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West India Soup Called Pepper Pot

(Soups.) - (The Lady's Own Cookery Book)

A small knuckle of veal and a piece of beef of about three pounds, seven

or eight pounds of meat in all; potherbs as for any other soup. When the

soup is skimmed and made, strain it off. The first ingredient you add to

the soup must be some dried ocre (a West India vegetable), the quantity

according to your judgment. It is hard and dry, and therefore requires

a great deal of soaking and boiling. Then put in the spawn of the

lobsters you intend for your soup, first pounding it very fine, and

mixing it by degrees with a little of your soup cooled, or it will be

lumpy, and not so smooth as it should be. Put it into the soup-pot, and

continue to stir some time after it is in. Take about two middling

handfuls of spinach and about six hearts of the inside of very nice

greens; scald both greens and spinach before you put them to the soup,

to take off the rawness; the greens require most scalding. Squeeze them

quite dry, chop and put them into the soup; then add all the fat and

inside egg and spawn you can get from the lobsters, also the meat out of

the tails and claws. Add the green tops only of a large bundle of

asparagus, of the sort which they call sprew-grass, previously scalded;

a few green peas also are very good. After these ingredients are in, the

soup should no more than simmer; and when the herbs are sufficiently

tender it is done enough. This soup is not to be clear, on the contrary

thick with the lobster, and a perfect mash with the lobster and greens.

You are to put in lobster to your liking; I generally put in five or

six, at least of that part of them which is called fat, egg, and inside

spawn, sufficient to make it rich and good. It should look quite yellow

with this. Put plenty of the white part also, and in order that none of

the goodness of the lobsters should be lost, take the shells of those

which you have used, bruise them in a mortar, and boil them in some of

the broth, to extract what goodness remains; then strain off the liquor

and add it to the rest. Scoop some potatoes round, half boiling them

first, and put into it. Season with red pepper. Put in a piece of nice

pickled pork, which must be first scalded, for fear of its being too

salt; stew it with the rest and serve it.

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