Raquel Welch’s Wonder Soup

I’ve been on a Raquel Welch binge recently after accidentally buying a box set.  I say accidentally because for some reason I thought Myra Breckenridge was in the set, and when it arrived it wasn’t.  

I am dying to see Myra Breckenridge…

not least becaue the cookbook that accompanies that film is BONKERS and I have Gill of Realweegiemidget Reviews to thank for reminding me of its existence.  

There will be some kind of “Dinner and a Movie” extravaganza involving that book soon as there is much to say about the madness of it all.  I’ve secured the film on DVD, just looking for a suitable date in the diary.

Raquel is gorgeous.  She looks absolutely great in all the movies in the box, even though a couple of them are absolute turkeys. 

I have mentioned before how spectacular Raquel’s hair is, and how big and bouffant her “dos” are no matter what the settings or era of the action.  

Although I admit that Fantastic Voyage was an exception.  I guess if you are going to be miniaturised and injected into a human body inside a submarine there won’t be any time for backcombing.

Hmm, maybe I’ll take that back…

Here’s a photo of me after some intense backcombing.  I was going to a party posing as Kate Bush.

I don’t think my hair ever really recovered…

Of all the movies in the boxset Fathom was my favourite.  Who doesn’t want to see Raquel jumping out of hot air balloons and running around in a catsuit?

but Fathom will not replace Kansas City Bomber in my affections.  I just love that movie.

I went hunting through the recipe collection for a favourite dish of Raquel’s, as after watching 5 of her films in quick succession I’ve been feeling like she was becoming my new best friend. 

I had only one recipe.  The delightfully named Wonder Soup.  As I am on a diet, and this contains only vegetables, and the weather has suddenly turned cold here in London this was a total winner.

I have no idea if the name “Wonder Soup” has anything to do with Wonder Woman but after googling it and finding this  Wonder Woman Soup Mug, I of course now want one…

I love high summer in England when everyone who grows vegetables gets very generous with their courgettes and green beans and starts throwing them around the place.  This soup almost cost me ZERO PENCE thanks to my sister-in-law who had given me a courgette from her garden, 

and the hero that is Gary Sycamore.  He is the President of the Muswell Hill and District Horticultural Society and has a stupendous allotment – I’ve written about it here, with photos. 

At a recent committee meeting, he arrived with a huge basket of veggies and I got a lovely score.

I did a bit of googling after I’d eaten Raquel’s soup, I discovered that she’d not only written a health and fitness book (on the way to me right now via eBay) but there is also a VHS tape of one of her yoga routines.  

I am currently trying to buy a DVD copy of this on the black market.  It will be going on rotation with the Jane Fonda Workout, the Angela Lansbury Workout and the Debbie Reynolds Workout (whenever I find those DVDs in my tip of a flat).  If anyone knows where I can secure a DVD of the Zsa Zsa Gabor Workout at a reasonable price I’ll love you forever.

Oh, if only Marilyn had been around in the 1980s!

In Johna Blinn’s Great Performances in the Kitchen, there is lots of info on what Raquel likes to eat.  It sounds like a very sensible approach to me, focusing on protein, green vegetables, salad, fruit and whole grains.  I’m hoping that there might be a few more recipes in her book.  Will keep y’all posted when it arrives.

Raquel says that her soup is “based on the old-fashioned potassium broth, so popular during the late ‘20s and ‘30s. (Mae West was a great believer and user of it).”  So this makes me wonder if Mae persuaded Raquel to eat this kind of soup on the set of Myra Breckenridge 

I see that Gloria Swanson’s Potassium Broth was a recipe of the month way back in January 2013.  Those were the days before I put the recipe in the blog post as well as on the Recipe of the Month page, but there’s a nice photo of it!  I shall revisit Gloria’s recipe as part of the current health kick.  I will also let you know when I’ve done Raquel’s workout and am all bendy like her…

This is all that is in Raquel’s soup apart from some water and some parsley…  Super healthy!  You can really taste those veggies!

Raquel Welch’s Wonder Soup

1 quart / 1140ml water

1 pound / 450g string beans, strings removed, chopped

2 celery stalks, stringed and sliced

1 bunch parsley, stems removed, finely chopped

3 to 4 zucchini/courgettes, chopped

Boil water in a deep saucepan.  Put the string beans, celery, and parsley boiling water.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Add zucchini and continue boiling 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove the vegetables from the water with a slotted spoon (save the water).  Puree the vegetables in a blender.  Use cooking water to thin puree to desired thickness or to the consistency of pea soup.  The best way to get rid of any remaining strings from the celery or beans is to first puree, then grind and finely blend in a blender.

One more pic of the hair!

8 Responses to Raquel Welch’s Wonder Soup

  1. phairhead@gmail.com 5 Sep, 2018 at 11:32 am #

    Wuthering Heights Kate is very iconic

    • Jenny 8 Sep, 2018 at 9:20 am #

      I was mad about Kate Bush around the time Wuthering Heights came out. Drove my mum to distraction playing it over and over again!

  2. Samantha Ellis 5 Sep, 2018 at 5:37 pm #

    I was just about to comment that this is a crazy coincidence because I also cooked Raquel Welch’s Wonder Soup the night before last, but upon comparing our recipes I found that they were completely different! I got my recipe for her Wonder Soup from here: http://soupsong.com/rraquel1.html

    How weird is that? Of course, knowing your classic star and recipe expertise I’m a lot more willing to believe that your recipe is the real deal, but I wonder how it could be that two different recipes are called the same thing. Will we ever solve this mystery? Either way, the one that I tried was DELICIOUS and had just about every vegetable under the sun, and now I’ll have to try this recipe too!

    • Jenny 8 Sep, 2018 at 9:35 am #

      Wow, that is a coincidence Samantha! And yes, a mystery too! I found my version of the Raquel recipe in Johna Blinn’s Great Performances in the Kitchen book. Further research reveals that it was originally in one of Johna’s “Celebrity Cookbook” articles that appeared in various US papers in 1985. Here’s a link https://www.newspapers.com/image/185894823

      I wonder if the version you found was a later version Raquel put together when the cabbage diet was all the rage? I must say that I like the sound of your version – my version was good and super healthy but there’s no hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper in this one! I do remember when everyone went bonkers for the cabbage diet but I never tried it. I DO like cabbage but I’m not sure I’d want to eat cabbage soup and nothing but for a whole week!

      PS – I haven’t forgotten about sending you some Mary Carlisle recipes – it’s on the to-do list!

  3. Hazel 6 Sep, 2018 at 7:00 am #

    Brilliant! Her hair in that last photo looks like it needs it’s own name.

    Why don’t they bring out cookbooks to accompany modern films?! Greek recipes to go with Mama Mia, perhaps?
    And, I know it’s not the point at all, but I always wonder in action films when (and what) the heroes are supposed to have eaten. I’m probably fairly food obsessed- I can’t leave the house without food or knowing where my next meal is coming from and I can’t even blame having little children for that anymore!- but I think they can’t have saved the girl/town/world/universe on no sleep AND no food..

  4. Jenny 8 Sep, 2018 at 9:40 am #

    Haha – I would absolutely LOVE to walk around with hair like Raquel’s but in this day and age people would probably just think I was insane. Bring back the backcombing I say.

    Yes, what ARE the superheroes of action films eating? I too am utterly obsessed with food. i can barely type this as I haven’t had breakfast yet and am running through all the possibilities in my head.

    It is Saturday so I can have whatever the hell I like, doesn’t matter how much time it takes. Vincent Price’s Buckingham Eggs? Natalie Wood’s Huevos Rancheros (ooh, just remembered I have avocado!) Peter Fonda’s Blenda Breakfast? The possibilities are endless

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