Thursday, June 11, 2015

Purée Mongole

The now-defunct-in-the-States Mongol is my favorite pencil, so when Sean at Contrapuntalism broke the news that the Mongol pencil was named for is said to have been named for purée Mongole, I knew that I would have to try that soup. I didn’t know that I would be the one making it or that it would be so easy to make.

Purée Mongole seems to have taken many forms over time. The only thing that seems certain is that the soup was once, as we now say, “a thing,” served in posh restaurants. I followed Henri Charpentier’s recipe, as adapted by Deana Sidney. The soup that results is spectacular. It’s really two soups — one green, creamy, mellow; the other tangy with curry powder and tomato. I took Deana’s suggestion to spoon the red into a bowl of green. A delicious Rorschach test will result.

[This photograph is from the next day’s leftovers. I see Africa, sort of. That’s Madagascar on the lower right. The red in last night’s bowl looked remarkably like Howard Johnson’s Simple Simon logo. You have to trust me on “delicious.” I am no food stylist.]

A few details: I used frozen vegetables, canned navy beans, chicken stock, and Amontillado. Two tablespoons, not a cask. No cream: with whole milk, the soup is plenty rich. With good bread and apple pie, it was dinner.

Thanks to Elaine for moral support and guidance in the art of the puree.


June 15: As Faber made clear in a 1971 article for Fortune (“What Happened When I Gave Up the Good Life and Became President”), the story behind the Mongol name is apocryphal. I have revised accordingly. Thanks to Sean at Contrapuntalism for the reference.

Related reading
All OCA Mongol pencil posts (Pinboard)

comments: 8

The Crow said...

What?! No tantalizing picture of your soup?

I will try my hand at it this weekend.

Michael Leddy said...

I took many pictures, but the results weren’t tantalizing. Too much green. Oh well.

The Crow said...

Well, how it tastes is far more important, and you have a winner.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, this soup is a winner. Trying to photograph it helps me understand why there are food stylists.

The Crow said...

I love the contrasting colors of this soup and am looking forward to making it.

Your bowlful is an abstract painting in the round.

Michael Leddy said...

Let me (us, everyone) know how it goes.

Matthias said...

The colour is pretty close to the pencil, too!

Michael Leddy said...

Matthias, I think that might have something to do with the dark-green bowl. I tried photographing the soup in a white bowl, and it came out a truly sickly green. :)