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Autumn Vegetable Soup

The dinner was as well dressed as any I ever saw. The venison was roasted to a turn — and everybody said they never saw so fat a haunch. The soup was fifty times better than what we had at the Lucases’ last week; and even Mr Darcy acknowledged, that the partridges were remarkably well done; and I suppose he has two or three French cooks at least. And, my dear Jane, I never saw you look in greater beauty. Mrs Long said so too, for I asked her whether you did not.
Pride and Prejudice

Mrs. Bennet was well to be pleased. It seemed, at last, that all her hard work was paying off. Two daughters married- or as good as- another on the way to matrimony- and a soup fifty times better than Mrs. Lucas’! All for the benefit of Mr. Darcy, her ever so grand soon-to-be Son-in-law.

During the Georgian and Regency periods, Soup was not sent around as a course in itself, as it is today, instead it was served as part of the main course with the meat and other dishes. Below is a recipe from Martha Lloyd’s cookbook for Swiss Soup Meagre. According to Hannah Glasse, all of this produce should have been available from a well-stocked kitchen garden in June.
It sounds delicious, and easy to prepare!

Take four cabbage lettuces, and endive, sorrel, spinach, cherville, chives, onions, parsley, beet leaves, cucumber sliced, peas and asparagus; let all these herbs be cut fine and no stalks be put in. Then put a quart of a pound of butter in a stewpan, shake over your herbs when they are in the butter a small teaspoonful of flour and let them stew sometime then pour in a quart of boiling water adn let it stew on till near dinner time, then add the yolks of three eggs in a teacup of cream. Broth is better than so much water if you have it. If you have not all the vegetables above mentioned it will be very good with what you have or a little Seville orange juice if you like. Salt and Peper to Taste.

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