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The Soup Book
By Louis P. De Gouy
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 1949 Mrs. Louis P. De Gouy
All rights reserved.
SOUPS AND SOUP GARNISHES—CLASSIFICATION OF SOUPS —COLORING THE SOUP—BROWN STOCK—CARAMEL FOR SOUP COLORING—CHICKEN STOCK—FISH STOCK—GRAVY STOCK—VEGETABLE STOCK—WHITE OR VEAL STOCK—CLARIFYING ANY STOCK—COMPOSITION OF BONE, ITS PART IN SOUP—ROUX—CREAM SOUPS—SOUP GARNISHES—HERBS AND VEGETABLES USED IN SOUPS—THE BOUQUET GARNI—CONDIMENTS AND SPICES USED IN SOUPS
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SOUPS AND SOUP GARNISHES
GOOD SOUP IS ONE OF THE PRIME INGREDIENTS OF GOOD LIVING. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish. Soups challenge us, because an enticing flavorful soup can be as different from the thin watery beverage sometimes erroneously called soup as a genuine green turtle is from the mock turtle.
Perhaps one of the surest tests of a good cook is the choice of soup in relation to the rest of the meal. The purpose of soup in the meal is twofold: first, to stimulate appetite; second, to provide nourishment. Light soups serve as appetizers, heavier ones may be a main course. Men, we notice, have always been partial to soups that "fill you up"—those rich with chunks of meat or chicken, hearty with vegetables, alimentary pastes, barley, or rice.
Brillat-Savarin once made the remark that a woman who couldn't make soups should not be allowed to marry. Soups were important in his world, and they still are important to us all, young or ex-young. Steaming hot soup, sipped in leisurely manner, may be as refreshing on hot days as crisp salads and iced beverages served in cold glasses. From the clear well-seasoned bouillon, or the more herbal consommé, which starts everything off amiably, to the thick vegetable, tomato, bean, or pea soup, or purée, that makes a lunch in itself—all have a place in year-round menus. One whiff of a savory, aromatic soup, and appetites come to attention. The steaming fragrance of a tempting soup is a prelude to the goodness to come. An inspired soup puts family and guests in a receptive mood for enjoying the rest of the menu.
Meals, like everything else, are better when they get off to the right start. The first course is vastly important, for hungry people are apt to notice what they eat. If you begin the repast with a comforting chowder or a pungent consommé, you can relax even if the roast is not as tenderly browned as you had hoped. But if your soup lacks flavor and distinction, the rest of the menu must be superb to distract attention from the bad start. Though many first course favorites, such as canapés, fruit and vegetable juices, and all the gamut of hors d'oeuvres, have strayed from the table to the living room, soup must be served at the table. Consequently, it requires more attention than tidbits nibbled informally. Definitely, the soup is the curtain raiser for the meal and must be good.
CLASSIFICATION OF SOUPS
In planning menus, the cook must reckon with his or her soups. This is especially true if the food budget is to run on economical lines, for there are many ways of using soups and many types of soups which will do much to bolster up an otherwise scanty meal.
All soup recipes may generally be classified in three main groups: (1) thin, clear soups which stimulate appetite—consommé, bouillon, broth; (2) thin, light, delicate cream soups, bisques, vegetable broth; (3) heavy, thick soups or chowders—pepper pot, Scotch broth, minestrone, mulligatawny, thick vegetable soups, thick cream soups.
Bouillon, Consommé, and Broth. Bouillon is the clarified liquid in which meat, poultry, or vegetables have been cooked. Clear consommé, or clarified bouillon, flavored with sherry, bitters, and the like, can almost be regarded as a "cocktail." Broth is the unclarified liquid in which meats, poultry, game, or vegetables are cooked. It, like the consommé, is frequently garnished, but lightly.
Light Cream Soup. This is ideal as the preface to a meal, or as the main supper dish, particularly for growing children.
Heavy Soup. This is the hearty soup, and its general characteristic is that of being a whole meal in itself.
Another group comprises the cold, chilled, or jellied soups, usually called summer soups, of which more further on and in their own chapter.
Then we have the soup stocks of which there are five variants: brown stock, fish stock, gravy stock, vegetable stock, and white stock, which all need to be clarified before using for either soup base or sauce base. Any kind of stock should be well seasoned and well flavored by means of spices, condiments, or herbs.
Aside from its use in soup making, the stock which many cooks keep on hand gives flavor to sauces and to many made dishes. Scraps of meat, bones of chops, outside leaves of lettuce, celery tops, and the water in which vegetables are boiled are only some of the items which go into the soup pot, contributing their savors to the stock. Careful cooks see that bones and trimmings of roasts are sent from the market, also chicken feet, to be scalded and scraped for the soup pot.
Stock forms the basis of all meat or fish soups. It is therefore essential to the success of these culinary operations to know the most complete and economical method of extracting from a certain quantity of meat the best possible stock or bouillon or broth. Fresh uncooked beef makes the best stock, with the addition of cracked bones, as the glutinous matter contained in them renders it important that they should be boiled with the meat, which adds to the strength and thickness of the soup. They are composed of an earthy substance —to which they owe their solidity—of gelatin, and a fatty fluid called marrow. Two ounces of them contain as much gelatin as one pound of meat; but, in them, this is so encased in the earthy substance that boiling water can dissolve only the surface of the whole bones. When there is an abundance of gelatin, it causes the stock, when cold, to become a jelly. The flesh of old animals contains more flavor than the flesh of young ones. Red meats contain more flavor than white.
Some cooks use meat that has once been cooked; this renders little nourishment and destroys the flavor. It might answer for ready soup, but for stock to keep, it is not so good, unless it is roasted meat. This contains higher fragrant properties; so by putting the remains of roasted meat in the stockpot, you obtain a better flavor.
The shinbone is generally used, but the neck or "sticking," as the butchers call it, contains more of the substance that you want to extract and makes a stronger and more nutritious soup than any other part of the animal. Meats for soup should always be put on to cook in cold water, in a covered soup kettle or pot, and allowed to simmer slowly for several hours, in order that the essence of the meat may be drawn out thoroughly. The cooking stock should be carefully skimmed to prevent it from becoming turbid; never allow it to boil fast at any time, and if more water is needed, use boiling water from the teakettle; cold or lukewarm water spoils the flavor. Stock will be as good the second, third, fourth, or fifth day, if kept in the refrigerator, as the first day, if heated to the boiling point before using.
COLORING THE SOUP
Coloring, the chief of which is brown burned sugar, known by French cooks as caramel, is used in some brown soups.
Pounded spinach leaves give a fine green color to certain soups. Parsley or the green leaves of celery put in soup will also serve instead of spinach; or use a few drops of green vegetable coloring. Pound a large handful of spinach in a mortar, then tie it in cheesecloth, and wring out all the juice; add this to the soup you wish to color, 5 minutes before taking it up. Mock turtle, and sometimes lamb or veal soups, should be this color.
To color red, skin 6 red tomatoes, squeeze out the seeds, and put the pulp into the soup with the other vegetables, or take the juice only, as directed for spinach, or use a few drops of red vegetable coloring or cochineal.
BROWN STOCK HOME MANNER
Makes about 6 quarts
Cut up 2 pounds of shin or neck of beef; break 1 pound of knuckle of veal into small pieces (about 3 or 4 pounds of bones altogether); cover with cold water (about 8 quarts) and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Let stand for an hour, then bring gently to the boiling point, skimming the scum as it rises. When quite clear, add 2 carrots, scraped and cut into inch pieces; 2 medium-sized onions, halved, one half stuck with 2 whole cloves; 1 medium-sized white turnip, peeled and quartered; 1 stalk of celery, well washed and cut into inch pieces; a bouquet garni composed of 2 large bay leaves, 1 large sprig of thyme, 12 sprigs of fresh parsley, all tied together with kitchen thread. Add also 15 whole peppercorns, gently bruised. Again bring to the boiling point, skim well, then cover. Lower the flame and let simmer gently, very gently; let it "smile" for 4½ to 5½ hours without disturbing, except skimming occasionally any fat or scum. Strain through a fine-meshed hair sieve and, when cold, remove the cake of fat from the surface. This can be clarified and used for frying. Store in refrigerator until wanted. If you desire a "second" stock, cover the meat and vegetables with cold water and let it boil down until reduced to half, over a gentle flame, and use as a base for soup or sauce, or to cook vegetables in.
Among the 4 pounds of bones indicated for this stock, you may use the cleaned feet and gizzards of chickens, turkey, or any kind of domestic bird. The above brown stock made according to this recipe, after being cleared, could be used for any clear soup, which would take its name from the garnish served with it. (See also No. 114, Jellied Beef Consommé or Bouillon.)
BROWNING THE STOCK
The best method of assuring a dark brown stock is to sear the meat and bones in their own fat, or to add a few drops of caramel (No. 6). Or you may add a few drops of Pique Seasoning (see No. 19).
CARAMEL FOR SOUP COLORING
Boil ½ pound of granulated sugar with 1/3 cup of cold water until it is dark brown, almost black, then add another 1/3 cup of cold water and boil again till it acquires the consistency of thick syrup. Strain, bottle, cork, and use as required. Fine for coloring stews, goulashes, gravies, and sauces.
Follow directions for Chicken Broth Parisian (No. 25) for stock, consommé, or bouillon.
FISH STOCK HOME MANNER
Makes about 1½ quarts
Put 2 pounds of any inexpensive white-fleshed fish with bones and trimmings in a saucepan and cover with 2 quarts of cold water. Add 1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced; 1 blade of mace; 12 white peppercorns, gently bruised; 1 teaspoon of salt; a bouquet garni composed of 1 large bay leaf, 1 large sprig of thyme, and 10 sprigs of fresh parsley, tied together with kitchen thread; 1 medium-sized carrot, scraped and thinly sliced; and 2 whole cloves. Bring to a boil, lower the flame, and let simmer gently for about 1 hour from the time the stock begins to simmer. Further cooking sometimes imparts a disagreeable bitter taste to the stock. Skim carefully through a fine-meshed sieve and, when cold, store in the refrigerator until needed.
GRAVY STOCK HOME MANNER
Crack, rather small, some bones from roast meat, and fry them until well browned in a baking pan with a little meat drippings. Pour off all the fat, and add 1/3 of Pique Seasoning (see No. 19) to the amount of water used, enough to cover the bones generously. Season with a little pepper, but no salt, and let simmer very, very gently 35 to 40 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth and keep in refrigerator until required. This stock will keep several weeks in a good refrigerator when tightly sealed in a glass jar.
VEGETABLE STOCK HOME MANNER
Makes about 2 quarts
Cut 2 medium-sized onions, 3 medium-sized carrots, 1 medium-sized white turnip, 1 stalk of celery, and 1 small head of lettuce into small pieces. Wash quickly, drain, and dry well. Heat ¼ cup of butter or margarine in a soup kettle, stir in the prepared vegetables, and cook very gently, over a low flame, having the kettle covered, for about 25 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Then add 2 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and quartered; a bouquet garni, composed of 1 large bay leaf, 8 sprigs of fresh parsley, and 1 sprig of thyme, tied together with kitchen thread; 1 blade of mace; 10 whole peppercorns, gently bruised; 1 small blade of garlic; 2 whole cloves; and ½ teaspoon of salt. Now stir in 1½ quarts of boiling water and 1 cup of Pique Seasoning (see No. 19), mixing well. Gradually bring to a rolling boil, lower the flame, and allow to simmer very gently, covered, for 1½ hours, skimming as the scum rises to the top. Strain through cheesecloth, and it is ready for use. If not needed at once, cool, then store in glass jars in the refrigerator until needed. This stock will keep more than two weeks in the refrigerator when kept sealed in a glass jar or jars.
WHITE or VEAL STOCK HOME MANNER
Cut up the meat from 4 pounds of veal knuckle and break the bones into small pieces. Place in a soup kettle, with the neck and cleaned feet of a chicken. Pour over 1 quart of cold water for each pound of meat and bones, or about 4 quarts in all; cover and let stand in a cool place for a full hour. Then place the kettle over a low flame and bring slowly to a gentle boil, skimming as the scum rises to the surface. Simmer very gently, over a low flame, until quite clear. Now add 2 medium-sized onions, quartered; 2 medium-sized carrots, scraped and cut into inch pieces after being halved lengthwise; 1 medium-sized white turnip, peeled and quartered; 1 stalk of celery, scraped, then cut into inch pieces; a bouquet garni composed of 12 sprigs of fresh parsley, 1 sprig of thyme, 2 large bay leaves, 4 whole cloves, tied together with kitchen thread; 12 peppercorns, freshly bruised; 1 tablespoon of salt; and 1 blade each of mace and garlic. Bring slowly to a boil, skim again as the scum rises to the top, and when clear, cover, and let simmer gently for 4 to 4½ hours, skimming occasionally as the fat and scum rise. Remove from the fire, strain through cheesecloth, cool, and when cold, remove the cake of fat from the surface. Keep in refrigerator until wanted. This stock will keep two weeks in the refrigerator if stored in a closely sealed container.
CLARIFYING ANY STOCK HOME MANNER
For each 3 quarts of stock
Wash and cut small ½ medium-sized onion or ½ small leek, 1 small carrot, and 3 sprigs of green celery leaves, first peeling the onion or leek and scraping the carrot. Place the prepared vegetables in a clean saucepan with the 3 quarts of stock to be clarified. Add a small bouquet garni composed of 1 small bay leaf, 1 small sprig of thyme, 2 sprigs or leaflet of tarragon herb, 6 sprigs of chervil or parsley, and 1 whole clove, all tied together with kitchen thread; 6 peppercorns; the white and shell of 1 egg; 1 scant teaspoon of lemon juice; and 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar. Stir with a wire whisk, and when mixed, add ½ pound of finely chopped or ground lean raw beef, previously moistened with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Gradually bring mixture to a boil while whisking steadily until the boiling point is reached. Then lower the flame, and let simmer very, very gently, uncovered and without stirring for 25 to 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning, strain through a fine-meshed sieve, the sieve covered with cheesecloth. When cold, store in refrigerator, or use at once for clear soup or consommé. This clear stock will keep about two weeks in the refrigerator when kept in a sealed container.
COMPOSITION OF BONE—ITS PART IN SOUP
The valuable nourishing properties of soup have been, and indeed still are, much overlooked in this country. Soup forms the first course of those who dine in the true sense of the term, but its importance as a part of the everyday meal is not sufficiently appreciated by the majority of people. Yet no form of food is more digestible and wholesome, nor does any other method of preparing food afford so many opportunities for utilizing material that would otherwise be wasted. The richness or quality of soup depends more on the proper choice of ingredients, and proper management of the fire in the combination of those ingredients, than on the quantity of solid nutritious matter employed; much more on the art and skill of the cook than on the sum laid out in the market. This remark is as true today as it was two centuries ago. The average cook imagines that the goodness of a soup depends on the weight of meat he or she puts into it and on the size of the fire over which it is boiled.
Excerpted from The Soup Book by Louis P. De Gouy. Copyright © 1949 Mrs. Louis P. De Gouy. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
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Table of ContentsAUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION
Bouillons and Broths
CHILLED AND JELLIED CONSOMMES AND SOUPS
"CHILLED, HOT, AND JELLIED BEER, FRUIT, NUT, AND WINE SOUPS"
CANNED SOUP COMBINATIONS
"Consommés, Cream Soups, Broths, and Potages"
"Vegetable, Poultry, Nut, and Game"
Fish Cream Soups?also called Coulis?including Fresh-Water and Salt-Water Fish and Crustaceans
"Fish, Game, Meat, Poultry, and Vegetable, including Fish Stews considered as soup, and Bouillabaise"
BALL GARNISHES FOR SOUPS
CUSTARD GARNISHES FOR SOUPS
DUMPLING GARNISHES FOR SOUPS
MISCELLANEOUS SOUP GARNISHES