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Soup for the Million


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From the Virginia City Cookbook:

 

Soup has always been a dish to warm the heart of man and cheer his spirits.  There is little doubt that the early miners often dined upon it and that the potage was often a slumgullion kind of thing, thick with meat and vegetables, flavor, and nutriment.  When times were tough and hunger rampant, as they were in 1877 when the Con Virginia failed to pay dividends and the market crashed, do- gooders by the names of Mrs. Matthew and Mrs. Beck set up a soup kitchen and discovered what good cooks have always known--that nutritious and palatable soup could be made from what so often ended in the waste pails.  Making the rounds of greengroceries, restaurants, and butcher shops, they collected and concocted for 500 Comstockians a day.  Their virtue was exceeded only by their energy.  Their soup recipe was dependent upon the day's take, patterned, no doubt, after the one in the contemporary Godey's Lady's Book, though probably barley, so plentiful in Carson, was also an ingredient.

 

Soup for the Million From "Godey's Lady's Book," receipt, 1870

 

"Put the bones, skin, and all the rough residue of any joint into a saucepan with 1 quart and 1/2 pint of cold water 1 large carrot, scraped and cut up, 2 large onions, sliced and fried brown in an ounce of butter; and one very small head of celery washed and cut up.  Let it stew for about 2 hours then add 3 medium size peeled potatoes, a saltspoonsful of salt, 1/2 saltspoonful of pepper and 1/2 saltspoonful of mustard.  Let simmer 3/4 of an hour longer.  Take out bones and then rub the whole through a sieve."

 

 

 

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I use barley in my soup. I make enough soup for me for days, and for freezing and reheating it does better than pasta or rice. 

 

Other than the barley, my soup recipe is basically beef stock, chicken stock, bunch of veggies either fresh, frozen, or canned, a can of Rotel, and a tablespoon of thyme, rosemary, and oregano. I put in the spices to make myself feel like I'm actually cooking instead of just throwing a bunch of stuff into a pot.

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jfclover
1 hour ago, ellen said:

I use barley in my soup. I make enough soup for me for days, and for freezing and reheating it does better than pasta or rice. 

 

Other than the barley, my soup recipe is basically beef stock, chicken stock, bunch of veggies either fresh, frozen, or canned, a can of Rotel, and a tablespoon of thyme, rosemary, and oregano. I put in the spices to make myself feel like I'm actually cooking instead of just throwing a bunch of stuff into a pot.

 

Rotel makes everything better!

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