Found in a pamphlet of c 1796, entitled On Food, and particularly of Feeding the Poor by the pioneer of cheaply produced dishes , Benjamin, Count Rumford, is a recipe that is not likely to catch on among modern foodies, though those who like experimenting with trendy cereals such as Quinoa, might find it intriguing. To me it sounds like a superior thickened gruel, but others might disagree.
Receipt for a very cheap Soup
‘Take of water eight gallons, and mixing with it 5lbs of barley-meal, boil it to the consistency of a thick jelly.—Season it with salt, pepper, vinegar, sweet herbs, and four red herrings, pounded in a mortar.—-Instead of bread, add to it 5lb. of Indian Corn made into Samp, and stirring it together with a ladle, serve it up immediately in portions of 20 ounces.
|A pot of Rumford’s Soup from the basic recipe: pearl barley and dried peas, water, salt, some vinegar (no potatoes). Thanks to Gestumblindi.|
Found - an 'extract' from a book about food with a recipe for pearl barley soup. This piece appears in various forms throughout the 19th century but derives from work with the poor by Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford
) when he was army minister in Bavaria in the 1790s. Rumford was an American ennobled by the courts of Europe because of his pioneer discoveries in cooking.The soup is sometimes known as Rumford's Soup
. He wrote:
The difference in the apparent goodness, or the palatableness, and apparent nutritiousness of the same kinds of food, when prepared or cooked in different ways struck me very forcibly and I constantly found that the richness or quality of a soup depended more upon a proper choice of the ingredients and a proper management of the fire in the combination of those ingredients, than upon the quantity of solid nutritious matter employed ;— much more upon the art and skill of the cook, than upon the amount of the sums laid out in the market.
I found, likewise, that the nutritiousness of a soup, or its power of satisfying hunger, and affording nourishment, appeared always to be in proportion to its apparent richness or palatableness. But what surprised me not a little, was a discovery of the very small quantity of solid food, which, when properly prepared, will suffice to satisfy hunger, and support life and health ; and the very trifling expense at which the stoutest and most laborious man may, in any country, be fed.
From the fearless British reporter Noel Barber the first Briton to reach the South Pole since Scott. Found in The Artists and Writers Cookbook (Contact Editions, Sausalito 1961.) His other recipe is not for the fainthearted - a meal in Malaya with Dyak head-hunters.
Contributors to this uncommon (but not valuable) anthology includes: Man Ray, Pearl Buck, Marcel Duchamp, Burl Ives, Marianne Moore, James Michener, Paul Bowles, Harper Lee, Kay Boyle, Upton Sinclair, Richard Wilbur, Lawrence Durrell, Robert Graves, Malcolm Bradbury (from whom this book came-- he gives a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding) William Allen White, Max Eastman, Katherine Anne Porter, Simenon, Lin Yutang, Sir Shane Leslie, S.I. Hayakawa, Sam Francis and many more. The recipe sounds abit bit like a very savoury Lassi. Barber's advice to use as much soda water as you like could be the making or breaking of this hearty soup. The tone of this Daily Mail reporter is very much of his time..
Iced Soda Water Soup
I tasted this first in a village in Persia, the morning after an earthquake in which several thousand people were killed in a vast area between Teheran and the Caspian Sea. Since my knowledge of Persian is considerably less than my knowledge of arithmetic, the only thing I could do (after tasting the soup and finding it delightful) was to watch the villagers make it for me all over again and write down just what I saw.