIC 1 TABLESPOON WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE 1 TABLESPOON GUMBO FILE 12 COLOSSAL RIPE OLIVES ½ CUP DRY SHERRY 2 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED PARSLEY Put the bouillon cubes, water, liquid garlic, and Worcestershire sauce in a large saucepan, sprinkle the surface with the gumbo file. While the soup is cooking over a low flame, slice the olives lengthwise around the pit, and add the slices to the soup. When you are ready to serve, bring the soup to a boil, and stir in the sherry. Pour into soup cups, garnish with the chopped parsley, and serve. ▼▼▼ BEAN TURTLE SOUP SERVES 4 This combination of two tinned soups has the simplicity and the taste of culinary genius. It ranks, in my estimation, second only to a magnificent brew called Potage Baroque, a speciality of that great New York restaurant—the Baroque. Essentially intended for formal dining, Bean Turtle Soup is more than something to eat; it is something to savour, to sip slowly like a fine wine, and to talk about while you are eating it—and afterwards. You will find that this soup will appear often on your menus.
  3. 3. You may use any condensed black bean soup you like, but for the green turtle soup I suggest Ancora, which comes in tins of three sizes: small, medium, and large. By varying the size of the tin, you can also vary the amount of the finished product as well as its consistency. Regardless of the proportions, it is always excellent. 1 LARGE TIN ANCORA GREEN TURTLE SOUP 1 TIN CONDENSED BLACK BEAN SOUP ½ CUP SHERRY 4 SLICES HARD-BOILED EGG, VERY THIN Separate the green turtle meat from the soup, and divide the meat among the soup cups. Place the black bean soup in a saucepan over a low flame, and gradually stir in the green turtle soup until the mixture is completely smooth. Let it heat very slowly. Just before serving, add the sherry and stir it in well. Bring to a boil, and pour over the green turtle meat. Garnish each cup with a slice of egg, and serve with melba toast. Photo owned by Chenisuyan ▼▼▼ BOULA SERVES 4 "For God, for country, and . . ." well, anyway, Boula is one of the best known and one of the best of the combination soups. Even old Harvards have been known to relish it. It is made by a judicious blending of clear green turtle consommé and green pea soup. If you add an appreciable quantity of green turtle meat to the combination, you are entitled to add an extra "boula" and call the result Boula Boula. Whatever the name, the soup will give a party atmosphere to almost any meal. 1 TIN CONDENSED CREAM OF PEA SOUP 1 LARGE TIN GREEN TURTLE CONSOMME
  4. 4. 6 TABLESPOONS SHERRY ½ PINT WHIPPING CREAM Use a double boiler for this recipe. Half fill the lower pan with water, and bring to a boil. Put the green pea soup in the upper pan, and, over the boiling water, gradually pour in the green turtle consommé, stirring madly all the while with a wire whisk to make a smooth mixture. Add the sherry, the green turtle meat from the tin, and additional green turtle meat if you are making the doubled Boula. Just before you are ready to serve, whip the cream fairly stiff. Put the soup into four ovenproof serving dishes, float two tablespoons of whipped cream on each, and place under a hot broiler flame (500 degrees) for three minutes. Remove and serve at once. ▼▼▼ CHEESE SOUP SERVES 6 This is a rich, thick, full-bodied soup, ideal for luncheon on cold days, or for supper following an afternoon's skating or other cold-weather sport. It is also a fine dish to serve after a late party when the host, hostess, and a few favoured guests sit down to rest and to a little snack before closing up the affair finally. If you wish to use it as a cream soup preceding a meal rather than as a meal itself, dilute it just before serving with a little hot milk. This soup is not for calorie counters. 3 PINTS MILK 2 CLOVES GARLIC 4 TABLESPOONS BUTTER 4 TABLESPOONS FLOUR 4 EGG YOLKS ¼ CUP WHIPPING CREAM 1 TEASPOON SALT ½ TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER 1 TEASPOON GROUND CUMIN 2 CUPS DRY WHITE WINE 2 CUPS SHARP CHEESE, GRATED Scald the milk and gash the garlic. Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler, stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and blend into a roux, cooking over a low fire for about five minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the scalded milk to the roux, blending it well to
  5. 5. Photo owned by Stu Pivack avoid lumps. Add the garlic. Have the water boiling in the lower half of the double boiler, place the top half over it, and cook covered for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Beat the egg yolks lightly with the cream or mix in a swirl mixer. Remove the garlic. Add salt, pepper, cumin, the white wine, and the grated cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese has melted. Add the egg yolks and cream, and continue to cook and stir for three or four minutes. Serve in soup cups, each garnished with a small sprig of parsley. French bread, a little dark as to crust, or crusty hot rolls should be served with the soup. ▼▼▼ CLAM MONGOLE SERVES 4 This recipe is a variation of and, I think, an improvement on a very well-known soup: Purée Mongole. Recipes for Purée Mongole vary but little, and are based on combining tomato and green pea soups in equal quantities. The use of condensed cream of tomato and cream of pea makes this a quick and easy dish for the harassed chef, or for one who is not. The combination is usually diluted by the addition of water, or water and consommé. The result is a rich, filling, and pleasant brew which can be served as part of an elaborate meal, or will make, with the addition of a salad, an acceptable light luncheon. Clam Mongole is even better suited to the latter purpose, and is, at the same time, an unusual and appealing soup course for a dinner. The use of milk in the following recipe will give you a thicker and richer blend. You may, of course, control the consistency of the final product by varying the quantity of milk or water. 1 TIN CONDENSED CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP 1 TIN CONDENSED PEA SOUP 1 TIN MINCED CLAMS 1 CUP WATER OR MILK 4 DASHES SCOTCH BONNET
  6. 6. Place the two soups in a saucepan, drain the clams, and add the juice to the soups. Over a low fire and using a wire whisk, stir the mixture until it is smooth. Gradually add the other liquid, stirring all the while. When the soup has reached the consistency you like, add the clams and bring to a boil, but do not let boil. Add the Scotch Bonnet, stir well, and serve at once, very hot. Carr's Table Water Biscuits make an ideal accompaniment. ▼▼▼ CONSOMME FLORENTINE SERVES 4 Exactly why Florence and spinach should be, culinarily speaking, always associated, I do not know, but they are. It could be, of course, because Florence is ancient and civilized, and a taste for spinach is both civilized and mature. Quite apart from the philosophy of the nomenclature, this soup is one of the specialities of the Italian Line, and a soup which you will enjoy serving and eating. It is very readily prepared. Broth made by boiling a chicken is the most desirable; but you may also make the broth from a chicken extract, such as Fur and Feather, and hot water; or even from chicken bouillon cubes and water. Whichever you use, the broth should be fairly strong. 4 CUPS CHICKEN BROTH l½ CUPS COOKED RICE ¾ CUP CHOPPED COOKED SPINACH SALT PEPPER GRATED CHEESE Place the chicken broth in a large saucepan. Add the cooked rice and the cooked, chopped spinach. Over a low heat bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot, with grated cheese on the side. ▼▼▼ CROCODILE TEAR SOUP SERVES 4 This soup is the direct descendant of Alligator Tail Soup; perhaps one should say a refinement of it. Crocodile Tear Soup has only a slightly different flavor—the difference between alligators and crocodiles is not marked except to an expert on matters reptilian—a bit more body, but is quite as easy to make, and even more delicious. The inventor's wife, a source of constant inspiration, suggested the use of avocado because she does not like olives. That hint was enough to goad the inventor into carrying Alligator Tail Soup a step further, and he came up with Crocodile Tear Soup. I am afraid he spread the story that it was made from extract of congealed crocodile tears combined judiciously with the waters of the Nile. 1 TIN (2½ CUPS) TOMATO JUICE
  7. 7. l½ CUPS WATER 6 BEEF BOUILLON CUBES 1 TABLESPOON WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE 1 TEASPOON DRIED MARJORAM 1 TEASPOON DRIED THYME 1 TABLESPOON GUMBO FILE ½ AVOCADO, RIPE BUT NOT TOO SOFT 8 TABLESPOONS SHERRY 2 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED FRESH CHIVES Heat the water and tomato juice in a large saucepan. Add bouillon cubes, Worcestershire sauce, marjoram, thyme, and sprinkle the gumbo file over the surface. While the soup is cooking slowly, cut the avocado into thin slices, and divide them among the soup cups. Let the soup boil for a few seconds; stir in the sherry. Pour the soup over the sliced avocado, garnish with chopped chives, and serve at once. ▼▼▼ CUCUMBER SOUP SERVES 6 This excellent soup may be made and stored in the refrigerator for use as much as two days later, but no longer, lest the shrimp spoil. At a minimum it should be refrigerated for a couple of hours before it is served, even if you start with chilled material. While it is possible to make the soup by chopping the ingredients very fine with a knife and then putting them through a sieve, that method is both arduous and time consuming. I would not attempt to make it without the assistance of a blender. It is then simplicity itself. If fresh dill is available, use it; if it is not, I suggest you substitute fresh chives. Tinned shrimp may be used in lieu of fresh, but the result will not be so felicitous. ½ POUND COOKED SHRIMP 1 LARGE CUCUMBER 3 SPRING ONIONS 2 TEASPOONS PREPARED MUSTARD 1 TEASPOON SALT ½ TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER 1 QUART BUTTERMILK
  8. 8. 1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED FRESH DILL Photo owned by Mohylek Chop the shrimp, the cucumber (unpeeled), and the onions into coarse dice. Place them in the blender, add the mustard, salt, pepper, and two cups of buttermilk. Add the dill. Turn on the blender (high if it is adjustable) and blend for about one minute. Pour the blend into a bowl or large jar, add the remaining buttermilk, and stir well. If the soup is too thick add more buttermilk. Stir it well. Taste, and correct the seasoning with additional salt or pepper. Store in the refrigerator to cool. Serve well chilled with hot toasted saltines on the side. With this recipe, I'm reminded of another rich soup that uses crab instead of shrimp. Its luscious, earthy taste is the result of using truffle oil. ▼▼▼ EDEN PUREE SERVES 4 While there is no evidence that Eve made soup out of her apples, I know an Eve who does. The result is delicious and, so far as I have been able to tell, not nearly so dangerous to the inhabitants of a garden as was the original use of the fruit. The purée described below is simple, and the actual time you will have to spend on it is short, but it will require about two hours cooking on a low burner. It is the sort of thing you may start while preparing luncheon or dinner, look at once or twice during the next couple of hours, and when it has finished cooking, devote ten minutes to it for the final touches. Jarred and stored in the refrigerator, it will be ready when you need it, and require only to be shaken well and heated before serving. 2 LARGE APPLES 2 MEDIUM ONIONS 6 CUPS WATER
  9. 9. 10 BEEF BOUILLON CUBES 12 WHOLE CLOVES 1 CUP CREAM TABASCO SCOTCH BONNET 1 TEASPOON MINCED PARSLEY Slice the apples and the onions thin. Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the bouillon cubes. When they are dissolved, add the cloves and the apple and onion slices. Cover and let boil gently until the apple and onion are mushy, about two hours. Add water from time to time if needed, to keep about four cups of liquid in the pan. Strain the liquid, and mash the apple and onion through a sieve into the broth. Add to this purée the cream, and two dashes each of Tabasco and Scotch Bonnet. Garnish with minced parsley and serve hot. (A blender may be used, if available.) ▼▼▼ ONION SOUP SERVES 4 Few soups are equally suitable both for opening a dinner and for the main course at luncheon or supper. One of these is French onion soup. To make it from scratch is a time-consuming task: many onions have to be sliced and sautéed slowly in butter for about forty-five minutes, stock must be prepared and then cooked with the sautéed onions for several hours before the soup is ready to eat. There are a great variety of tinned, jarred, frozen, and dehydrated onion soups available, but no one of them with which I am familiar has either the flavour or consistency which onion soup should possess. It is possible, however, by combining two tinned varieties, to create with a minimum of effort a soup with a fine flavour, the proper consistency, and a goodly portion of onions. The recipe below will yield enough to provide a light lunch for two people, or an adequate soup course for four. Photo owned by The Madras
  10. 10. 1 TIN CAMPBELL'S CONDENSED ONION SOUP 1 TIN HABITANT FRENCH ONION SOUP ¼ CUP CLARET OR BURGUNDY 1 LARGE CROUTON OR SLICE FRENCH BREAD FOR EACH SERVING ½ CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE Combine the soups in a saucepan, blending well over a low fire. Just before they are thoroughly heated, add the wine and bring to the boiling point. Place the croutons in large, hot soup plates, ladle the soup over the croutons, and serve with grated cheese on the side. ▼▼▼ MADRILÈNE TSARINA SERVES 4 This is the soup par excellence for a formal luncheon or dinner when the temperature outside your air-conditioned dining room is in the nineties. It is most appealing to the eye; it has taste, in both senses of the word; and it is ridiculously easy to make, provided you have had the forethought to put two tins of madrilène in your refrigerator to jell at least six hours before you plan to serve the soup. I am indebted, deeply indebted, I should say, for the recipe to a member of the informal luncheon group mentioned in the Introduction. She claims she tossed it off in an idle moment; perhaps she did, for like most works of genius, it is simple. 2 TINS JELLIED MADRILÈNE ½ CUP SOUR CREAM 4 TEASPOONS CAVIAR 1 LEMON, QUARTERED 4 S PRIGS WATER CRESS Divide the madrilène among four bouillon cups. Place a generous tablespoon of sour cream on each serving, and add to the sour cream an equally generous teaspoon of caviar. Squeeze the juice of a quarter of a lemon over each cup, and garnish each with a sprig of water cress. Serve forthwith. Hot melba toast, preferably homemade and right out of the oven, blends perfectly, taste-wise, with the soup. ▼▼▼ SUMMER SOUP SERVES 4 A cold soup of more than ordinary appeal, and one which you can prepare and serve at a moment's notice and in about the time it takes to make a side car, is, like that drink, put together in a cocktail shaker. This combination is particularly useful on a hot evening when everyone wishes to linger on the terrace as long as possible. It may be served or even made
  11. 11. there as easily as in the kitchen. While by no means essential, hot saltines complement the soup perfectly. The quantities listed are those you will get from a tin of the juice and a tin of the soup respectively. 2½ CUPS TOMATO JUICE l½ CUPS CONDENSED CREAM OF CELERY SOUP ½ CUP MILK 1 MEDIUM ONION, GRATED TABASCO SALT CAYENNE 1 CUP COARSELY CRACKED ICE CHOPPED CHIVES Pour the tomato juice, the soup, and the milk into a large cocktail shaker. Add the grated onion, a few drops of Tabasco, a little salt, and a pinch of cayenne. Put in the ice and shake with fine abandon until the mixture is thoroughly chilled. Strain into soup cups, garnish each with a sprinkling of chopped chives, and serve. ▼▼▼ ZUPPO PAVESE SERVES 4 Just as French onion soup is more of a meal in itself than a first course for dinner, so this fine Italian peasant dish is more appropriate as the chief feature of a light luncheon or late supper than as part of an evening repast. The important thing to remember is the quality of the broth. It must be rich and full-bodied, but not thick. Broth made from boiling a chicken and then cooking the stock down to about one half its original volume is the best. If you make the broth from chicken extract and water, use a generous teaspoon and a half of extract for each cup of water. 4 PIECES WHITE BREAD 2 TABLESPOONS BUTTER 4 CUPS GOOD CHICKEN BROTH ½ TEASPOON FRESH PEPPER 4 EGGS 2 TABLESPOONS GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
  12. 12. PAPRIKA Remove the crust from the bread. Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the bread on both sides until brown. Meanwhile place the broth in a deep skillet or a flat-bottomed saucepan, add freshly ground pepper, and bring to a boil. Extinguish the flame under the broth and poach the eggs in it, covered, until they are firm and on the hard side. The yolks should not run when the eggs are cut. Place each piece of bread in a hot soup plate, and sprinkle with half a tablespoon of grated cheese. Place a poached egg on each piece of bread, and divide the broth among the four plates. Garnish with a few pinches of paprika, and serve with additional grated cheese on the side. A Mixed Green Salad (qv) in addition to the soup will give you a light but nourishing meal, and a glass or two of dry Orvieto will make it a memorable one as well. This reproduction is brought to you by Susan Alexander Truffles. If you want to learn about truffles, drop by our website for information.