Any of the soups or purees in this division may be attempted before one has mastered the imaginary difficulties of stock-making. They are palatable, nutritious, inex pensive, and quickly prepared.

Potato Soup

3 potatoes.

1 pint milk.

1 teaspoonful chopped onion.

1 stalk celery.

1 teaspoonful salt.

½ teaspoonful celery salt. ½ saltspoonful white pepper. ¼ saltspoonful cayenne. ½ tablespoonful flour. 1 tablespoonful butter.

Wash and pare the potatoes, and let them soak in cold water half an hour. Put them into boiling water, and cook until very soft. Cook the onion and celery with the milk in a double boiler. When the potatoes are soft, drain off the water and mash them. Add the boiling milk and seasoning. Rub through a strainer, and put it on to boil again. Put the butter in a small saucepan, and when melted and bubbling, add the flour, and when well mixed stir into the boiling soup; let it boil five minutes, and serve very hot. This flour thickening keeps the potato and milk from separating, and gives a smoothness and consistency quite unlike the granular effect which is often noticed. If the soup be too thick, add more hot milk.

The celery salt may be omitted if you have the fresh celery, or, if you like, put one tablespoonful of fine chopped parsley into the soap just before serving.

When you wish a richer soup, use a quart of milk, making it much thinner, and add two eggs, well beaten, after you take it from the fire; or put them in the tureen, and stir rapidly as you pour in the boiling soup. New raw potatoes, cut into small dice or balls and cooked till tender but not broken, are sometimes served in potato soup.

Celery Soup

1 head celery.

1 pint water.

1 pint milk.

1 tablespoonful chopped onion.

1 tablespoonful butter. 1 tablespoonful flour. ½ teaspoonful salt. ½ saltspoonful pepper.

Wash and scrape the celery, cut into half-inch pieces, put it into one pint of boiling salted water, and cook until very soft. Mash in the water in which it was boiled. Cook the onion with the milk, in a double boiler, ten minutes, and add it to the celery. Rub all through a strainer, and put it on to boil again. Cook the butter and flour together in a small saucepan until smooth, but not brown, and 6tir it into the boiling soup. Add the salt and pepper; boil five minutes, and strain into the tureen. Serve very hot.

Tomato Soup

1 quart can tomatoes.

1 pint hot water.

1 tablespoonful sugar.

1 teaspoonful salt.

4 cloves.

4 peppercorns, or

1 saltspoonful white pepper. 1 tablespoonful butter. 1 tablespoonful chopped onion. 1 tablespoonful chopped parsley. 1 tablespoonful cornstarch.

Put the tomatoes, water, sugar, salt, cloves, and peppercorns on to boil in a porcelain stewpan. Put the butter in a small saucepan, and when it bubbles put in the onion and parsley. Fry five minutes, being careful not to burn it. Add the cornstarch, and when well mixed stir it into the tomato. Let it simmer ten minutes. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Strain, and serve with plain boiled rice, or croûtons, or toasted crackers.