The few, the proud, the tureens

Cheese and Trees Soup featuring Wisconsin Potatoes

It’s still cold out there, and if you live in the Midwest or in the East, the forecast for this week isn’t pretty. We’re expecting another round of frigid temperatures with the icy conditions still plaguing those of us who like to walk, and the heartiest of souls who like to bike. It is therefore more than appropriate that we salute the oft-misunderstood tureen – for they are few, but they are proud.

The tureen is a fairly new word and can’t be found as a listing in any dictionaries before the 1800’s. Chances are, it was misspelled, having been a derivative of the word “terrine” which means an earthenware dish or vessel. They were popularized during the Federal period with President Washington frequently having two soup tureens at his dinner parties – both tureens always placed at the head of the table. Although the President is most associated with cherries, his dinners usually began with soup.

Tureens range from the very ornate, like this one http://www.raritetantique.com/shop-our-gallery/porcelain/antique-large-hp-thomas-bavaria-celeste-blue-gold-tureen-ca1880, to tureens forged from silver, as they appear here, http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/39.65.38a-c, and, of course, to the minimalistic, as seen here, http://backyardneighbor.typepad.com/.a/6a00e552178e4988330133f60bbf52970b-pi. In any event, everyone should know that according to Collector’s Weekly, the soup tureen began to become popular in 2009 for collectors, and since then, the prices have skyrocketed. Perhaps it’s time that we rummage the closets and storage cabinets of our grandparents.

Just the thought of the word tureen conjures-up something robust and zesty like a thick soup or beef stew. It’s hard to imagine consommé, for instance, being ladled from a tureen; and in fact, our first President preferred his soup rich with an abundance of seafood in it.

And speaking of a rich soup to warm your body after a cold-snap, try this Cheese and Trees Potato Soup Recipe from one of our readers: http://eatwisconsinpotatoes.com/rbook/recipe/view/2696. And if you’re looking for a great stew recipe for your new or old tureen, try this recipe, also from one of our readers, for Scalloped Potato Stew: http://eatwisconsinpotatoes.com/rbook/recipe/view/3213. Until next week, stay warm.

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