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Cooking Recipes

With the coming of Winter and the holiday season one’s thoughts naturally turn to food. So I would like to share this recipe for Alphabet Soup, which comes via one of the excellent chefs of Mr. Frank Key’s Hooting Yard. True, it isn’t a traditional holiday food, but everyone loves a piping hot bowl of soup of a snowy day and this dish has particular appeal to those of us who are bookish. 

Sadly, the audio recording of the broadcast where this recipe appears (“Hound of the Cargpans“) appears to be missing from the archives.  (However, the main site is here for those who wish to explore.)

If anyone would like to share a recipe, serious or otherwise, please do.


Alphabet Soup

Devoted readers of Hooting Yard – are there any other kind? – know that we do our utmost to bring you the very, very best in modern, cutting-edge soup recipes. As part of the latest tranche, here is a marvellous example, provided by Dr Ruth Pastry’s sister Maud:


  • 1 lb each of apricots, breadcrumbs, coleslaw, dandelions, edelweiss stalks, flapjacks and goldfish brains
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 2 oz isinglass
  • 1 lb each of jackdaw feathers, ketchup, love-lies-bleeding, marmalade, nougat and oxlips
  • 1 pea
  • 1 tub quicklime
  • 4 oz each of raisins, spikenard and toffee
  • 15 tsp unspeakable goo
  • 1 family-size catering pack of vinegar
  • 3 whelks
  • As much xanthium as you can stomach
  • 12 pkts yeast
  • 44 zinnias


Pound everything beginning with a vowel into a mulch. Smear it on to the inside of a big bowl. Put the bowl somewhere safe and below freezing point for a week. Cut everything else up into chunks the size of a newborn baby’s fist, then chargrill. Go and get the bowl and toss the chunks in haphazardly. Place the bowl under an outside spigot and fill to the brim with water. Leave to stand for as long as you like, depending on how hungry you are. Transfer to a cauldron. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer. Pour in some milk. Re-boil, indefatigably. Ladle off the scum from the top. Serve with hibiscus clumps and cocoa.


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  1. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs November 24, 2010

    “Pound everything beginning with a vowel into a mulch.”

    Does that include the Yeast, since Y is an “and sometimes” vowel? *grin*

    • Kimika Ying Kimika Ying November 25, 2010

      Well spotted, Miss Hienrichs. :)   I had not thought of that.  Hmm….in that case I suppose that pounding the yeast is optional.  As an official Soup Committee Person I should make an inquiry. In the important matter of soups these things should not be left to chance.

    • Kimika Ying Kimika Ying November 25, 2010

      Update.  I inquired and have recieved a reply on this matter:


      Dear Miss Ying

      That is indeed an important question and I think the readers at New Babbage deserve a definitive answer. Please tell Miss Heinrichs that, as the “Y” in “Yeast” is consonantal,
      the yeast should not be pounded into a mulch, but instead chopped into newborn baby’s fist-sized chunks. This is not always easy with yeast, so one should select one’s chopping slicer with due care.     – Frank Key
      • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs November 25, 2010

        Right!  Good to know. *grin*

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