Seasonal Soup

Chestnut Soup

Some seasonal soup recipes from 1942

½lb chestnuts
1oz margarine
Quart vegetable stock
Teaspoon sugar
Chopped onion
Teaspoon lemon juice (equivalent in substitute)

Shell, blanch, and peel chestnuts. Put in the pan with the margarine and onion and stew gently with the lid on for ½ hour, or until soft enough to mash through sieve. Add the stock and sugar, and simmer for five minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and serve.

Carrot Cream Soup

1lb carrots
½ pint vegetable stock
1 large onion
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Pint household milk

Scrub carrots and steam until tender. Chop the onion and stew separately in a little milk. Add to the carrots and put through a sieve. Add rest of milk and vegetable stock and make hot. Just before serving add the parsley.


Return Date

Date Tart or Date and Carrot Tart

1lb stoned dates (or 1lb dates and ½ cup sieved steamed carrots)
2 dessertspoons Bourneville cocoa
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
whole-wheat pastry

Chop up dates and place in basin with 1oz hot water. Line a greased sandwich tin with thin whole-wheat pastry (Recipe below). Now mash up dates to a soft cream, stir in cocoa and vanilla essence, and mix well. Fill pastry casing with mixture, and place a cover of pastry on top. Pinch edges of pastry together, make a cross in the top of the pie, and bake in a fairly quick oven for about three-quarters of an hour. Instead of the cocoa and vanilla essence, the filling may be flavoured with lemon juice substitute.

Whole-wheat Pastry

½lb. whole-wheat flour
4oz cooking fat

Rub fat lightly into the flour and add cold water to make into a stiff dough. Roll out lightly, handling  as little as possible


Carrot Pudding

4ozs flour
3/4 cup grated raw potato
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated raw carrot
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon treacle
4ozs breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
3ozs. cooking fat
3 tablespoons hot water
1oz chopped dates
2ozs sultanas

Sift the flour with the salt and spice and rub in the fat. Mix in breadcrumbs, sultanas, dates, potato, carrot and melted treacle. Mix well. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in hot water and stir in, seeing that it is distributed through the pudding. Turn at once into a greased bowl and cover with greased paper. Steam about 21/2 hours.


1942 Wartime Christmas Pudding

This recipe comes from a 1942 cookery book. The pudding is bulked out by the use of grated carrot, which should keep it moist.

1lb. wholewheat flour
4os sultanas
1lb brown breadcrumbs
Little nutmeg
4ozs butter
1 teaspoon lemon substitute*
½lb sugar
3 made-up eggs
I teaspoon spice
4ozs grated raw carrots
6ozs currants or chopped dates
3ozs mixed peel or stoned and chopped prunes

* Lemon substitute? Citrus fruit was in very short supply during the war and immediately after. What was imported was distributed to hospitals etc. White vinegar was used where small amounts are called for in a recipe or you could use a small amount of citric acid dissolved in some water.

Grate butter into flour, clean currants and pick over all fruit. Chop peel, put all dry ingredients and carrots into mixing bowl. Mix well, add well-beaten eggs and enough milk to moisten the whole. Put into well-greased basins, and cover with a cheesecloth tied around the rim.

Steam for eight or nine hours.


Carrot Fudge

Orange essence

Finely grate carrots and cook four tablespoons full in just enough water to cover for 10 minutes.
Add flavouring with orange essence, grated orange rind or orange squash/cordial.
Melt a leaf of gelatine and add to mixture.
Cook quickly for a few minutes stirring all the time.
Spoon into a flat dish.
Leave to set and then cut into cubes.

No Ices
No Ices

Carrot Biscuits

Carrots - Help you see in the blackout
Carrots - Help you see in the blackout

At one point during the war there was a glut of carrots, and the Government let it be known that carotene, which is believed to help night vision, was largely responsible for the RAF’s increasing success in shooting down enemy bombers.
This is a food war. Every extra row of vegetables in allotments saves shipping… the battle on the kitchen front cannot be won without help from the kitchen garden. (Lord Woolton, Minister of Food, 1941)

People eagerly tucked in to carrots, believing this would help them to see more clearly in the blackout. This ruse not only reduced the surplus vegetables but also helped to mask the chief reason for the RAF’s success – the increasing power of radar and the secret introduction of an airborne version of the system.

Carrot Biscuits

1 tablespoon margarine
2 tablespoons sugar + a little extra
A few drops vanilla flavouring
4 tablespoons grated raw carrot
6 tablespoons Self Raising flour (or plain flour + a half teaspoon of baking powder).

 Method: Cream the fat and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the flavouring and carrot.
Fold in the flour.
Form mixture into about 12 or 15 small balls.
Place each ball on a baking tray and flatten.
Sprinkle with sugar and bake in a brisk oven for 20 minutes.

Carrot Lollipops
Carrot Lollipops