Granny’s Cooking School – The Soup Basics

Eleven days until my 24 Posts till Christmas will go online. Until then I decided beginning to share something with you.

In 1946 my granny attended a household school, as it was after the war and comestibles were rare, the recipes are basic, cheap and healthy – Low on fat and sugars, and all freshly cooked. The right stuff for current strains on household money, and a growing health food movement that sends us back to basics.

I begin the first posts with some basics for recipes. If you are not sure about the weight and volume measurements there are a variety of free online converters such as convert-me.

Basic Recipes:

1 l of soup caters for 4 persons- as starter

2 l when it is a main dish

Soup Condiments per 1 liter:

  • grit 50g
  • pearl barley 50g
  • noodles 60g
  • sago 40g
  • oatmeal 50g
  • sorghum/millet 60g
  • rice 60g

Tip: Simply make this one cup each as average

    Stock from bones:

    375 g bones (pork, beef) … the butcher usually has bones for soups at the counter, if not ask them

    1. 1 carrot
    2. 2 slices celeriac (or 1 celery stick)
    3. 1 leave lovage
    4. pinch of savory or hyssop
    5. 1 small leek
    6. 1 small onion
    7. 1 kohlrabi …. items 1-7 will be named Wurzelwerk in future*

    2 tablespoons freshly cut parsley

    1 1/4 liter water

    • cut all ingredients and put in pot
    • only leave parsley out
    • pour water over it
    • boil for 2 hours
    • pour through colander

    serve with fresh parsley on top as starter for 4

    * Wurzelwerk translates into rootage** and is a cumulative term used for the basic broth/stock ingredients carrot, leek, onion, celeriac/celery, lovage and savory are traditional soup spices in my area, kohlrabi is optional, I hardly use it, but if you get fresh one from the Farmers’ Market it is definitely worth going for. In future I will only say e.g. 250gr Wurzelwerk, which refers to the mix of the named ingredients, rule of granny’s thumb use carrot, onion, leek, celeriac/celery in equal portions, relative to one another.

    ** this term derives from the fact that all four ingredients are considered root vegetables

    Tip for Vegans

    Double the amount of Wurzelwerk, leave out the bones, to make a basic vegetable stock

    Tip Cutting Parsley: I am mostly a knife only person, so I take a bundle of parsley hold it tight with thumb, index and middle finger pressing it down on the board, and cutting just in front of my nails, moving my fingers back bit by bit cutting about 2-3 mm thick slices of the bundle. Because Parsley has all the tiny leaves this way of cutting still keeps the texture of parsley, yet makes it small enough no to be chewy. It creates nice parsley flakes that float easily on top of soup

    You can also simply use a draw-knife (rocking tool) although this almost turns the Parsley into mash

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