White Soup Recipes
Hannah Glasse in her famous book The Art of Cookery, made Plain and Easy( 1747) gives this recipe for Almond Soup:
Take a Quart of Almonds, blanch them, and beat them in a Marble Mortar, with the yolks of twelve hard Eggs, till they are a fine Paste; mix them by degrees with two Quarts of new Milk, a Quart of Cream, a quarter of a Pound of double refined sugar beat fine, a Penny worth of Orange- flower Water, stir all well together; when it is well mixed set it over a slow Fire, keep it stirring quick all the while, till you find that it is thick enough, then pour it into your dish and send it to Table.
Elizabeth Raffald in her book The Experienced English Housekeeper(1769) gives this recipe, with an interesting variant on serving details:
To make Almond Soup.
Take a neck of veal and the scrag end of mutton, chop them in small pieces , put them in a large tossing pan. Cut in a turnip with a blade or two of mace and five quarts of water, set it over the fire and let it boil gently till it is reduced to two quarts. Strain it through a hair sieve into a clear pot.Then put in six ounces of almonds blanched and beat fine, half a pint of thick cream and Chyan pepper to yor taste. Have ready three small French rolls made for the purpose the size of a small teacup, if they are larger they will not look well and drink up too much of the soup. Blanch a few Jordan almonds and cut them lengthway, stick them all over the top of the rolls. These rolls look like a hedgehog. Some French books give this soup the name of hedgehog soup.
William Verral in his cookery book of 1759 gives this very honest title to his recipe for the soup ; Queen's Soup, What Queen I Know Not.
Here is a modern equivalent of the soup adapted from Eliza Acton's recipe quoted by Jane Grigson .
White Soup2 ½ points of veal or light beef stock. 2oz blanched almonds 10z white bread, weighed without crusts 1 egg yolk ¼ pint each double and soured cream or milk Salt, pepper, lemon juice, Cayenne pepper 2 oz toasted or fried almonds to garnish.
To make the soup, put the almonds and bread into a blender, add some of the stock and liquidize to a smooth paste.
Using a sieve, strain into the remaining stock, pushing through as much as you can. Beat the egg yolk with the creams or cream and milk and add to the soup. If possible leave for an hour or two; this will improve and mellow the flavour.
Reheat, keeping the soup well below boiling point so as not to curdle the egg. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice and Cayenne pepper to taste and bring out the flavour.
Serve garnished with almonds.
N.B. boiled vermicelli or macaroni was once added to this soup before serving, but this would make it very stodgy for modern tastes!