Spring soup

The National Mark Calendar of Cooking was first published nearly a hundred years ago as part of a government initiative for a healthy, locally sourced, fresh diet for the population. The National Mark was a way of standardising and maintaining the quality of all foods, fruit, vegetables, dairy produce, fish meat and grain. The little book takes ‘the housewife’ (n men are expected to cook!) through the year taking advantage of what is in season.

The recipes suggested for May are varied, but not all would appeal to us… I can’t imagine many families greeting casserole of tripe with joy – especially as the tripe is first marinated in vinaigrette before being layered in the casserole with a tomato sauce and fried onions and mushrooms… and topped with breadcrumbs before being baked.

I’m not sure how popular turnips are these days, we rarely have them as I’m the only one who likes them, but they are an ingredient in May’s soup recipe:

Spring soup:

  • 1 lettuce
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 carrot
  • a few spring onions
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1½ pints of stock or milk and water
  • 1 tbsp cream or evaporated milk
  • parsley
  • pepper and salt
  1. shred the vegetables as finely as possible and set aside half the lettuce for garnish
  2. bring the stock or milk and water to the boil and add all the vegetables and the parsley and seasoning
  3. blend the egg yolk with the cream or evaporated milk, bring the soup to a gentle simmer and stir in the egg and cream
  4. putt the set aside lettuce in the bottom of the tureen and pour in the soup


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