The Art of Living in Australia/Chapter 16
Soup is a much neglected food; there are many excuses made for this— one says it is “expensive”, another it is “too much trouble” and “quite unnecessary”.
When once the principle of the stock pot is understood the first excuse falls through, for in any ordinary households the stock can be made from bones and trimmings of meat, and costs nothing. Neither does the excuse of too much trouble hold good. Some little time must be devoted to cooking, and soup will almost cook itself while other preparations are going on, and it can be made at any time and just boiled up when required. As for being unnecessary, that is quite a mistake. To give the greatest amount of nourishment with the least trouble to the digestive organs should be the study of every housekeeper, and soup is a valuable aid in this respect. For weakly and delicate constitutions, for the young and the aged, there is no better food, and for the busy workers it is invaluable, for immediately after work the digestive organs are not in a proper state to do hard work, and little soup prepares the stomach for the more solid food to follow. It is quite a mistake to suppose that a rich, heavy soup is necessary, and that a large quantity must be taken. In either case, the effect would be to take away the appetite, instead of which it is to stimulate and encourage the appetite that the soup should be given.
Soup is a splendid restorative, and if given to any one suffering from exhaustion or over fatigue will quickly restore strength, and be found far better than any stimulant. Soup is often disliked because it is greasy and served lukewarm; if the directions given in the paragraph on the stock pot for removing the fat be carried out, it will never be greasy, and if it is boiled up just before serving, it will be hot. Allow half a pint of soup for each guest, have a warm tureen and hot plates, and “try the effect”.