Many use cocoa rather than chocolate. It has the same flavor, but it has more body, and is richer and more oily. It is made in the same way as chocolate, but a few drops of the essence of vanilla should be invariably added.
The meat should be fresh, lean (all fat possible being removed), and juicy to make the best soup. It is put into cold, clear water, which should be heated only moderately for the first half-hour. The object is to extract the juices of the meat, and if it be boiled too soon, the surface will become coagulated, thereby imprisoning the juice within. After the first half-hour the pot should be placed at the back of the stove, allowing the soup to simmer for four or five hours.
Nothing is more disagreeable at table than greasy soup. As all particles of fat are taken off hot liquor with some difficulty, soup should be made the day before it is to be used, when the fat will rise to the top and harden. It can then be easily removed.
When vegetables are used, they should be added only in time to become thoroughly done: afterward they absorb a portion of the richness of the soup.
When onions are used, they impart better flavor by being fried or sauted in a little hot butter or other grease, before they are added to the soup. In fact, many professional cooks fry other vegetables also, such as carrots and turnips. Sometimes they even fry slightly the chickens, beef, etc., and then cut them into smaller pieces for boiling. Potatoes and cabbage should be boiled in separate water before they are added to a soup.
Amateur cooks seem to have a great aversion to making stock. They think it must be something troublesome, and too scientific to undertake; whereas, in truth, it saves the trouble of going through the process of soup-boiling every day, and it is as easy to make as any simple soup. One has only to increase the quantity of meat and bones to any desired proportion, adding pepper and salt, and also vegetables, if preferred.
The stock should be kept in a stone jar. It will form a jelly, and in cool weather will last at least a week. Just before dinner each day, in order to prepare soup, it is only necessary to cut off some of the jelly and heat it. It is very good with nothing additional; but one can have a change of soup each day by adding different flavorings, such as onion, macaroni, vermicelli, tomato, tapioca, spring vegetables (which will make a julienne), poached eggs, fried bread, asparagus, celery, green pease, etc. I will be explicit about these additions in the receipts. Stock is also valuable for gravies, sauces, and stews, and for boiling many things, such as pigeons, chickens, etc.