Another Mrs Beeton recipe: Carrot soup with rice

Since I last cooked from my c.1938 copy of Mrs Beeton’s Household Management, I’ve wanted to try another recipe. I marked out a few contenders that didn’t necessitate sourcing a pheasant or a sheep’s head, and today’s lunch was: Carrot Soup with Rice. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients – 2 pints of white second stock, 1 pint of milk, 5 large carrots, 1 onion, 1 strip of celery, 1 leek (the white part only), 1 1/2 ozs of butter, 1 tablespoonful of cornflour, 2 tablespoonfuls of cream, 2 tablespoonfuls of cooked rice, salt, pepper, sugar, nutmeg.

Method – Use only the outer red part of the carrots. Cut all the vegetables into small pieces, and cook them for 10 or 15 minutes in hot butter without browning. Add the stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender (about 40 minutes), then rub them through a fine sieve. Return to the stewpan, add the milk, salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg, and bring to the boil. Mix the cornflour with a small quantity of stock or milk, pour it into the soup and stir for a few minutes, then add a good pinch of sugar, the cream, and the rice (which should be nicely cooked, and dry), and serve.

Time – 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Seasonable at any time. Sufficient for 6 persons.

There were a few things I did differently: 1) I used chicken stock instead of “second stock;” 2) I used flour instead of cornflour/cornstarch; and 3) I used a blender instead of the fine sieve (I did try the sieve, but had no luck).

A little before and after:

In the middle of this process was that incredible smell of veggies cooking in butter. There really isn’t anything better.

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