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OTHER ITA SITES:
Value Of Soup
1. SOUP is a liquid food that is prepared by boiling meat or vegetables,or both, in water and then seasoning and sometimes thickening the liquidthat is produced. It is usually served as the first course of a dinner,but it is often included in a light meal, such as luncheon. While somepersons regard the making of soup as difficult, nothing is easier whenone knows just what is required and how to proceed. The purpose of thisarticle, therefore, is to acquaint the housewife with the details ofsoup making, so that she may provide her family with appetizing andnutritious soups that make for both economy and healthfulness.
2. It is interesting to note the advancement that has been made withthis food. The origin of soup, like that of many foods, dates back topractically the beginning of history. However, the first soup known wasprobably not made with meat. For instance, the mess of pottage for whichEsau sold his birthright was soup made of red lentils. Later on meatcame to be used as the basis for soup because of the agreeable andappetizing flavor it provides. Then, at one time in France a scarcity ofbutter and other fats that had been used to produce moistness andrichness in foods, brought about such clear soups as bouillon andconsommé. These, as well as other liquid foods, found much favor, forabout the time they were devised it came to be considered vulgar to chewfood. Thus, at various periods, and because of different emergencies,particular kinds of soup have been introduced, until now there are manykinds from which the housewife may choose when she desires a dish thatwill start a meal in the right way and at the same time appeal tothe appetite.
3. VALUE OF SOUP IN THE MEAL.--Not all persons have the same idearegarding the value of soup as a part of a meal. Some consider it to beof no more value than so much water, claiming that it should be fed tonone but children or sick persons who are unable to take solid food. Onthe other hand, many persons believe that soup contains the very essenceof all that is nourishing and sustaining in the foods of which it ismade. This difference of opinion is well demonstrated by the ideas thathave been advanced concerning this food. Some one has said that soup isto a meal what a portico is to a palace or an overture to an opera,while another person, who evidently does not appreciate this food, hassaid that soup is the preface to a dinner and that any work really worthwhile is sufficient in itself and needs no preface. Such opinions,however, must be reconciled if the true value of this food is to beappreciated.
4. Probably the best way in which to come to a definite conclusion as tothe importance of soup is to consider the purposes it serves in a meal.When its variety and the ingredients of which it is composed are thoughtof, soup serves two purposes: first, as an appetizer taken at thebeginning of a meal to stimulate the appetite and aid in the flow ofdigestive juices in the stomach; and, secondly, as an actual part of themeal, when it must contain sufficient nutritive material to permit it tobe considered as a part of the meal instead of merely an addition. Evenin its first and minor purpose, the important part that soup plays inmany meals is not hard to realize, for it is just what is needed toarouse the flagging appetite and create a desire for nourishing food.But in its second purpose, the real value of soup is evident. Wheneversoup contains enough nutritive material for it to take the place of somedish that would otherwise be necessary, its value cannot be overestimated.
If soup is thought of in this way, the prejudice that exists against itin many households will be entirely overcome. But since much of thisprejudice is due to the fact that the soup served is often unappetizingin both flavor and appearance, sufficient attention should be given tothe making of soup to have this food attractive enough to appeal to theappetite rather than discourage it. Soup should not be greasy norinsipid in flavor, neither should it be served in large quantities norwithout the proper accompaniment. A small quantity of well-flavored,attractively served soup cannot fail to meet the approval of any familywhen it is served as the first course of the meal.
5. GENERAL CLASSES OF SOUP.--Soups are named in various ways, accordingto material, quality, etc.; but the two purposes for which soup is usedhave led to the placing of the numerous kinds into two general classes.In the first class are grouped those which serve as appetizers, such asbouillon, consommé, and some other broths and clear soups. In the secondclass are included those eaten for their nutritive effect, such as creamsoups, purées, and bisques. From these two classes of soup, the one thatwill correspond with the rest of the meal and make it balance properlyis the one to choose. For instance, a light soup that is merely anappetizer should be served with a heavy dinner, whereas a heavy, highlynutritious soup should be used with a luncheon or a light meal.
6. ECONOMIC VALUE OF SOUP.--Besides having an important place in themeal of which it forms a part, soup is very often an economy, for itaffords the housewife a splendid opportunity to utilize many left-overs.With the French people, who excel in the art of soup making chieflybecause of their clever adaptation of seasoning to foods, their_pot-au-feu_ is a national institution and every kitchen has its stockpot. Persons who believe in the strictest food economy use a stock pot,since it permits left-overs to be utilized in an attractive andpalatable way. In fact, there is scarcely anything in the way of fish,meat, fowl, vegetables, and cereals that cannot be used in soup making,provided such ingredients are cared for in the proper way. Very oftenthe first glance at the large number of ingredients listed in a souprecipe creates the impression that soup must be a very complicatedthing. Such, however, is not the case. In reality, most of the soupingredients are small quantities of things used for flavoring, and it isby the proper blending of these that appetizing soups are secured.
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