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Title : How to Make Soup for the Poor – The Victorian Way
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As always, thanks for watching! We’re glad to see so many of you have enjoyed this episode and intend on trying the recipe at home.
We’ve pulled together answers to some of your FAQs below. For those of you asking about a Mrs Crocombe cookbook, be sure to check out this link: bit.ly/37dkKvJ
WHAT STOCK SHOULD I USE?
Any stock would work well. For a veggie soup, use vegetable stock (and substitute the bacon for something else rich in umami, such as mushrooms). The Victorian kitchen would have had several different grades of stock on hand, from fine white (veal) stock to a general stock made of offcuts of vegetables and spare bones.
WHY WOULD YOU USE MINT IN A SAVOURY DISH?
Mint is a popular accompaniment to peas. It is often put in pea soup, or in peas pudding. You can use other herbs but it gives the soup a very pleasant bite - we suggest you give it a try and let us know what you think.
THAT’S NOT A LOT OF SOUP! SURELY THERE SHOULD BE MORE?
Well spotted. We hate to break the magic but this video was filmed in and around 2020. This soup is a scaled down version, as we didn’t want to make an enormous batch that might be wasted. Besides, in 1881, the number of those in need varied widely. Audley End is surrounded by several small villages and one small town. As such, there was no need to feed everyone.
THE ROYALS WOULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS, WOULD THEY?
They most certainly did. It was an accepted part of how royal food worked, to the point that when Edward VII's coronation was postponed, all the goodies went out to the poor of the parish, who feasted on truffles and foie gras for a few days. You can find out more about this in Dr Annie Gray’s book ‘The Greedy Queen’.
COULD THE POOR AFFORD BACON?
This soup is for the poor, not for the poor to cook i.e. it is being cooked for them. Bacon was one of the cheapest meats around, often the only meat a poor household would see with any regularity. It punched above its weight, adding salt, flavour and fat. If you can't obtain decent bacon for your kitchen we suggest using some gammon ham.
It may carry some negative connotation, but that soup for the poor looks amazing. I’d gladly have it.
I tend to make a similar version of it in winter. Mine also has fried bacon and mirepoix, and sometimes I just end there. But when I’m feeling fancier, I would add more spices, corn, and shredded chicken.
Idk why but I was upset by her adding the carrots at the same time as the onions because carrots take so much longer to cook. However, she didn’t want caramelized onions and the carrots would cook in the stock. As always, Mrs. Crocombe is right and I am an absolute buffoon