2 pounds lean beef
2 quarts cold water
1 small onion
a few stalks of celery
4 cloves stuck into the onion
6 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
salt, pepper, and a sprig of parsley
"Cut meat small, place in a stew pan and cover with cold water and bring slowly to the boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the top with a perforated spoon. Cover stewpan closely and let it simmer slowly for 6 hours or rather more. Strain, cool and remove fat. Replace in pan, adding onion stuck with cloves and celery cut small, parsley, peppercorns and bay leaf. Simmer for a further 20 minutes after bringing to the boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Strain through a cloth. This is an excellent basis for any clear soup, to which may be added 'pasta' for a dish of 'pasta in brodo', rice, or pearl barley."
This recipe was taken from "Italian Cooking" by Dorothy Daly. It was published by Spring Books in Great Britain. For the complete copyright-free cookbook see www.archive.org. A variety of recipes can also be found on this website.... Dorothy Daly introduces the soup section of her book by saying: "Soup forms an integral part of the daily diet of Italy, and the variety of Italian soups is considerable. Starting with a basis of chicken or meat stock, we have several plain, clear broths, of the consomme type, we have the ever-popular 'minestrone' type, where the stock is laced with an assortment of vegetables, eked out with dried peas or beans, and occasionally meat, and there are the various forms of 'pasta in brodo'. The Italian verb 'minestrare' ? to serve up soup ? derives
from a similar Latin verb 'minestrare' which has the fuller
meaning of 'putting food on the table', and it must be admitted that when a bowl of really good minestrone is placed before one, it has the appearance of a meal in itself, and could well serve as such, since there seems to be no end to the many ingredients that can find their way into this tasty and typically Italian dish, and all to its betterment. 'Pasta in brodo' is the term applied to a generous portion of any of the large variety of pastas, cooked and served in hot broth, and taking the same place in the menu as the 'pasta asciutta', or dry pasta, cooked and served with various sauces, with which we have dealt in the section headed 'PASTA'. The variety of fish soups in the Italian cook's repertoire is far greater than in our own, and although cream soups and purees were originally more used in France than in Italy, with the passage of years a fairly large number of recipes for these have found their way into Italian cookery books, adapted and amended so that they now pass as very nearly native to the country of their adoption. Where the consommes, the minestre, and 'the pasta in brodo are concerned, although the family stockpot is not absolutely essential, it is strongly to be recommended if time and space permit. There are, it is true, some truly excellent chicken and beef bouillon cubes now obtainable in good provision stores, but the best of these is but a substitute for the broth resulting from the operation of a well-run stock-pot. For that reason I am
starting the recipes of this section with 2 suggestions for Soup Stock (For Daly's second version for stock see the recipe entitled "Household Stock Pot"). Photo: Mary Melfi.