NAN MAHON E
SOME soups—national ones like . Cock-a-Leekie, Kemeny heil or . Minestrone—are meals in themselves, and very good meals, to e Other:4, like Cousomnie Juliemie or Creme d'Asperge, are just pleasant preludes to a meal. The traditional practice of putting soup at the lbeginning of a meal is 41ir1ctica1ly sound, because it. helps to stimulate the secretion of the gastric juices on which the digestion of a meal depends, and puts the stomach in the best condition for dealing with the later courses of a meal.
Have Soup fil Summer To many housewives soup seems 'rather a winter specialty, and they are inclined to drop this course when the warm weather comes along, only Ikeeping the fish prelude. But it is eust in spring and summer that one has such a plenitude of fresh vegetables from which to create soups that are stimulating to the palate and most purifying to the blood. If you want a good complexion, go slow on meat through the spring and summer months, and go all out on fish, ,fresh fruit, salads and soups, with
vegetable fotaidations. These will bring you health, and good health is behind most good skins. You can 'hide a bad skin with c.onmeties, but you can't znake a good one. A good diet, suited to the season of the year, will du a lot towards improving the skin. And now to leave the beauty parlour—which is more properly a colleague's province—and get back
to my kitchen. 1 shall to-day give iyou recipes for a few substantial soups that can with a very light sweet to follow, stand by themselves as a meal; for some lighter soups, where vegetables figure largely in the ingredients; and then for a few fruit and sweet soups that, especially wheo served cold, the children will like in the really hot weather.
Let us start off with a native dish, ,r.ock-a-Leekie soup. r never pass through Sydenham without seeing the page in the fat " Houselmld 'Management". that my grandmother gave my mother when she married, where Mrs Benton, turning a minute from cookery to history, tells us that Cock-a-Leekie " was largely consumed at the Burns Centenary Festival at the Crestal Palace in le50," which rather goes to prove, I think, that a good palate for poetry often goes with a good palate for food!
Well, to come back to our soup, a young fowl or a "boiler" can be used in its making, but while slow cook ing is necessary with either, anything but the gentlest simmering will make the old bird leathery in death Kg in life. Boil the fowl in a thin light stock till it is teuder. Take it
lip arid lay. it aaide. Haling prepared them, cut into half-inch bits buochee of leeks and put them in Ilit eoup with half a pound of boiled rice, pepper and salt, and the tiniest grate of nutmeg. Let all cook for half an hour. Cut the fowl into neat joints, put hack in the soup, and bring to the boil, keep at a simmer for five minutes, and then serve. This is not Mrs Beetou's recipe, though it is only a few years younger and 1 find it better than the older recipe. etre Berton tells us that this soup " shmild he very thick of leeks.' She is right. It should.
a La Camerard
Suppose we go abroad now for two other aoncaein-a-mouthful soupsPotage a la Camerani and Minestrone. The first is very good for anaemic subjects. For it you 11CPCI a pound of fresh calf's liver and nearly a harvest festil, Ed of fresh vegetables. Shred in thin strips a large stick of celery with its leaves; one small or half a big cabbage; three large carrots; two large parsnips, or if you have a parsnip complex substitute the same quantily of turnip; four leeks; and boil all in about two quarts of salted water or thin stock until the N.egetables are quite tender.
Then drain off the liquor. Slow, steady cooking is best here. Mince the pound of calf's liver. Put in a saucepan with three ounces of melted butter or dripping and a finely chopped onion. Brown slightly, stirring well to prevent burning. Mix with the vegetables and return all to the soup pan, adding a little more water or stock pot liquor if necessary. Simmer all gently for thirty mieutee, giving occasional stirs to prevent the liver forming lumps. Add two ounces of vermicelli or small fancy macaroni stiapes and cook another ten minutes. Take from fire, and just before serving sprinkle in two ounces of grated Gruyere cheese. Serve with fried bread croutons. This makes it splendidly satisfying tuck-in after hiking.
Minestrone comes from sunny Italy, but would serve to warm you on a Polar expedition. It can be eaten cold or hot, and there are nuawrous variations of the tradi
tional recipe. It ehoulri, howe.eer, always include oodles of young fresh vegetables, all huddled together with hardly any standing room. Here is a good general recipe that. you can vary according to your taste in vege
tables. Take three pints of good strorig stock and add a bre.akfastcupfill each of chopped kidney beans, celery, cabbage or spinach, carrots, potatoes, small haricot beans (steeped overnight in water), and if they are in season add a cupful of fresh garden green peas. Finely chop rather over four ouncee of ga111111011 of ham and add this. Season with salt and pepper and simmer stea.dily.
In a separate vessel brown gently in a little butter a finely chopped onion, he 0 shredded cloves of garlic (leave this out for .very oceideotel peletiae, and 1,NVO oliced tomatoes.
thee when bruan tu the soup
Quarter of an hour before serving add a cupful of cooked rice or of small macaroni shapes. The soup is ready when the vegetables are tender and have absorbed roost of the stock. Setae on ,very hot plates, sprinkling a little grated Parmesan cheese over each ..A teaspoonful of red wine. to each piste greatly improves the flavour.
Now to come to lighter soups. Artichoke soup is easy to prepare and good to taste. Peel and slice about three pound of artichokes (weigh before peeling), a large turnip, half a lid Of celery, and a large onion. The artichoke flavour is strong enough to dominate these partners. Put the slieed vegetables in a pan with two quarts of a light stock with pe.pper and salt to taste. Roil till the vegetables are tender. Strain find rub through a hair sieve. Add three quarters of a pint of milk to the puree and a knob of butter. Warm up and serve.
For the really hot days we sometimes.get in May try a cold
consort= e. Cover a pound of knuckle of veal and ball a pound of shin of beef with cold water. Boil, skim Yvell, and add a sliced onion, a carrot and a seasoning to taste. After this has simmered two hours, add two bay leaves, four cloves, twelve peppercorns and a pinch of mixed herbs. Cook slowly for
another hour. Pour off the stock into a basin and leave overnight.
Next day remove all fat, return the jelly to a saucepan. Remove fat and skin from the shin of beef, cut it up very finely and add to the jelly. Beat the whites of two eggs very stiffly and crush the two shells. Add all to the jelly (this is for clearing purposes). Bring the whole to boiling point, stirring all the time. Then add a lump of sugar and let simmer for another hour. Strain through fine muslin. The consomme should now be crystal clear. Add a very little browning and stir in well. Leave to set, preferably in a refrigerator. Divide the jelly into soup cups and serve icy cold. This makes the nicest prelude to a dinner served in a garden in the dusk. " Summer time" rather does for (tusks, but if the dusk won't come to the dinner let the dinner go to the dusk. Dine later.
Spinach soup is another good soup for the anaemic. Wash two pounds of spinach. Put it (still wet, but without other water) in a covered saucepan over very low heat.. It will cook in its own juices. When it is quite soft, rub through a sieve. Melt an ounce of butter in another vessel and sprinkle in gradually a dessertspoonful of conillour, stirring all the time till it thiekees. Then gradually add a pint of stock, still stirring. Next add the spinach and bring all to the boil. Add half a pint of milk and seasoning, :led cook another tent minutes. Remove from the tire, and when the soup has cooled somewhat add hell a teacupful of cream, neeing it in well. Serve with bread cr011 tons.
Tomatue watkruess and aeparagus, are three other good spring soups, hut there is no space for them to-day (write to me if you want time recipes) and anyway I want you to adventure this spring with some of the fruit and sweet soups. Children generally love them, and it is fun getting a 55 ay sometimes from the ordinary.
Gooseberry and Prune Soups
The first gooseberries make a good soup. Wash, but don't bother to top and tail, two pounds of goose berries. Put them in a quart of water with half a pound of sugar (more if you like). Boil till fruit is tender, then sieve as for Gooseberry Fool. Put the result back in saucepan. Mix Iwo tablespoonfuls of cornflour to a smooth paste with a little cold water, add to the puree and simmer for about ten minutes. Put the well-beaten y olks of two eggs in your soup tureen, and, when the soup has gone off the simmer, pour it gradually over the egg yolks, stirring all the time to blend well. Serve this soup hot or aold with macaronns, wafers or finger biscuits.
There is a famous Swedish recipe for Prune Soup as served in the Palace at Stockholm. Here it is— very good for sluggish insides. Put a quarter pound of really fine prunes with a quart of water and a pint of cherry juice in a saucepan. When cherries are out of season you can use the canned juice or substitute other fruit. juice. Add three-eights of a pound of sago. Cook very gently, zind stir often to keep the sago from getting Inmpy. This soup is strange to most palates the first time of tasting, but it grows on you.
Chocolate soup is lovely if you like chocolate, and it is very nourishing. In the hot days when a child's appetite flags, it is a good way to get eggs and milk down without tears. You add a quarter-pound of grated chocolate to a quart of boiling milk, and let both simmer very gently in a covered pan for about a quarter of an hour. Mix a dessertspoonful of cornflour with a little cold milk and add to the soup, stirring all the time. Cook another ten minutes. Add two well beaten eggs and stir, keeping the saucepan on the slow part of the stove to cook the eggs, but not letting the soup boil again or the eggs will curdle. Serve with out-of-the-ordinary biscuits or wafers.
The Woman Editor will want to know why I am sprawling all over the page, so I think that is enough for to-day, my dears, don't you?