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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/178

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

yolks of eggs and cream, while a good brown soup like "Ox Tail" would be thickened with butter and flour, previously either cooked or well kneaded together. In making hare soup the blood of the animal is frequently used: it should be strained into the soup a few minutes before serving. Thick soups should have the same consistency as good single cream, i.e. cream obtained from milk that has stood 12 hours.

Purées.—This class of soups differs from other thick soups in being thickened by the ingredients of which they are made, such as Bisque of Lobster, purées of peas, beans and lentils; in all cases the substances comprising the soup are rubbed through a sieve and served in the soup. Croûtons of bread are usually used with purées.

Purée, Fr.—A smooth pulp, thick soup, mashed vegetables. Meat or fish that has been cooked, pounded in a mortar, and passed through a sieve is also called a purée.

Vegetarian Soups.—A soup made of milk and cabbage, lettuce or mixed vegetables, may not please the English palate so well as the more expensive consommé, but it contains as much nourishment, and if in itself it had no food value whatever it would still be a useful addition to a meal of cold meat. A few words will explain this. Food serves the twofold purpose of maintaining the heat of the body and of supplying force or strength. A want of food produces not only a sense of hunger, but also a sensation of cold. If a meal of cold meat be taken, a part of the latent heat contained in it will be spent in raising the temperature of the food to that of the body, consequently less food will be available for the production of heat and energy. Some hot soup taken at the commencement of the meal would not only have strengthened the stomach and made it better able to receive the substantial food to follow, but it would by its own heat have quickly raised the temperature of the food it became mixed with. Soups made from peas, beans and lentils, being very rich in carbo-hydrates, contain so much nourishment that they ought to be eaten in the place of meat instead of with it: every economical housewife should know the value of these soups. Mattieu Williams, speaking of vegetable soups, says: "I must add a few words in advocacy of the further adoption in this country of the French practice of using as POTAGE the water in which vegetables generally (excepting potatoes) have been boiled. When we boil cabbages, turnips, carrots, etc., we dissolve out of them a very large proportion of their saline constituents; salts which are absolutely necessary for the maintenance of health; salts without which we become victims of gout, rheumatism, lumbago and gravel."

Flavourings for Soups.—The following list of flavourings simply enumerates those most commonly used and conveniently obtained: turnips, carrots, onions, celery, parsley, thyme, bay-leaf (parsley, thyme and bay-leaf are usually tied together and spoken of as a "bouquet-garni"), tarragon, chervil, tomatoes, celery seeds, cloves, wine, vinegars of various kinds, and lemon juice.