The nests are made a mucilaginous substance of, and built by the species of swallows called Hirundo esculenta; it would require several pages to describe them, together with their compound material, and would be out of place in a receipt book. Suffice it to say, that they sell for $100 a pound in London and Paris (gold of course), and the cheapest potage for one person costs about three dollars.
Soak about four ounces of it in cold water for ten hours, drain and clean. Put it in a saucepan, cover well with chicken-broth, place the saucepan in boiling water for about two hours, add salt to taste, and then drain again. Place the nests in the soup-dish, pour boiling consomme over them, and serve warm.
The Chinese are said to use very rich consomme of chicken to prepare them.