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White Soup

“…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.” –Mr. Bingley

Makes 7-8 cups

  • 15 cups water

  • 1 medium chicken

  • 8 oz bacon

  • ½ cup white rice

  • 6 black peppercorns

  • 2 onions halved and peeled

  • 2 canned anchovy fillets

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, sage and rosemary (or other sweet herbs) tied up in a cloth

  • 5 stalks celery, chopped

  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 cup whipping cream


  1. Put the chicken with the giblets into a large pan with the water. Add the bacon, rice, peppercorns, onions, anchovies, herbs and celery, cover and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down and cook gently until the chicken meat is completely cooked.  

  2. Strain the stock over a bowl, cover it with a cloth, and put it into the fridge (or any other cold place). Leave it until it is completely cool (several hours or overnight).  

  3. When it has cooled, skim any fat off of the top, then pour the stock into a clean pan.   

  4. Stir in the ground almonds, then bring to a boil and lower the heat slightly to simmer for 10 minutes.  

  5. Strain it once again (through a cheesecloth).   

  6. Whisk the egg yolk into the cream, then add it to the soup. Heat it again, but do not let it boil. Serve hot.


Adapted from The Jane Austen Cookbook, edited by Maggie Black and Deirdre le Faye.

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