As a reformatory measure, the Bavarian government intended to institute workhouses for those on welfare. Rumford's charge was to provide the cheapest possible ration that was still a high-calorie, nutritious food.
Slowly boil until thick. Eat with bread.
Rumford's soup is not noted as particularly tasty, but is palatable with long, slow cooking.
Rumford's soup is low-fat, with high protein and carbohydrate content -- protein from the dried peas, complex carbohydrates from the potato and barley, and simple carbohydrates from the beer. Thus, Rumford's soup was close to the optimum solution to the problem of cheap, nutritious food according to the knowledge of the day. Unfortunately, such knowledge did not extend to vitamins or trace elements. As a result, Rumford's soup was often supplemented by corn or herring to supply Vitamin C and Vitamin D.
Rumford's soup was a common base for inexpensive military rations in Central Europe for much of the nineteenth and twentieth century.