Tag Archives: Titanic

Soup 17 – Titanic Cream of Barley Soup – 1st Class

This is how we do in the 1st class! Putting the ‘tight’ into Titanic!

Ah, it is with a full stomach and a heavy heart that I must bring us to the end of my Titanic soup investigation and will end with the soup served in the 1st class dining room of the ship which was purportedly a Cream of Barley Soup. A now well-known 1st class passenger was The ‘Unsinkable’ Molly Brown, the daughter of a poor Irish immigrant family whose husband made his fortune through silver mining. She was apparently looked upon with derision by her fellow 1st class passengers due to her humble upbringing. Dicks.

B*tch got moxy

Molly apparently accrued the ‘Unsinkable’ part of her name after not just surviving the sinking of Titanic but helping others by taking control of her lifeboat and encouraging the women on board to keep rowing for 7 hours(bet they HATED her!) and giving her furs to those who were cold (everyone).

So the recipe I used, annoyingly had the measurements in ‘cups’ that strange American measurement that to me, makes NO sense at all. So I have translated it into normal-ish measurements that hopefully you’ll understand.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 rashers of streaky smoked bacon, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon parsley stems, chopped
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
1 medium English mug of pearl barley
1ltr beef stock
300ml whipping cream
2 tablespoons whiskey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

n.b I didn’t use whisky as I didn’t have any and didn’t want to splash out on a whole bottle and I couldn’t find a suitable alternative.


1. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat, add salt pork and cook, stirring often, for two minutes. Stir in carrots, onions and garlic; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.

2.  Add the bay leaf, parsley stems and peppercorns. You can alternatively make a bouquet garni out of these ingredients using cheesecloth. Stir barley into vegetable mixture, cook, stirring, for about 45 seconds. Pour in stock.

3. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until barley is tender. Remove from heat; in blender or food processor, puree soup in batches until almost smooth but still a little chunky. Transfer to clean pot, cook over medium heat until steaming. Whisk in cream, whiskey and vinegar.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Do not boil.

So, here is the final result:

Served with the finest medium Hovis wholemeal bread £1.19 could buy!

So how did this taste? Frankly, I was disappointed and felt that the soups only got worse the higher up the class system I climbed. Maybe my pauper palette just isn’t accustomed to such decadence but I found this soup deeply strange. Due to the cream and the barley it to me felt quite slimy and horrible in the mouth. It in fact had the ‘mouthfeel’ of rice pudding which was quite disconcerting. It had elements of tastiness but the texture (which is VERY important in soup) was just too off putting for me to enjoy. It was a very rich and filling soup which wasn’t exactly what I needed in a heat wave but as I always say (starting from now) the soups must go on! Wind, rain or shine. In a recipe I read for this, the woman who wrote it said that it was the kind of soup which only got better after time but I disagree. It just became thicker and more gelatinous and I have to admit, I threw the last bit away after heating it up for lunch and just not being able to face it. I think my friend I shared it with at work actually thought I was doing it out of spite.

Cost: 4 pound signs out of 10
Tastiness: 4 tongues out of 10
Complexity: 4 Labyrnths out of 10
Overall: 4 Ladles out of 10

Conclusion: Personally unenjoyable for me but not sure if I’m biased as I generally don’t like slimy, creamy things of any kind in my mouth – make of that what you will.

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Soup 16 – Titanic Pea Soup – 2nd Class

Something to warm ya cockles lads? I’ve got just the thing…

So here we are with soup number two in my Titanic trilogy, a little behind schedule but at least it has finally arrived unlike some luxury cruise liners I don’t care to mention! After the delight which was 3rd class soup, we come to the 2nd class. In 2nd class passengers received a rustic pea soup washed down with a large glass of their middle class contentment, delicious. I imagine in 2nd class, dogs wouldn’t go for a sh*t but they would probably be walked there and certainly dog hair would be dropped at the very least and it was still miles behind the 10 course majesty of 1st class, where no dogs would ever roam!

So onto the soup. I have noticed that quite a lot of the Titanic recipes contain pork. This is quite awkward for my housemates (Legal Beagle and Crachel Cheeseburger), as neither of them eat meat from the cleft footed animals but I was weary to leave it out because I think the salt and the fat really adds something to the taste and consistency so in they stayed and those two were sent to bed with a bowl of gruel! I’m not sure why many of the recipes used on Titanic are so schwein heavy but I suspect that it is to do with salted or cured meats keeping better than others?…Feel free to discuss/correct me in the comments. Saying this I couldn’t actually get my hands on a ham hock at short notice so switched it for lots of smoked bacon.


In terms of making, this soup was very simple and merely a case of throwing everything in and waiting. BUT that is the key, you need to make sure when using split peas/lentils that you leave them until they are tender or it results in a more gritty texture which isn’t entirely unpleasant but not as satisfying as a well cooked lentil. I regret now not searching harder for a hock, I will brave a butcher’s next time but to be honest, growing up in the supermarket era, butcher’s intimidate me a little and I always feel a little out of my depth. (To do- learn about butchers/explore their sawdusty lairs) because shredding meat into a soup is REALLY one of life’s pleasures and chopping bacon certainly wasn’t the same.


Not too shabby! – The 2nd class dining room on deck D of Titanic

So, how did it taste? I very much enjoyed the satisfying smoky taste of this soup and it’s thick warming texture. If anything it was a little too thick but I enjoyed eking it out by adding extra water when reheating but it also loosened up itself when re-heated as I think the fat would solidify a little when it cooled (this sounds grosser than it is), so don’t go mad on the water. After a couple of servings, I whizzed mine up with a stick blender making it into a delicious smooth pastey kind of soup. I have high hopes for 1st class now the 3rd and 2nd class have been so delicious (see how I am setting this up to be a disaster?) but then again of course they’re all delicious, you can be blase about somethings, but not Titanic!!

Cost: 5 pound signs out of 10
Tastiness: 7 tongues out of 10
Complexity: 4 Labyrnths out of 10
Overall: 6 Ladles out of 10

Here’s the recipe so you can recreate your own doomed dish at home:


2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced small
2 carrots peeled and finely diced
1 lb green split peas, rinsed
6 cups chicken stock
1 Brothers smoked ham hock
(or substitute ½ lb double smoked bacon)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup dry sherry


1) Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion for several minutes.
2) Add next four ingredients and stir for about two minutes.
3) Add peas, stock, pepper, meat, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer until peas are
very tender, about one hour.
4) Remove ham hock, chop meat finely, and add meat to soup. Stir in sherry. Add salt and more freshly ground pepper to taste.

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