Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Why Yes, Blood Soup is a Real Recipe

Cover of the Book Several people have asked me if Blood Soup is a real recipe.

Yes, it is–an old Polish recipe, in fact.

True: Just before I submitted the story to a publisher, I removed the recipe from the book. I’d included it at the end, just for fun, to give people an idea of what was actually being served in the book. However, I removed it on the advice of a fellow critique group member. Now, I sometimes wish I’d left it in.

For your personal edification, here’s the recipe:

Blood Soup

Ingredients:

5-6 lb duck OR 3-5 lb spare ribs or pork loin ribs
Fowl trimmings, if available
1 gallon water
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
4 whole peppercorns
4 T flour (Add more if a thicker soup is desired.)
1 T sugar
2 T salt
2 T pepper
1/2 c vinegar
1 c sweet cream or whipping cream
Fresh Apples, Pears or both. (Peel, core and chop into pieces less than 1/2 inch.)
Dried fruit: 1/2 lb pitted prunes and 1/2 lb raisins
2 c duck or goose blood OR 1/2 c pig blood

(If you’re squeamish, 32 oz prune juice with pulp may be substituted for blood.)

optional:
1/2 tsp crushed marjoram

Directions:

In a soup kettle, cover meat and foul trimmings with water and boil slowly 1-3 hours depending on the size and age of the duck. Skim off foam from top of soup. Place spices in cheese cloth bag and add to soup.

Boil slowly until meat is tender.

Remove meat and spice bag from soup. Reserve meat to be added back later. Take out 1 cup of boiling stock and set aside. Add fruit to soup. Boil until apples or pear are soft.

In a separate bowl, blend the flour, sugar, salt and pepper into 1/2 c of the blood until smooth.

Add cream to the flour mixture. Mixture should be a light paste.

Add the 1 c of hot soup stock and mix until smooth.

Add vinegar and blend.

While soup is still boiling, add flour mixture and remaining blood (or prune juice if no blood was used).

Stir constantly.

If a thicker soup is desired, add 1 c of pureed prunes.

Boil another 5-10 minutes. Meat may be returned to the soup.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Allow to cool and place in refrigerator. Allow soup to stand overnight before serving.

Because of the raisins, prunes and fruit, the soup will be sweeter the next day.

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