Stock is the basis of all soups made from meat, and is really the
juice of the meat extracted by long and gentle simmering. In making
stock for soup always use an agate or porcelain-lined stock pot. Use
one quart of cold water to each pound of meat and bone. Use cheap cuts
of meat for soup stock. Excellent stock may be made from bones and
trimmings of meat and poultry. Wash soup bones and stewing meat
quickly in cold water. Never allow a roast or piece of stew
ng meat to
lie for a second in water. Aunt Sarah did not think that wiping meat
with a damp cloth was all that was necessary (although many wise and
good cooks to the contrary). Place meat and soup bones in a stock pot,
pour over the requisite amount of soft, cold water to extract the
juice and nutritive quality of the meat; allow it to come to a boil,
then stand back on the range, where it will just simmer for 3 or 4
hours. Then add a sliced onion, several sprigs of parsley, small
pieces of chopped celery tops, well-scraped roots of celery, and allow
to simmer three-quarters of an hour longer. Season well with salt and
pepper, 1 level teaspoonful of salt will season 1 quart of soup.
Strain through a fine sieve, stand aside, and when cool remove from
lop the solid cake of fat which had formed and use for frying after it
has been clarified. It is surprising to know the variety of soups made
possible by the addition of a small quantity of vegetables or cereals
to stock. A couple tablespoonfuls of rice or barley added to
well-seasoned stock and you have rice or barley soup. A small quantity
of stewed, sweet corn or noodles, frequently "left-overs," finely
diced or grated carrots, potatoes, celery or onions, and you have a
vegetable soup. Strain the half can of tomatoes, a "left-over" from
dinner, add a tablespoonful of butter, a seasoning of salt and pepper,
thicken to a creamy consistency with a little cornstarch, add to cup
of soup stock, serve with croutons of bread or crackers, and you have
an appetizing addition to dinner or lunch.
The possibilities for utilizing left-overs are almost endless. The
economically-inclined housewife will be surprised to find how easily
she may add to the stock pot by adding left-over undesirable pieces of
meat and small quantities of vegetables. One or two spoonfuls of cold
left-over oatmeal may also be added to soup with advantage,
occasionally. Always remove the cake of fat which forms on top of soup
as soon as cooled, as soup will turn sour more quickly if it is
allowed to remain. If soup stock be kept several days in summer time,
heat it each day to prevent souring.
Pieces of celery, onion, parsley, beans and peas may all be added to
soup to make it more palatable. Also fine noodles. The yolk of a
hard-boiled egg dropped into the soup kettle and heated through,
allowing one for each plate of soup served, is a quick and appetizing
addition to a soup of plain broth or consomme.