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Viper Soup

Game and Offal

(or Adder, Snakes)

Skinned, chopped snakes, boiled with herbs. Known from several 18th Century sources. Snake also occurs in a Wedding Cake receipt from 1660.

Original Receipt in 'The Country Housewife and Lady's Director' by Prof. R Bradley, 1728 (Bradley 1728)

Viper-Soup. From Mr. Ganeau.

Take Vipers, alive, and skin them, and cut off their Heads; then cut them in pieces, about two Inches in length, and boil them, with their Hearts, in about a Gallon of Water to eight Vipers, if they are pretty large. Put into the Liquor a little Pepper and Salt, and a Quart of White Wine to a Gallon of Liquor; then put in some Spice, to your mind, and chop the following Herbs, and put into it: Take some Chervill, some white Beet-Cards or Leaves, some Hearts of Cabbage-Lettuce, a Shallot, some Spinach-Leaves, and some Succory. Boil these, and let them be tender; then serve it up hot, with a French Roll in the middle, and garnish with the raspings of Bread sifted, and slices of Lemon.

Original Receipt from 'The lady's assistant for regulating and supplying her table' by Charlotte Mason (Mason 1777)

Viper Broth.

Take a large fowl, draw it, take out all the fat and the breast-bone, fill the body with parsley, a handful of pimpernel, and a head of endive; put these into three pints of Water, with a little salt and pepper; stew it on a slow fire, and let it instill till there is only a quart left; then kill a viper, skin it and take out the entrails, cut the flesh into small pieces, put it with the broth, with the heart and liver cut across, two blades of mace, and a bit of cinnamon; cover it up and let it boil till it is reduced to a pint; by this time the flesh of the viper will be consumed then, strain it off and press it very hard. It will serve twice.

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