Recipes > Soup > West India Soup, called Pepper Pot

West India Soup, called Pepper Pot


A small knuckle of veal and a piece of beef of about three pounds, seven or eight pounds of meat in all; potherbs as for any other soup. When the soup is skimmed and made, strain it off. The first ingredient you add to the soup must be some dried ocre (a West India vegetable), the quantity according to your judgment. It is hard and dry, and therefore requires a great deal of soaking and boiling. Then put in the spawn of the lobsters you intend for your soup, first pounding it very fine, and mixing it by degrees with a little of your soup cooled, or it will be lumpy, and not so smooth as it should be. Put it into the soup-pot, and continue to stir some time after it is in. Take about two middling handfuls of spinach and about six hearts of the inside of very nice greens; scald both greens and spinach before you put them to the soup, to take off the rawness; the greens require most scalding. Squeeze them quite dry, chop and put them into the soup; then add all the fat and inside egg and spawn you can get from the lobsters, also the meat out of the tails and claws. Add the green tops only of a large bundle of asparagus, of the sort which they call sprew-grass, previously scalded; a few green peas also are very good. After these ingredients are in, the soup should no more than simmer; and when the herbs are sufficiently tender it is done enough. This soup is not to be clear, on the contrary thick with the lobster, and a perfect mash with the lobster and greens. You are to put in lobster to your liking; I generally put in five or six, at least of that part of them which is called fat, egg, and inside spawn, sufficient to make it rich and good. It should look quite yellow with this. Put plenty of the white part also, and in order that none of the goodness of the lobsters should be lost, take the shells of those which you have used, bruise them in a mortar, and boil them in some of the broth, to extract what goodness remains; then strain off the liquor and add it to the rest. Scoop some potatoes round, half boiling them first, and put into it. Season with red pepper. Put in a piece of nice pickled pork, which must be first scalded, for fear of its being too salt; stew it with the rest and serve it.


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The Lady's Own Cookery Book (1844).

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