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How to Make Soup for the Poor – The Victorian Way

bowl of soup and two silver spoons

Hello, soup lovers! 🍲 Today, we’re taking a journey back in time to the Victorian era with a recipe that’s both hearty and meaningful. We’ve found a fascinating video by English Heritage that guides you through the process of making a traditional soup for the poor. This video has been viewed over 2.9 million times, making it a popular guide for history and culinary enthusiasts.

English Heritage demonstrates how to make a simple yet hearty soup using basic ingredients. The recipe is from Alexis Soyer, a French chef who was renowned for his efforts in improving food for the poor and for soldiers during the Crimean War. He also built soup kitchens in Ireland during the Great Potato Famine.

The Ingredients 🥣

To start, you’ll need a few basic ingredients:

  • Bacon – 3 rashers, streaky
  • Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Onion – x1, large
  • Carrots – x2
  • Celery – x2 sticks
  • Yellow split peas – 300g / 11oz / 1.5 cups
  • Mint – 2 sprigs
  • Stock – 2 litres / 4pts, vegetable or meat stock
  • Salt and pepper, to season

The Process 🍲

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, the process is straightforward:

  1. Fry the bacon in butter, and add the vegetables to the pan.
  2. Cook for a few minutes and then add the peas and stock.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes until the peas have ‘split’.
  4. Add chopped mint and seasoning to taste, and cook for a further 5 minutes before serving hot.

The Result 🎉

The result is a batch of fresh, homemade soup that’s hearty, filling, and full of flavor. This soup was traditionally distributed to the poor of the parish during the cold winter months. As the video states, “Just because one is poor, doesn’t mean that food should be bad.”

For a step-by-step guide and to see the process in action, check out the full video by English Heritage. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to their channel for more historical and culinary insights!

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