100 Years of Soup


The following kitchen garden vegetable soup recipes were taken from ‘Cassells vegetarian cookery’…from a century ago.

I’ve broken them down into steps, but left the style alone!

-Fry two onions, a carrot and a turnip, and a small head of celery cut up into small pieces, in a frying-pan, with a little butter, till they are lightly browned.
-Then put them in a saucepan, with about two quarts of water and a tablespoonful of mixed savoury herbs. Let this boil till the vegetables are quite tender.
-Thicken the soup with two ounces of oatmeal or prepared barley. This must be mixed with cold water and made quite smooth before it is added to the soup.
-Wash a quarter of a pound of rice, and boil this in the soup, and when the rice is quite tender the soup can be served.
-Some people add a little sugar, and dried powdered mint can be handed round with the soup, like pea soup.

**”For a gluten-free alternative to oatmeal or barley, a soup can be thickened with cornflour. Mix with a little cold water before adding to the soup and stir in well.”**

-Cut into thin strips some carrot, turnip and celery.
-Add a dozen or more small button onions, similar to those used for pickling, and also a few hearts of lettuces cut up fine.
-Simmer these gently in some clear stock till tender.
-Add a few fresh tarragon leaves cut into very fine strips in the last minute of cooking time.
-Serve hot.

**”Hearts of lettuce? Maybe try Chinese leaf if Romaine lettuce isn’t available?”

-Take half a dozen or more fine large leeks, and after trimming off the green part, throw them into boiling water for five minutes, then drain them off and dry them.

NB: Careful with the ‘throwing’ – Maybe placing gently into boiling water would be safer. 🙂

-Cut them into pieces about half an inch long, and stew them gently in a little butter till they are tender.
-Add three pints of milk, and let two bay-leaves boil in the milk, flavour with pepper and salt, and add a suspicion of grated nutmeg.
-Thicken the soup with a little white roux and take the crust of a French roll. Cut this up into small pieces or rings. The rings can be made by simply scooping out the crumb, and cutting the roll across.
-When the leeks have boiled in the milk till they are quite tender, pour the soup over the crusts placed at the bottom of the soup-tureen.
-Some cooks add blanched parsley. Of course, cream would be a great improvement.

“In case you’re not familiar with the term ‘roux’ – it’s actually a simple white sauce. And the ‘cutting rolls into rings’ could be simply crusty bread.”


—Take four large onions, cut them up and fry them brown, with a little butter, in a frying-pan, with a carrot cut up into small pieces;
-Add to this a quart of stock or water, and boil till the vegetables and onions are tender;
-Then rub the whole through a wire sieve and add a brimming teaspoonful of Captain White’s Curry Paste and a dessertspoonful of curry powder, previously mixed smooth in a little cold water; thicken the soup with a little brown roux.
Some persons would consider this soup too hot; if so, less curry powder can be used or more water added. If you have no curry paste, cut up a sour apple and add it to the vegetables in the frying-pan. If you have no sour apples, a few green gooseberries are a very good substitute.
-Boiled rice should be served on a separate dish with this soup, and should not be boiled in the soup at starting.

“Love the reference to ‘Captain White’s curry paste’! Use you’re favourite curry paste, homemade or bought.. And again ‘roux’ is a thick sauce. You can thicken a soup by mixing a little flour or cornflour to a smooth paste with cold milk or cold water – add liquid a little at a time.”

NB: Coriander is a great substitute if you’re looking for a mild curry flavour. Grow some in a pot on the patio for a fresh supply!

—Cut up half a dozen onions and throw them for a few minutes into boiling water. (Again, ‘place’ don’t ‘throw’!)
-Drain off the onions, and chop them up and boil them till they are tender in some milk that has been seasoned with pepper and salt and a pinch of savoury herbs.
-Take a small quantity of celery, carrot and turnip, or carrot and turnip and a little bruised celery seed, and boil till they are tender in a very little water;
-Rub through a wire sieve, and add the pulp to the soup. The soup can be thickened with white roux, ground rice, or one or two eggs beaten up. Add eggs gradually or they will curdle.

NB: Rubbing through a wire sieve was obviously done before food processors and blenders became the norm. So I would go for the machine version if you have one.

Bon Appetit!
Linda x

P.S. This popular herb download will help you get the tastiest soups. Growing a few herbs at home can turn your soups into cordon bleu creations!

Growing Herbs at Home

Growing Herbs at Home describes ten everyday herbs, how to grow them and a little useful information about each one….

Aloe vera, Basil, Chives, Coriander, Garlic
Mint, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Watercress

Herbs have been cultivated for medicinal and culinary use for thousands of years.

The herbs in ’Growing Herbs at Home” can be grown either in pots, containers or in your outdoor herb garden. Choose from your favourite online bookstore:

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