The best soup is made of the lean of fine fresh beef. The proportion is four pounds of meat to a gallon of water. It should boil at least six hours. Mutton soup may be made in the same manner.
Put the meat into cold water, with a little salt; set it over a good fire; let it boil slowly but constantly, and skim it well. When no more fat rises to the top, put in what quantity you please of carrots, turnips, leeks, celery, and parsley, all cut into small pieces; add, if you choose, a laurel-leaf, or two or three peach-leaves, a few cloves, and a large burnt onion, to heighten the color of the soup. Grate a large red carrot, and strew it over the top. Then continue to let it boil, gently but steadily, till dinner time. Next to the quantity and quality of the meat, nothing is more necessary to the excellence of soup than to keep the fire moderate, and to see that it is boiling all the time, but not too fast.
Have ready in the tureen some toasted bread, cut into small squares; pour the soup over the bread, passing it through a sieve, so as to strain it thoroughly. Some, however, prefer serving it up with all the vegetables in it.
The soup will be improved by boiling in it the remains of a piece of cold roast beef. Soups made of veal, chickens, &c. are only fit for invalids.
After you have strained out the vegetables, you may put into the soup some vermicelli (allowing two ounces to each quart), and then boil it ten minutes longer.