Quick Recipes and Easy

Value of Soup

1. Soup is a liquid food that is prepared by boiling meat or vegetables,
or both, in water and then seasoning and sometimes thickening the liquid
that is produced. It is usually served as the first course of a dinner,
but it is often included in a light meal, such as luncheon. While some
persons regard the making of soup as hard, nothing is simpler when
one knows just what is required and how to proceed. The purpose of this
article, therefore, is to acquaint the housewife with the details of
soup making, so that she may provide her family with appetizing and
nutritious soups that make for both economy and healthfulness.

2. It is fascinating to note the advancement that has been made with
this food. The origin of soup, like that of many foods, dates back to
practically the beginning of history. But, the first soup known was
probably not made with meat. For instance, the mess of pottage for which
Esau sold his birthright was soup made of red lentils. Later on meat
came to be used as the basis for soup because of the agreeable and
appetizing flavor it provides.

Then, at one time in France a scarcity of
butter and other fats that had been used to produce moistness and
richness in foods, brought about such clear soups as bouillon and
consommé. These, as well as other liquid foods, found much favor, for
about the time they were devised it came to be considered vulgar to chew
food. Thus, at various periods, and because of different emergencies,
particular kinds of soup have been introduced, until now there are many
kinds from which the housewife may choose when she desires a dish that
will start a meal in the right way and at the same time appeal to
the appetite.

3. Not all persons have the same thought
regarding the value of soup as a part of a meal. Some consider it to be
of no more value than so much water, claiming that it should be fed to
none but children or sick persons who are unable to take solid food. On
the other hand, many persons believe that soup contains the very essence
of all that is nourishing and sustaining in the foods of which it is
made. This difference of opinion is well demonstrated by the thoughts that
have been advanced concerning this food. Some one has said that soup is
to a meal what a portico is to a palace or an overture to an opera,
while another person, who evidently does not appreciate this food, has
said that soup is the preface to a dinner and that any work really worth
while is sufficient in itself and needs no preface. Such opinions,
but, must be reconciled if the right value of this food is to be

4. Probably the best way in which to come to a certain conclusion as to
the importance of soup is to consider the purposes it serves in a meal.
When its variety and the ingredients of which it is composed are thought
of, soup serves two purposes: first, as an appetizer taken at the
beginning of a meal to stimulate the appetite and aid in the flow of
digestive juices in the stomach; and, secondly, as an actual part of the
meal, when it must contain sufficient nutritive material to permit it to
be considered as a part of the meal instead of merely an addition. Even
in its first and minor purpose, the vital part that soup plays in
many meals is not hard to realize, for it is just what is needed to
arouse the flagging appetite and make a desire for nourishing food.
But in its second purpose, the real value of soup is evident.

soup contains enough nutritive material for it to take the place of some
dish that would otherwise be necessary, its value cannot be overestimated.
If soup is thought of in this way, the prejudice that exists against it
in many households will be entirely overcome. But since much of this
prejudice is due to the fact that the soup served is often unappetizing
in both flavor and appearance, sufficient attention should be given to
the making of soup to have this food attractive enough to appeal to the
appetite rather than discourage it. Soup should not be greasy nor
insipid in flavor, neither should it be served in large quantities nor
without the proper accompaniment. A small quantity of well-flavored,
attractively served soup cannot fail to meet the approval of any family
when it is served as the first course of the meal.

5. Soups are named in various ways, according
to material, quality, etc.; but the two purposes for which soup is used
have led to the placing of the numerous kinds into two general classes.
In the first class are grouped those which serve as appetizers, such as
bouillon, consommé, and some other broths and clear soups. In the second
class are included those eaten for their nutritive effect, such as cream
soups, purées, and bisques. From these two classes of soup, the one that
will correspond with the rest of the meal and make it balance properly
is the one to choose. For instance, a light soup that is merely an
appetizer should be served with a heavy dinner, whereas a heavy, highly
nutritious soup should be used with a luncheon or a light meal.

6. Besides having an vital place in the
meal of which it forms a part, soup is very often an economy, for it
affords the housewife a splendid opportunity to utilize many left-overs.
With the French people, who excel in the art of soup making chiefly
because of their clever adaptation of seasoning to foods, their
pot-au-feu is a national institution and every kitchen has its stock

Persons who believe in the strictest food economy use a stock pot,
since it permits left-overs to be utilized in an attractive and
palatable way. In fact, there is scarcely anything in the way of fish,
meat, fowl, vegetables, and cereals that cannot be used in soup making,
provided such ingredients are cared for in the proper way. Very often
the first glance at the large number of ingredients listed in a soup
recipe makes the impression that soup must be a very complicated
thing. Such, but, is not the case. In reality, most of the soup
ingredients are small quantities of things used for flavoring, and it is
by the proper blending of these that appetizing soups are secured.

Raul Gallu is the author of chicken-soup-recipes.blogspot.com chicken-soup-recipes.blogspot.com- a website full of information for those who like chicken soup and want to learn how to cook it.

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