Lentil soup and Spry

I love old cookery books, particularly the little booklets produced by food manufacturers containing recipes using their products. I have a  copy of the Spry (a vegetable fat)  book, ‘What shall I cook today’, published I think in 1937.

Looking at the section on sauces and soups, there are some recipes which could be found in current recipe books, others which I don’t think would feature.

Here are the sauces and their main ingredients, all containing Spry of course:

  • tomato sauce (tomatoes, onion,  ham)
  • apple (apples of course and sugar)
  • marmalade (marmalade and extra sugar)
  • onion
  • custard
  • cooked salad dressing (egg, flour, sugar, mustard, salt, milk, vinegar, water)
  • white
  • Dutch (fish stock, egg, lemon juice)

… and there are six soup recipes

  • white vegetable (potatoes, onions,, turnip and carrots – which are orange of course!)
  • Scotch broth ( mutton, pearl barley, carrot, turnip, cabbage,, peas, onion)
  • potato (potatoes, onion and leeks)
  • lentil (lentils, turnip, carrot, onion, potatoes)
  • tomato
  • kidney (sheep kidneys, onion, carrot, turnip

Turnip seems a really popular vegetable in 1937… I don’t think it is as popular today, in fact, i can’t think of the last time we ate it and I like turnips! it may seem surprising that there is kidney soup, offal was much used in the past, cheap,, nutritious and with little waste. The kidney soup is cooked for two hours… I’m not sure I would like it anyway, but after two hours of cooking,, what on earth would it taste like – and imagine the smell!

Lentil soup

  • 4 oz lentils
  • 2 pints water
  • pieces of turnip and carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2 oz Spry
  • salt and pepper
  1. wash the lentils and soak overnight
  2. melt Spry and add the lentils and chopped vegetables
  3. cook gently for 20 mins with the lid on
  4. add the water, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 hours
  5. season and serve
  6. alternative method – pass the soup through a sieve
  7. thicken with a tablespoon of flour mixed with a little cold milk
  8. boil for 3 mins
  9. add a little extra milk


  1. grevilleacorner

    funny I just made a quick lentil soup for dinner, having been driving all day today….and then see this :). Mine was simply brown lentils with fresh tomatoes, onions, peas and garlic plus spices. Perfect end to a long tiring day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      Yours sounds much nicer – I actually like the flavour of lentils, ad too often it’s completely overwhelmed… Did you cook the vegetables, or just stir them into the lentils? Sounds delish… I might go and soak some lentils right now!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. grevilleacorner

        I stir fried the onions and garlic , added spices and the. threw in the rinsed lentils, chopped tomatoes, peas and added water after a couple of mins – closed lid and cooked for 15 mins – done :). yummy

        Liked by 1 person

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