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Soup is the general term for various kinds of salty liquid food, which often
also contains solid components, such as vegetables and/or meat.
It it often one of the first courses of a dinner; if it is very rich in
components and calories it may serve as a whole meal.
The origin of soup is connected to the development of pottery vessels
capable of holding and cooking liquids over a fire without breaking, a
technology available in Mediterranean cultures since Neolithic times
(approximately 5000 B.C.)
Learning to boil food was advantageous because it meant that certain grains,
tougher vegetables and animal bones could be cooked together to add their
taste and nutrients to a dish. Once you had a mixture of foods with water,
it seems an inevitable development that people would drink the broth as well
as eating the cooked items in it.
Recipe for "nutritious soup"
A pound of Scotch barley, with sufficient time allowed in the cooking, will
make a gallon of water into a tolerable pudding consistency. A pint basin
filled with it will hold a spoon upright, when at its proper degree of
warmth for eating. Thoroughly steeped, it will produce a rich pulp, the form
of the grains being nearly lost. Five hours' exposure, in a moderately
heated oven, will be sufficient; and it may be improved by an hour or two more.
Amongst other means for such preparation, when a baker's oven has been
emptied of its bread a pan of 1 gallon size may be put in to steep its
contents during the preceding night, and then renew the usual baking in the
morning. What has been lost by evaporation, may be restored by the addition
of warm water. All the seasoning requisite to make it as savory as plain
family dishes generally are, will be about 3 large onions, 1 ounce of salt,
and 1/4 of an ounce of pepper. This seasoning should be put in before
sending it to the oven.