If you’re anything like me, the first thing that comes to mind when cold weather hits is…SOUP! We here in the Local and Family History Department love our big bowls of steaming broth, and since we have the Special Collections at our fingertips, we also love looking at old recipes. This is one of our favorites, published in 1839 in “Kentucky Housewife” by Mrs. Lettice Bryan. We think you’ll like it too.
MOCK TURTLE, OR CALF’S HEAD SOUP
To have this soup in perfection, you must begin at least six hours before you will want the soup. Having nearly cleaned a large head and two feet, split them; put them into a pot with a small piece of pork or ham, a good quantity of water, and enough salt and pepper to season them well. Boil them slowly and steadily till nearly done, removing the scum as it rises; then put in four minced onions, four sliced potatoes, a handful of thyme, parsley and sweet basil; boil all together till done, and strain the liquid into a soup pan. Mince a part of the meat from the head and feet, and put into the soup, with a dozen force-meatballs, about the size of a nutmeg, made in the usual manner, and fried brown in butter. Pound to a past half a tea-cupful of boiled rice, the yolks of eight hard-boiled eggs, a little grated nutmeg, mace and lemon peel; make it into one and a half dozen balls, of equal size; roll them in yolk of egg and flour, and drop them also into the soup. Just let it come to a boil, then add half a pint of madeira and the juice of one lemon, a tea-spoonful of currie powder, and serve it up with dry toasts or crackers. This soup must be rich and highly seasoned, to represent what it is intended, therefore do not put in your vegetables and other seasonings until the meat gets nearly done, as by long boiling they will lose much of their flavor, and become almost insipid.
For more delicious, traditional recipes, visit the Local and Family History Department at the McCracken County Public Library.