Of all the accompaniments to soups, croutons (crusts of bread) are perhaps the most desirable as well as most practical. To make them, cut slices of bread, not too fresh, into any desired shapes, dry, slowly at first, in a warm oven, then gradually increase the heat until they are of a delicate cream color, for such soups as bean, Swiss lentil or bouillon; but for cream soups, dry to crispness without browning.
A favorite shape is made by cutting rather thin loaves of bread into half inch slices, laying 3 or 4 together and cutting them diagonally across the narrow way of the slice. This gives dainty strips, convenient and attractive. The most common way is to cut slices straight across each way, leaving the bread in dice.
Croutons, however, are not suitable for very delicate flavored soups, such as cream of corn or cream of rice. For these, there is nothing equal to dainty cream or nut-shortened sticks, or little soup crackers.
Cook some of the small Italian pastes (you can be sure that they are Italian only by buying them of the Italian dealer himself), vermicelli, soprafini, ditalini, acini di pepe, or others, in boiling salted water until tender (from 10 to 15 m.), drain and add to suitable soups in the proportion of one ounce to 3/4 - 1 qt. of soup.
Roll lettuce leaves in tight rolls and cut off in slender rings; pick up with the fingers and drop into hot soup; or cut lettuce with vegetable cutter, round or in any not too fine shapes and scatter into plates of soup as served.
Cut left-overs of pie crust into fancy shapes. Bake and drop into each plate of soup in serving. They must not stand in the soup long or they will dissolve.
Coat 3/4 in. dice of bread with beaten egg. Bake just before serving. Serve a few in each dish of soup, or throw into tureen just before sending to table. May roll cubes in finely-chopped onion or parsley.
1 cup water 1 cup pastry flour
2 tablespns. butter or oil 4 eggs
Heat water and oil to boiling, stir flour in dry, stirring and beating well with batter whip. When nearly cold, add eggs, one at a time, mixing well, until all are in. Beat for 5 m., stand in ice box for from 1 to 12 or more hours. Drop small quantities from point of spoon into boiling soup, or bake or boil in tiny balls, flattened.
Excellent baked, but unusually fine boiled, so delightfully free from stickiness or doughiness.
Rub 4 poached yolks of eggs to a paste. Beat with salt and the white of 1 raw egg. Form into balls 3/4 to 1 in. in diameter. Roll in browned flour No. 1, bake just before serving. May beat white of egg first.
The raw yolk is sometimes used in place of the white. The balls may be boiled for 5 m. in the soup, instead of being baked.
Break eggs into cup (2 for each quart of soup). Leave whole and turn slowly into rapidly boiling soup, beating briskly with fork or wire batter whip, until egg is in white and yellow shreds.
Boil up well and serve soup at once. Or, beat eggs and let them stand until the froth subsides, then add to the soup in the same way.
1 tablespn. flour 1/2 cup cold water yolks 2 eggs
Blend flour and water, add to boiling soup, boil up well.
Turn some of the hot soup slowly on to the beaten yolks, stirring, add them to the soup, do not boil, serve at once.
1/3 cup rice 1/2 teaspn. salt
1 cup water 1/2 teaspn. oil or melted butter
Soak rice in water for half an hour, add salt and oil, stir well and steam without stirring, 3/4 to 1 hour. Press into small oiled molds. Set in a pan of hot water covered, for 10 m. Put one in the center of each plate of soup, with or without a small leaf of parsley on top. Rice may be boiled.
Cut bread or universal dough into small rounds or make into very small balls; let rise and steam 20 m. or boil 10 to 15 m. in rich soup just before serving, or boil in water and add to soup.