Soups

What soups may a gouty person partake of?

The answer to this question will depend on the digestive capacity, but in coming to a decision we must take into consideration some elementary points in the preparation of the various soups.

It has been stated that there are perhaps not less than 500 soups, but regarded analytically, there are only a few leading species from which the different varieties are produced by additions and combinations of flavours.

(a) A clear decoction of meat or bones which, when weak, forms a broth or a "tea," and when strong is a consomme or essence. These may be prepared from beef, veal, or mutton, and sometimes pork or ham.

(d) A similar decoction can be made from the various forms of fowl, game, and fish.

(c) A decoction of vegetables, including herbs, roots, grains, and farinaceous substances.

All of these soups may have added to them well-known dried Italian pastes, e.g. vermicelli or macaroni, and a consomme of meat or pork or game may be thickened with additions of a meat, fowl, or game puree respectively. In the same way the weaker broths furnish a basis for vegetable purees.

The following highly nitrogenous soups are not as a rule suitable articles of diet for the gouty: - Turtle, mock turtle, hare, kidney, oxtail, mulligatawny. If they are indulged in, the rest of the food and drink consumed at the same meal must be more carefully limited.

Cocky-leeky, giblet, and hotch-potch are almost stews, and should be considered as a meat course. In not a few cases all of these highly nitrogenous soups are contra-indicated.

The great fault to be found with soups usually served is that they are heavy, and contain too many ingredients. The average soup is made up with as many good things as possible, some to make it more nourishing, others to make it more palatable. This is all very well for the healthy, but where, as in gout, the digestive functions in the tissues and alimentary canal are readily disturbed, simple soups are required. The soups without thickening are therefore the most suitable. The thickenings in common use are purees of meat or fowl, flour, tapioca, yolks of eggs, etc.

Roast beef and mutton bones boiled with vegetables, and the fat carefully removed, make a good stock from which soup can be made for the gouty. Excellent soup can also be made from the water in which meat or fish has been boiled.

The Various Vegetable Purees - Spinach, Artichoke, Tomato, Carrots, Green Peas, Etc

Are excellent for this class of patient. They are sufficiently sustaining to prevent a feeling of hunger, and if well digested give a fair amount of nourishment. In the case of soups made from the pulses, their high nutritive value should influence the rest of the meal, and in some cases they are better avoided. A very good vegetarian stock can be made by extracting the " goodness " and flavouring from vegetables, the chief ones being onion, celery, carrot, and turnips. To do this take these vegetables and cut them into small pieces, place in a saucepan with sufficient water to cover them, and let them boil gently for several hours. The liquor when strained off is " stock," and can be flavoured with a small quantity of savoury herbs, pepper, salt, and ketchup, and can be coloured a nice brown with a few drops of Parisian essence.

A more detailed account of the methods of preparing the invalid soups (teas and essences) will be found on p. 71.

Meats

Made-up meats are not suitable for the gouty, owing to the greater toughness of fibres induced by the second rooking, and also because of the admixture of rich sauces of various kinds which are usually added for palatability. Meats should be tender and simply prepared. The best ways of preparing are, in order - broiling, steaming, roasting, boiling, baking, stewing, and frying. The last mentioned should be avoided, especially in the case of beef and mutton. Although lamb and veal possess less extractive value than other meats, and are on that ground commendable, yet the gelatinous nature of the fibres makes them more difficult of mastication, and therefore less digestible. If allowed, this danger must be pointed out with a view of obviating it. Tripe, sweetbreads, kidney, and liver may all be allowed for occasional use, provided the very special cleaning and careful cooking necessary are given effect to. Salted meats are rendered more indigestible in the preparation, and should therefore be avoided. Bacon and ham are more digestible than pork. With regard to game, white flesh is more suitable than brown, and water-birds are more fatty than other game.