These soups are very delicate, and are much esteemed. They are all made in the same way. The vegetable is boiled until soft, and is then pressed through a sieve. A pint of the vegetable pulp is diluted with a quart of stock (the stock may be veal, beef, or chicken broth). It is thickened with a roux made of one tablespoonful of butter and two tablespoonfuls of flour, seasoned with pepper and salt, and is then strained again, so it will be perfectly-smooth. It is replaced on the fire, a cupful or a half cupful of cream added, and the whole beaten with an egg-whip to make it light, and is served at once very hot. The French thicken cream soups with egg-yolks. In this case two yolks would be used for the above quantity. The beaten yolks are diluted with the cream, and cooked only just long enough to set the egg. It would curdle if allowed to boil. Butter is needed for seasoning, and where eggs are used it should be added in small bits before the cream and eggs. Where roux is used for thickening, there is enough butter in the roux.
25 large clams. 2 tablespoonfuls of butter. 2 tablespoonfuls of flour. 1½ pints of milk.
Small slice of onion. Dash of nutmeg. Salt and pepper. 1/2 pint of cream.
Wash the clam shells thoroughly with a brush and clear water.
Put them into a pot on the fire with one half cup of boiling water; cover and let steam until the shells open; take out the clams and let the liquor settle; then strain it carefully, and set aside; remove the clams from the shells; chop them, pound them in a mortar, and press as much of them as possible through a puree sieve. Put the milk into a double boiler with the slice of onion. Put the butter into a frying-pan, and when it bubbles, stir into it the flour, and let it cook a few minutes, but not brown; add enough of the milk slowly to make the roux liquid; then add it to the milk in the double boiler, first having removed the slice of onion; add a dash of nutmeg and of pepper, then the cream; when ready to serve, stir in the clam pulp and one pint of the clam liquor; taste to see if salt will be needed. After the clams are added to the milk, leave it on the fire only long enough to get well heated; if boiled, the milk will curdle.
Beat a moment with an egg-whisk to make foamy. If the mixture is too thick, it may be diluted with milk or cream.
This is good for luncheon, served in small cups, the top covered with a spoonful of whipped cream.
Scald a quart of oysters in their own liquor. Remove the oysters; chop and pound them in a mortar, then press as much of them as possible through a puree sieve.
Make a roux of one tablespoonful of butter and a heaping tablespoonful of flour. Dilute it with the oyster juice. Add the oyster pulp; season it with pepper, salt, and paprica, and keep it hot until ready to serve. Just before serving add a half pint of whipped cream, and beat it well into the soup.1
Put a chicken into three quarts of water. Simmer it slowly for two hours, or until the chicken is very tender. A half hour before removing it add a half pound of rice and a bouquet containing one root of parsley, one sprig of thyme, a thin slice of onion, and a stick of celery. Boil it until the rice is soft, then strain through a colander. Let the broth cool and remove the grease. Remove the white meat from the bones of the chicken, put it with the rice in a mortar, and pound both to a pulp. Pass the pulp through a puree sieve, moistening it with a little stock to make it pass through easier. "When ready to serve, add the puree to the stock, season with salt and pepper, and heat it thoroughly without boiling. Just before sending it to the table add a half pint of hot cream.
If desired the soup can be thickened with a little roux, or with fifteen blanched almonds chopped and pounded to a paste, using a little cream to prevent the almonds from oiling.
1 Any soup made of milk will be greatly improved by adding a cupful of hot cream just before serving. A little fish stock improves clam or oyster cream soup.
Put into a mortar equal parts of boiled lobster meat and boiled rice; pound them to a pulp; then add enough broth to dilute it; season with salt and paprica. Pass it through a sieve. Heat it without boiling, and then add enough Bechamel sauce to make it the consistency of cream soup; lastly, add to each quart of soup a quarter of a pound of lobster butter, adding a little at a time, and stirring until the butter is melted. Instead of the lobster butter, plain butter may be used, and the coral of the lobster, dried and pounded to a powder, stirred in at the same time. Serve croutons with the bisque.
After the meat is removed from the lobster, take all the rest (except the lady, woolly gills and intestine), including the shell, and put it into a mortar with twice its weight of butter. Pound it to a pulp; then place it in a. saucepan on the fire, and cook until the butter is melted. Strain it through a cloth. Beat the strained butter until it is cold. If not a deep enough color, add a very little cochineal.