Method.—Heat the butter in a stewpan, add the prepared vegetables, cover closely, and cook very slowly for about ½ an hour. Now add the boiling water and a seasoning of salt and pepper, and simmer gently until all the vegetables are tender. Beat the yolks of eggs slightly, add gradually a few tablespoonfuls of the boiling soup, and when thoroughly blended add the preparation to the contents of the saucepan. Stir and cook gently for a few minutes to cook the eggs, then add salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste, and serve.
Time.—From 1¼ to 1½ hours. Average Cost, 1s. 3d. Sufficient for 7 or 8. Seasonable at any time.
Lettuce (Fr.: Laitue).—A herbaceous annual plant of the genus Lactuca of the order Compositæ which includes the chicory tribe, with small pale yellow flowers. It grows in the temperate regions, and the garden lettuce is cultivated as a salad herb. The lettuce was known to the Greeks and Romans, and has been in use in England since the time of Elizabeth. There are various gardeners' varieties of the lettuce—modifications of the cabbage variety, and that with long oblong leaves. The lettuce should be eaten while young; when in flower it possesses narcotic and poisonous properties. From the milky juice of the lettuce, Lactucorium, or "lettuce opium," used medicinally as an anodyne, is prepared.
88.—SPRING SOUP WITHOUT MEAT. (Fr.—Potage Printanière Maigre.)
Ingredients.—3 pints of water, 1 head of lettuce, ¼ of a white-heart cabbage, 1 carrot, 1 turnip, 1 onion, 2 leeks, ½ a head of celery, 1 small cauliflower, 4 ozs. of butter, croûtons (or small slices) of toasted bread, salt and pepper.
Method.—Cut the flower of the cauliflower into small pieces and put them aside, cut the tender part of the stalk into small pieces. Prepare the rest of the vegetables and shred them finely, melt the butter in a large stewpan, put in the shredded vegetables and the stalk of the cauliflower, and cook without browning for 20 minutes. Add to them the water, salt and pepper, and cook gently until tender (about 1 hour); 20 minutes before serving, put in the sprays of cauliflower. Cut 2 or 3 slices of very thin well-browned toast into small dice, and put them into the tureen. Add any necessary seasoning to the soup, and serve.
Time.—About 1½ hours. Cost, 10d. to 1s. Seasonable in spring. Sufficient for 6 persons.
89.—TAPIOCA CREAM SOUP. (Fr.—Potage au Tapioca.)
Ingredients.—1 quart of white stock, or half stock and half milk, ¼ of a pint of cream, the yolks of 3 eggs, 1 tablespoonful of fine sago or crushed tapioca, salt and pepper.