Bouillon should be well colored, strong, clear, and served with nothing in it. Clear soup, or consomme, should be clear, amber colored, of medium strength, and flavored with herbs and vegetables. It may have something served in it, but all things which cloud it, or interfere with its clearness in any way, should be excluded.
Many kinds of paste, as the long, slender strips of vermicelli, the rings of macaroni and the many fanciful forms of paste to be found on the market, as well as noodles, may also be used in a beef soup. Chicken broth may have rice, noodles, or some of the various forms of paste served in it. Mutton or lamb broth is best with parsley, rice or barley served in it. Veal broth admits of about the same things as chicken broth. Bean and tomato soup are especially nice with croutons.
All cereals, vegetables, and pastes are cooked in water before being added to the soups. Mixed vegetable soups admit all vegetables which taste well together. These vegetables are simply chopped, or are cut in fancy shapes, as desired.
Soup sticks, bread fingers, crisped crackers, or toast strips may be served with soup.
When it is necessary to scald soup in order to preserve it in warm weather, be sure that it boils. Merely heating without boiling does no good.
Cut slices of stale bread, buttered, into squares (small), and brown in the oven. Serve with pea soup, bean soup, or tomato soup. Croutons may be fried in deep fat, but baking in the oven is preferable.
Break an egg into a bowl, add one-fourth of a teaspoon-ful of salt, and stir in a generous half cup of flour. Knead well. Roll as thin as possible, let lie on the molding board until it can be rolled like jelly cake without the paste sticking together. When rolled, cut off in strips one-eighth of an inch wide, shake out. Put two quarts or plenty of water over the fire in a kettle or saucepan, and add one tablespoonful of salt to two quarts of water. When boiling, put in the noodles, and cook rapidly three-fourths of an hour. Serve in noodle broth, chicken or veal broth.
Most thickened soups have about the consistency of cream. Some authorities direct that purees be made thicker, but since they are in the category of soups, there seems no good reason for doing so.
When butter and flour are used for thickening, save out half the soup stock, if it is cold, put the butter and flour in a saucepan, and, when melted, pour the soup stock on them, stir until it boils, and then add to the rest of the ingredients. If it is hot, have it very strong, and use a cup of water with the thickening, or have it hot, of the right strength, and mix the butter and flour together perfectly, put on the end of a wooden spoon, put into the liquid, and stir until the mixture melts slowly from the spoon, and thickens the soup as desired. When cornstarch or arrowroot is used, mix smoothly with a little water in a saucepan, then pour on a little hot soup, pour-ing slowly and stirring rapidly to prevent lumping. When well mixed, add to the contents of the kettle, and stir until smooth and well cooked.
The amount of thickening given in the following formulae is simply enough to give body to the soup, and prevent the vegetables settling. Those desiring a thick puree or cream must use twice the given amount of thickening material. Split peas and cooked tomatoes may be used without straining, and simply form soups, but both are nicer when strained and made into purees. Most vegetables need straining to remove the woody portion, as the covering of beans and the woody, stringy portions of asparagus and celery.