Although I like vegetables soups and soups made of broth, I like cream soups the best. I like their texture and smoothness.
Celeriac – Also called turnip-rooted celery, celery root, or knob celery. This type of celery is used for its edible roots.
Hair Sieve – A strainer with a wiry fabric bottom usually woven from horsehair.
Tureen – A deep covered dish from which soup is served.
INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS:
CREAM OF LETTUCE
Take two heads of nice, fresh lettuce, wash and drain and chop fine with half a small white onion. Put in a saucepan with two heaping tablespoons of butter, and cook for about ten minutes, stirring all the time. Then add two heaping tablespoons of rice and a quart of milk. Let it boil for twenty minutes until the rice is perfectly tender. Remove from the fire and press through a purée sieve, using a small potato masher. Then strain and press again through a fine hair sieve; this will make it smooth. Season with salt to taste, a dash of cayenne pepper, and a half teaspoon of sugar. Put in a fresh saucepan, rub together two heaping teaspoons of butter and an even teaspoon of cornstarch and stir into the soup. Let it come to the boiling point and remove from the fire, adding at the last moment a quarter of a cup of whipped cream. Serve with or without fried croutons.
CREAM OF LIMA BEANS
Put over the fire a quart of lima beans in boiling water to cover them. When nearly tender add a bay leaf, half a white onion, and salt and white pepper to taste. Let them cook until very tender, remove from the fire, and mash through a colander with the water in which they were boiled. Put back in the saucepan on the range, let it come to a boil, then add a heaping tablespoon of butter and a pint of boiling milk. Stir well, remove and press through a purée sieve that it may be smooth. Beat four tablespoons of cream, add when the soup is in the tureen and serve immediately. This soup is very nice when made from the best canned lima beans, using two cans and following the recipe as above.
CREAM OF ASPARAGUS
Prepare a bunch of asparagus in the usual way for cooking, cut off the points about an inch in length and put aside. Cover the stalks and half an onion cut in slices, with boiling water. Cook until tender and press through a purée sieve with the water they were boiled in. Melt a good tablespoon of butter in a saucepan, and stir into it half a tablespoon of flour. Add the purée of asparagus and let it come to a boil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Have the asparagus points cooked tender in a little water and have ready a pint of boiling milk. Remove both from the fire and stir the milk into the soup, then put the asparagus points into the tureen. Beat two egg yolks with four tablespoons of cream, stir quickly into the soup and pour into the tureen.
CREAM OF CAULIFLOWER
Cut one small cauliflower into flowerets, reserve a tablespoonful, and put the rest into a saucepan with three cups of boiling water, one small white onion, half a small celeriac cut in slices, and a bay leaf. Cook together ten minutes, drain and put the vegetables into a double boiler with two heaping tablespoons of butter, a heaping tablespoon of flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Steam for ten minutes. Put the flowerets into the water the vegetables were boiled in and cook until tender. Remove and put aside to keep warm. Measure the water and add sufficient from the kettle to make two cupfuls. Pour this over the vegetables, cook until tender and press through a fine sieve. Bring two cups of milk to the boiling point, turn the purée into this, let it boil up once, and remove from the fire. Beat two egg yolks and four tablespoons of rich cream together. Add some of the soup to this, then mix all together, turn into the tureen, add the flowerets and serve at once.
CREAM OF CUCUMBERS
Peel and cut into slices four cucumbers and one small white onion. Put in a saucepan with enough boiling water to cover them. Cook until tender, press through a fine sieve and pour into a saucepan. Stand where it will keep hot without cooking. Have a cream sauce ready, made by melting two heaping tablespoons of butter in a saucepan with two tablespoons of flour. Let them cook together until the mixture no longer adheres to the pan. Add gradually a quart of milk, an even teaspoon of white pepper, and a heaping teaspoon of salt. Let it boil for a few minutes until thick and pour into the cucumber purée, Add two tablespoons of rich cream, let it come to the boiling point, and serve at once. This is a very delicate soup, and cooking or standing on the stove after it is done will spoil it.
CREAM OF SUMMER SQUASH
Peel the squash, slice thin, put in a saucepan and add boiling water to come nearly to the top of the squash. When nearly tender add an onion, a bay leaf and several sprigs of parsley. When tender, mash through a fine sieve, and return to the fire. Let it come to a boil, stir in a heaping tablespoon of butter, a heaping teaspoon of flour, and season with salt and pepper and a tiny pinch of mace. Have almost as much boiling milk as purée, remove from the fire and stir together. Add two tablespoons of cream, and serve at once.
CREAM OF GREEN PEAS
Put a quart of green peas into a saucepan with a slice of white onion. Cover with boiling water and cook until tender. Remove from the fire and press through a purée sieve with the water in which they were boiled. Return to the saucepan, set it back on the stove, and let it come to a boil. Add a pint of rich milk, salt and white pepper to taste, a dash of cayenne and a large, generous tablespoon of butter rubbed into an even tablespoon of flour, adding a little of the liquid before stirring into the soup. Let it come to a boil, and add two tablespoons of whipped cream just as it is poured into the tureen.
CREAM OF SPINACH
Take two large handfuls of spinach, after it is washed and picked over, a small head of lettuce, a few sprigs of parsley, and a small white onion peeled and sliced. Put in a saucepan over the fire with a tablespoon of butter, a dozen peppercorns and two cloves, and a very little boiling water. Cover and stand it where the vegetables will only simmer. When they are tender, rub together a generous heaping tablespoon of butter and a heaping tablespoon of flour, and stir it into the vegetables. Add a little boiling water, mash the vegetables smooth and press them through a fine sieve. Have the purée as thick as possible, and return to the saucepan. Have ready a pint of boiling milk, beat two egg yolks with four tablespoons of cream, pour a little of the boiling milk into them, and the rest into the purée. Remove from the fire at once, then add the eggs and cream, pour into the tureen and serve immediately.
What Type Soups Do You Like Best?