As we countdown to the North American premiere of Downton Abbey, we’re making a Downton-inspired meal, course by course. Check out these two soup recipes, and how to eat them properly.

So now, you’ve whet your guests’ appetites with the delicious hors d’oeurves starters, but now it’s time to seat your guests and serve the traditional first course.

Keeping up the traditional Service a la Russe—in which courses were served separately—the first course of a lavish meal during the ’20s started with soup. Two soups were usually offered, one that was thick and creamy and one with a clear broth. It was up to guests to decide which soup they preferred, or they could opt for a little taste of both.

Of course, with any formal dinner there are rules. Here are some simple rules to follow when eating soup.

1. Never blow on your soup.

2. It’s proper to hold your spoon in your right hand.

3.When eating your soup, you should scoop the spoonful away from yourself.

4. The spoon should never be place directly in your mouth from the side of the spoon. The spoon should tip gently in order to pour the soup into your mouth through a small opening of the lips.

With all these courses and choices, it’s no wonder Mrs. Patmore is always flustered!

First Course menu: Mushroom Barley Soup and Creamy Russet Leak Soup.


This simple, but delicious soup with a clear vegetable broth was considered a light version that did not contain cream. But with the addition of barley and mushrooms, it was a hearty option. Before you start making the soup, it’s important to first cook the barley in boiling water, which takes about 30 minutes. While that is cooking, sauté onions, diced carrots and celery in a pot until soft. Sauté the mushrooms next and add a little thyme. Then add vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper. Cook soup on low for about 15 min, then add  barley. Cook all ingredients together for an additional 10 minutes until all the flavours marry. The soup is then ready to serve!









This soup is so easy, anyone can make it. Certainly, Mrs. Patmore could do it with her eyes closed and would be something that she would be glad to serve as it’s economical but luxurious in texture. Saute leeks in butter until soft. After seasoning with salt and pepper, add about a cup of water with a few cups of vegetable broth. Add diced Russet potatoes to the broth and jazz it up with a bit of marjoram, parsley and a teaspoon of tabasco sauce. Let the soup cook for 25-30 minutes until thick and creamy.







Stay tuned for next week’s second course menu. Hint: something smells fishy in Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen!

These recipes can be found in “The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook” by Emily Ansara Baines. The North American premiere of Downton Abbey airs on January 6, 2022 on PBS.




—Toni-Marie Ippolito




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