There are several ways in which an amber color may be imparted to soup. The following method is perhaps most satisfactory from all standpoints: Place the soup meat in a hot spider, or iron kettle, containing a little fat, and stir about until it browns, but let no particle of it burn. When it is nicely browned, put it into the soup kettle, cover with cold water, as for soup making, rinse the vessel in which it was cooked, and add the water used to the kettle.
Another excellent way to color soup stock is to use the bits of roast and bones from steak left by the carver on the meat platter. Add the rinsing from roasting pans and meat spiders, when not needed for gravy, and little extra, coloring will be necessary.
A third way to color the stock is by browning the vegetables to be used before putting them to cook for the soup, and add the water in which they were cooked to the stock.
A fourth method is to make a meat caramel by evaporating meat broth to a syrupy consistency, and then allow it to brown, but not burn. This may be kept for a short time if put into a sterilized glass jar, and sealed while hot.
Meat extract for coloring soup may be bought, but the flavor is not so fine as the home-made caramel. Both the boughten extract and that made at home must be kept closely sealed.
A fifth and less desirable method is to use a sugar caramel made in the same way as a meat caramel, except that a syrup made from sugar and water is used as a basis.
When a piece of meat is immersed in boiling water, a. coating of coagulated albumen is formed on the outside. This largely prevents the escape of the meat juices. Meat surrounded by cold water remains soft, and its juices are-drawn out gradually as the water heats.
Reasons for Cooking Vegetables in Water, Rather than in the Soup. Cooking vegetables in the soup usually gives the soup-a flavor which is less delicate than when the vegetables are cooked in water. The soup stock is apt to be over-cooked, if vegetables are added to it to be cooked.
Chicken and veal may be used together, and either may be used with beef, but mutton, pork, and turkey should each be cooked alone, and the broths used alone, except in mixed soups, where their flavors are toned down or disguised by the use of various vegetables and other flavorings. A very little ham or bacon is sometimes used in other meat stocks, but not enough so that the flavor is noticeable.
In making chicken broth, cook a stalk of celery, a blade of mace, or a bit of onion with each fowl. For veal, use the same materials, but less of them.
In making beef stock, use onions, carrots, turnips, and celery. Cabbage may be used, also, but it is apt to so assert itself as to obscure largely all other flavors.
In a mixed broth, many vegetables and herbs may be used, but all must be added in such quantities as to preserve harmony, and produce a pleasant flavor. None of the flavoring materials should be in a powdered form, as they impair the beauty of the liquids. Some of the herbs commonly used in soup are described in the article on condiments and spices. Those who wish highly-flavored soups can buy the herbs and spices already mixed, and add the amount desired half an hour before straining the stock.
Meattroths are usually just plain meat stock seasoned with salt and pepper. A bit of parsley may be added to lamb or mutton broth.