Reader’s Digest(ibles): Mr. Bingley’s White Soup

RD white soup

For the next installment of Reader’s Digest(ibles), I’m going with white soup. Originating in 17th Century France, white soup (a variation of it, at least) became a popular food to serve at balls in Jane Austen’s time. The dish is referenced in Pride and Prejudice by Mr. Bingley, as he plans the Netherfield Ball.

“By the bye, Charles, are you really serious in meditating a dance at Netherfield?—I would advise you, before you determine on it, to consult the wishes of the present party; I am much mistaken if there are not some among us to whom a ball would be rather a punishment than a pleasure.”

“If you mean Darcy,” cried her brother, “he may go to bed, if he chuses, before it begins—but as for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough I shall send round my cards.”

When I first read the book in high school I had no idea what “white soup” could be, and given the context I initially speculated that it might be some weird term for envelope paste or something necessary for the invitations. But eventually I learned that it was an actual soup, and when considering what to make next for this series it immediately presented itself as an option. As implied by its name it’s a creamy soup, generally based on a meat stock, thickened with bread, and it includes almonds.

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My Life as a (Veggie) Stripper, Part I: Zucchini with Panko

Lately I’ve had occasional twinges of gadget-envy when reading about the new vegetable spiralizers, which allow you to make noodle shapes out of various vegetables, including carrots, sweet potato, and zucchini. Still, since I have zero cabinet space left (after my other unitaskers, like the waffle iron, the pizzelle iron, the cake pop maker, and the mini donut maker) I’ve been hesitant to buy one. So when I came across this carrot stripper for only $2.99 at TJ Maxx, I had to get it.

For my first try at spiralizing/stripping, I bought some smallish zucchini, less than 2″ in diameter. It was remarkably easy– much like using an oversized pencil sharpener. A few twists and I had a pile of zucchini noodles!

zoodles raw

But what to do with them? I read that you could just eat them raw, tossed with some olive oil and lemon juice for a summer salad, but for some reason that didn’t appeal. I decided to sauté them in butter and garlic– always a way to improve any vegetable– and top them with some panko bread crumbs toasted in more butter.

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