Thomas J. Murrey. Formerly professional caterer of the Continental Hotel, Philadelphia, Astor House, New York, and other leading hotels. Author of "Salads and Sauces," "Valuable Cooking Recipes," etc.
Soups, like salads, present an excellent opportunity for the cook to display good taste and judgment.
The great difficulty lies in selecting the most appropriate soup for each particular occasion; it would be well to first select your bill of fare, after which decide upon the soup.
The season, and force of circumstances, may compel you to decide upon a heavy fish, such as salmon, trout, or other oleaginous fishes, and heavy joints and entrées.
Under these circumstances it must necessarily follow that a light soup should begin the dinner, and vice versa; for large parties, one light and one heavy soup is always in order.
There is as much art in arranging a bill of fare and harmonizing the peculiarities of the various dishes, as there is in preparing the colors for a painting; the soup represents the pivot upon which harmony depends.
Soups may be divided into four classes: clear, thick, purées or bisques, and chowders. A purée is made by rubbing the cooked ingredients through a fine sieve; an ordinary thick soup is made by adding various thickening ingredients to the soup stock; clear soups are, properly speaking, the juices of meats, served in a convenient and appetizing form.
Chowders are quite distinct from the foregoing, being compounds of an infinite variety of fish, flesh, fowl, or vegetables, in proportions to suit the fluctuating ideas of the cook; the object sought is to prepare a thick, highly seasoned compound, without reducing the ingredients to the consistency of a purée.
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