Old English Cream of Lemon Soup

Published on by Souper Woman


'a person who is fond of or greatly admires England or Britain.'

the Oxford Dictionary

Old English Cream of Lemon Soup

A term that describes me pretty well, for as long as I can remember I have always felt a strong affection for England and Great Britain. I do not know whether this refers to my peculiar habit of drinking more tea than the average Englishman, my massive appetite in the morning and need for big breakfasts, my addiction to every BBC drama on television or the fact that I know more about English history that that of my home country. But regardless of what has caused my affection, it has certainly been the main reason for my decision to actually move to England at the beginning of this year.

Since the last post before my moving was a Traditional Dutch Split Pea Soup, I thought it would be perfectly appropriate to celebrate my arrival to my new home country with a traditional English soup. However, I was just so busy settling in that I completely forgot. Nevertheless, I did look into some old recipes, and in particular this Cream of Lemon Soup had sparked my interest from the beginning. Nevertheless, I had been feeling slightly hesistant towards making this soup until now, and I do not know why exactly. Perhaps it was my inner perfectionist being frightened of how it would turn out, or my association of lemon with summer and I preferred to wait. Either way, I am very glad I eventually found the courage to make it! Especially now the weather is getting warmer, this soup feels like a lovely refreshment and I must admit it was absolutely worth the effort and waiting!

Old English Cream of Lemon Soup

The history of this soup goes back a long way, to the Victorian times where England had a large Empire of colonies all over the world and import products from these colonies were considered exotic and expensive. Citrus fruits were one of these exotic products and therefore only consumed by those wealthy enough to afford them. The upper class and nobility used lemons to give some extra flavour to dishes with chicken and oranges to give extra flavour to dishes with duck. Fortunately today, you could just buy them at your local supermarket, which means that even a poor student such as myself can afford to make this incredibly fancy soup and feel like a lady in a Victorian costume drama (but perhaps with a less restraining corset).

Ingredients for 5 servings:
  • 1 liter of chicken stock
  • 30 g English butter (or any type of salted butter)
  • 2 onions
  • 75 g carrots
  • 75 g celery
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper (according to taste)
  • 150 ml fresh single cream
  • handful of chopped chives
  • lemon wedges (for garnish)
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan
  2. Clean and chop the vegetables and gently saute them in the melted butter
  3. Stir fry for about 5 minutes
  4. Add the chicken stock and heat up to a boiling point
  5. Press out the lemons and add the juice to the boiling stock
  6. Zest the lemon peel and add this to the stock as well
  7. Add bay leaves
  8. Let the soup simmer on a low flame for about 30 mintes, until the vegetables are tender and the flavours have blended
  9. Remove the bay leaves
  10. Blend the soup using a hand blender
  11. Pour the cream into a bowl and add a few spoons of warm soup
  12. Stir the mixture, add this to the soup and blend again
  13. Reheat the soup on a low flame if necessary, but make sure the soup does not boil!
  14. Serve the soup bowls whiile adding the lemon wedges and freshly chopped chives

Comment on this post

Thank you for this. I used to cook a very similar soup several times a year, but my memory for some recipes isn't good and I lost the written version in a house move (along with a 100,000 word manuscript and the most incredible chocolate fudge cake recipe)<br /> <br /> I've seen a few recipes for this but they didn't fit what I was looking for.<br /> <br /> I can now cook Lemon Dinner for my wife:<br /> <br /> Cream of Lemon Soup<br /> <br /> Lemon Risotto with Prawns and Asparagus<br /> <br /> Lemon Meringue Pie<br /> <br /> Got to love a lemon.
Dear Robert,<br /> <br /> Blimey, it must have been awful to have lost your original recipes in a house move! Recipes very often have an emotional value attached to them, and I am so sorry to read that. I hope you will find it back one day! But until then, I am very pleased to read that my recipe has helped you so much. It means a lot to me. I always enjoy reading personal experiences from readers in relation to my recipe. Thanks a lot for sharing! And you are absolutely right! Lemon is lovely!<br /> <br /> Love,<br /> <br /> Souper Woman