top of page
  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

Eat Like a President Today with These Three Historical Recipes

George Washington’s Vegetable Soup

Serves 6-8

3 T. butter 1 T. vegetable oil 1 cup thinly sliced onions (red is nice) 1 cup diced peeled potatoes 1 cup diced peeled carrots 8 cups rich beef broth (2 quarts – use fat-free, lower salt broth, if possible) Salt and pepper to taste 3 T. butter 8 slices firm white bread, cut into fourths

Fry the onions in the butter and oil over medium heat in a large pot until they begin to look translucent. Add the potatoes and carrots and fry until onions begin to turn deep golden in color. Pour in the beef broth and cook until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, fry the bread squares in butter in a heavy skillet. Serve the bread floating on top of the soup. [Note: This is the original recipe. I add a bay leaf and about ¼ t. or so of dried thyme leaves to the broth. I also sprinkle on chopped parsley after I add the bread squares.]

Meat lovers might prefer Thomas Jefferson’s meatier soup, which he named “Mexican Bean Soup,” because that’s what the grocer who sold him the beans called it.

President Ronald Reagan’s Favorite Macaroni and Cheese


1⁄2lb macaroni

1teaspoon butter

1egg, beaten

1teaspoon salt

1teaspoon dry mustard

3cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1cup milk


Boil macaroni in water until tender and drain thoroughly. Stir in butter and egg. Mix mustard and salt with 1T hot water, and add to milk. Add cheese, leaving enough to sprinkle on top. Pour into buttered casserole; add milk, sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes or until custard is set and top is crusty.

White House Pecan Pie

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1 cup sugar 1 cup dark corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 3 eggs 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans Fluted unbaked pastry shell in a 9-inch pie pan or plate

Allow the butter to stand in a covered medium mixing bowl at room temperature until it is extremely soft. Add sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla; with a sturdy hand rotary beater or mixing spoon, beat until thoroughly blended. Add eggs and beat gently just until blended. Fold in the pecans. Pour into pastry shell. Bake in a moderate (375 degrees) oven on the rack directly below the center rack until top is toasted brown and filling is set in center when pie is gently shaken - about 40 to 50 minutes.

Pastry edge should be browned and the bottom pastry a pale gold. If top of pie gets very dark toward end of baking time, place a tent of foil over it. Cool on wire rack. If desired, serve with unsweetened whipped cream.


bottom of page