Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Donald Barthelme's Fine Homemade Soups

This is all very well, you are thinking, but we've heard far too much about books on this blog recently, and not enough about food. Well, I have come back from Paris now, and I can report that the aligot, the tapenade, the goat's cheese, the boudins and sausages, the puy lentils, the brioche, the chocolate mousse, the celeriac remoulade, the terrines, the cuisse de lapin, &c, etc (or ktl, for the Greek fans) continue to give uniform satisfaction. Ditto the Chinese food. Duck and noodles.

But we can have literature AND lunch. We are in the business of feeding both the mind and the body. I have a longstanding interest and expertise in soup. Here is one of the blog's great heroes on the subject:

My fine homemade soups are interesting, economical and tasty. To make them, one proceeds in the following way:

FINE HOMEMADE LEEK SOUP

Take one package Knorr Leek Soupmix. Prepare as directed. Take two live leeks. Chop leeks into quarter-inch rounds. Throw into Soupmix. Throw in 1/2 cup Tribuno Dry Vermouth. Throw in chopped parsley. Throw in some amount of salt and a heavy bit of freshly ground pepper. Eat with good-quality French bread, dipped repeatedly in soup.

FINE HOMEMADE MUSHROOM SOUP

Take one package knorr Mushroom Soupmix. Prepare as directed. Take four large mushrooms. Slice. Throw into Soupmix. Throw in 1/2 cup Tribuno Dry Vermouth, parsley, salt, pepper. Stick bread as above into soup at intervals. Buttering bread enhances taste of the whole.

FINE HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP

Take Knorr Chicken Soupmix, prepare as directed, throw in leftover chicken, duck or goose as available. Add enhancements as above.

You can read the other recipe (Oxtail Soup, singled out by Thomas Pynchon, who concedes that Barthelme's burgoo is "a notable moment in chef psychopathology") and the Don's instructions for breakfast, lunch and "Superb dinner for 60" (with input from the Arkansas Department of Corrections, Food Services Division) in The Teachings of Don B, edited by Kim Herzinger (Turtle Bay Books, 1992).

If you clear your plates, I will let you have Anthony Powell's recipe for curry.

2 comments:

Kim Herzinger said...

And as we know, it's one of the great recipes. It's nice to hear your liberal/conservative voice once again, Andrew, and I hope you'll contact me outside the blog at www.kimherzinger.com. I have much news to tell you, mostly scurrilous, but it should be blogged here first that the last of the Barthelme books--Flying to America: 45 More Stories--will soon be published by Shoemaker & Hoard right here in the USA. Get back to me--after correcting the ridiculous baseball errors in your Ted Williams obit so long ago, you owe me an email.

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