This section is from the book "Practical Cooking And Serving", by Janet McKenzie Hill. Also available from Amazon: Practical Cooking and Serving: A Complete Manual of How to Select, Prepare, and Serve Food .
The word purée is used to include cream soups, bisques, and plain purées. The latter are thick soups, in which the purée predominates and milk or cream is not used as a rule. Plain purées are made of legumes, chestnuts, chicken, or game. They do not call for a roux or other binding agent, though flour and butter cooked together may be used. The thickness of the soup comes from the representative ingredient. All these soups are very nutritious; consequently they should not be served at dinner as a first course, and be followed by other and more substantial dishes, unless the soup be presented for the same reason that Abigail Adams, the economical and thrifty wife of our second President, is said to have served the cornmeal pudding before the roast - i.e., to save the roast. They are appropriately served as luncheon soups and are particularly good for children and old people.
Boil sixty blanched chestnuts in a quart of water, or light stock, then press while hot through a fine purée sieve; add two quarts of broth, stir until the boiling point is reached, then simmer an hour; skim and pour the soup into a tureen. Serve with croutons of fried bread.