This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
Purees, properly speaking, are made from heavy vegetables, like dried beans, dried peas, and, occasionally, from potatoes and chestnuts. The vegetables must be simmered in water or stock until tender. In case of dried beans or peas this will take from four to five hours. The pulp is then sifted and returned to the liquor, and the whole is thickened with butter, oleomargarine, drippings or other fat and flour, which have been creamed together. The puree, before thickening, should be almost as thick again as a cream soup, therefore it is necessary to add but little thickening.
In making bisques the fish should be cooked in water or stock from twenty to thirty minutes; if oysters or clams are used they should be cooked in their own liquor for three minutes; the seasoning should then be added, the right amount of hot stock or milk combined with the fish, and the whole should be thickened with butter or other fat and flour rubbed together. A few crackers or dry bread crumbs may be added to bisques for thickening if desired.