Soup Through the Ages

A Culinary History with Period Recipes


In stock

About the Book

As cooking advanced from simply placing wild grains, seeds, or meat in or near a fire to following some vague notion of food as a pleasing experience, soup—the world’s first prepared dish—became the unpretentious comfort food for all of civilization.
This book provides a comprehensive and worldwide culinary history of soup from ancient times. Appendices detail vegetables and herbs used in centuries-old soup traditions and offer dozens of recipes from the medieval era through World War II.

About the Author(s)

Victoria R. Rumble is a regular contributor of articles on 18th and 19th century food and material culture to Early American Life and various other publications. She has researched and implemented programs at various historical sites and national parks. She has provided cooking demonstrations in the U.S. and Scotland, including WGN Chicago, and gives programs on historic foods and gardening for historical and genealogical societies including DAR, SAR, garden clubs, herb societies, etc. She is a historical interpreter, and teaches open hearth cooking and historic needle arts. She lives in Amma, West Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Victoria R. Rumble
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 280
Bibliographic Info: 29 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3961-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5390-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Foreword by Sandra Oliver      1

Preface      3


1. Soup—The World’s First Prepared Dish      7

2. Social Culture and Emerging Cuisines      10

3. Ancient Egypt      13

4. Biblical Fare      14

5. Ancient Greece      19

6. Ancient Rome      23

7. The Medieval Period      30

8. The Renaissance Era and Beyond      38

9. Open Hearth Development      41

10. Ireland      49

11. Scotland      54

12. England and Wales      63

13. France      69

14. Germany and Poland      77

15. Remaining European and Mediterranean      80

16. Asia      87


17. American Indian      91

18. Colonial America      108

19. Bartram and Kalm      119

20. Portable Soup      123

21. Army and Military Soup      125

22. Overland Trail      141

23. Slave Food to Soul Food      145

24. Tavern Food      151

25. Modern Jewish Soups      154

26. Nineteenth Century America      156

27. Cajun and Creole      173

28. Economic Depressions      177

29. Soup Kitchens      180

30. Life on the Home Front      184

31. Outdoor Soup      187

32. Soup as a Weapon      191

Appendix I: Period Soup Vegetables and Herbs      193

Appendix II: Period Recipes      199

Appendix III: Some Early Cookery Books      231

Appendix IV: Sources for Cookery Items      233

Chapter Notes      235

Bibliography      247

Index      265

Book Reviews & Awards

“a culinary smorgasbord of historical soups”—C&RL News; “Massive amount of research…a solid contribution to culinary history!”—Andrew F. Smith, editor in chief, The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink; “Rumble…proves she is a consummate researcher and an entertaining writer. Her works possess a quality so lacking in may historical tomes of today; the ability to impart knowledge while making it an enjoyable read in the process! For those of you who thought soup was nothing but a can of Campbell’s and a little water or a couple of bouillon cubes, get your taste buds ready for a delight. This book proves that history and good tasting food are not mutually exclusive!”—Steve Abolt, President 7th US Infantry Living History Association Military Historian and Historian Film Consultant; “Victoria Rumble has written a book that is rich with flavor and with history. The worldwide references, the foodways, and the recipes create a book that will inform every bowl of soup that you prepare—or eat! It is a book that belongs on the bookshelves of all historians. The development of soup is the development of civilization.”—Elizabeth M. Williams, President Southern Food and Beverage Museum.