Wash very clean, and throw into an equal quantity of boiling water, salted as for peas, three quarts of the shells, and in from twenty to thirty minutes, when they will be quite tender, turn the whole into a large strainer, and press the pods strongly with a wooden spoon. Measure the liquor, put two quarts of it into a clean, deep saucepan, and when it boils add to it a quart of full grown peas, two, or even three large cucumbers, as many moderate-sized lettuces freed from the coarser leaves, and cut small, one large onion (or more if liked,) sliced extremely thin and stewed for half an hour in a morsel of butter before it is added to the soup, or gently fried without being allowed to brown; a branch or two of parsley, and, when the flavour is liked, a dozen leaves of mint. Stew these softly for an hour, with the addition of a small teaspoonful, or a larger quantity if required, of salt, and a good seasoning of fine white pepper, or of cayenne; then press the whole of the vegetables with the soup through a hair-sieve, heat it afresh, and send it to table with a dish of small fried sippets.
The colour will not he so bright as that of the more expensive soups which precede it, but it will be excellent in flavour.
*Some persons prefer the vegetables slowly fried to a fine brown, then drained on a sieve, and well dried before the lire; but though more savoury so, they do not improve -he colour of the soup.
Pea-shells, 3 quarts; water, 3 quarts: 20 to 30 minutes. Liquor from these, 2 quarts; fall-sized green peas, 1 quart; large cucumbers, 2 or 3; lettuces, 3; onion, 1 (or more); little parsley; mint, 12 leaves; seasoning of salt and pepper or cayenne: stewed 1 hour.
The cucumbers should be pared, quartered, and freed from the seeds before they are added to the soup. The peas, as we have said already more than once, should not be old, but taken at their full growth, before they lose their colour: the youngest of the shells ought to be selected for the liquor.
Soak a quart of fine yellow split peas for a night, drain them well, and put them into a large soup-pot with five quarts of good brown gravy stock; and when they have boiled gently for half an hour, add to the soup three onions, as many carrots, and a turnip or two, all sliced and fried carefully in butter; stew the whole softly till the peas are reduced to pulp, then add as much salt and cayenne as may be needed to season it well, give it two or three minutes' boil, and pass it through a sieve, pressing the vegetables with it. Put into a clean saucepan as much as may be required for table, add a little fresh stock to it should it be too thick, and reduce it by quick boiling if too thin; throw in the white part of some fresh celery sliced a quarter of an inch thick, and when this is tender send the soup quickly to table with a dish of small fried sippets. A dessertspoonful or more of curry-powder greatly improves peas soup: it should be smoothly mixed with a few spoonsful of it, and poured to the remainder when this first begins to boil after having been strained.
Split peas, 1 quart: soaked one night. Good brown gravy soup 5 quarts: 30 minutes. Onions and carrots browned in butter, 3 of each; turnips, 2: 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Cayenne and salt as needed. Soup, 5 pints; celery sliced, 1 large or 2 small heads: 20 minutes.
When more convenient, six pounds of neck of beef well scored and equally, but carefully browned, may be. boiled gently with the peas and fried vegetables in a gallon of water (which should be poured to them boiling) for four or five hours.