- Dried Green Pea Soup with vegetable broth, beer, bread crumbs, egg yolks, parsley, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt, caraway seeds, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cardomom, grains of paradise, saffron - my medieval-oid version based on two German, two French, and two English recipes
- Chicken and Quinces stewed with ginger, pepper, anise, bread crumbs, vinegar - Ein Buch von Guter Spise, German, 14th c.
- Rice with Cherries cooked in almond milk with wine - Ein Buch von Guter Spise, German, 14th c.
- Funges - mushrooms, leeks, vegetable broth, saffron, Powder Fort - Forme of Curye, English, circa 1390
Dried Green Pea Soup
Based on two German, a French, and an English recipe
31. A food of beans - Ein Buch von Guter Spise, German, 14th c.
Boil green beans [favas] until they become soft. So take then fine bread and a little pepper. Three times as much caraway with vinegar and with beer. Grind that together and add saffron thereto. And strain the broth and pour the color thereon and salt it to mass and let it boil in the condiment and give out.
149. To make Bohemian peas - Sabina Welser, German, 1553
Take one and a half ounces of peas, cook them until dry, so that they are not too wet, and pound them in a mortar, so that they become a fine mush. Put good wine on them, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and sugar. Serve it cold, sprinkle it with sugar. It is a good and lordly dish.
Cretonnée of young peas or fresh fava beans - Le Viandier de Taillevent, French
11. Cretonnée of young peas. Cook peas until soft and purée and fry them in lard/bacon fat; then take cow's milk (or almond milk), and boil it une onde, and put to soak a little of bread in it; take (powdered) ginger and saffron and temper it in milk, and bring it to a boil; and then take chicken cooked in water, fry in quarters and put to boil with it; and draw from the fire and put a great quantity of egg yolks in it.
11a. Cretonnee de feves nouvelles: same as for the peas, above.
Green Pesen Royal - Ancient Cookery, English
Take green pesen clene washen, and let hom boyle awhile over the fire, and then poure away al the brothe, and bray a few of hom with parcel and myntes; and in the brayinge alay hit with almonde mylke, and draw hit up with the same mylk, and put in the same pot, and let hit boyle with hole pesen; ande cast thereto sugre and saffron, and in the settynge doune of the pot, if hit be a pot of two galons, take twelve zolkes of eyren, and bete hom, and streyne hom, and cast hom into the pot, and stere hit wel; and loke the potage be rennynge; and when it is dressed, straw suger above, and serve hit forthe.
My Medieval-oid Pea Soup
20 cups dried green peas
2 gallons water
2 gallons vegetable broth
3 TB caraway seeds, ground
1 tsp cardomom
1 TB cinnamon
1-1/2 TB ginger
1 tsp. grains of paradise, ground
1 TB pepper
1/4 tsp. saffron
3 TB salt
2 bottles Hefeweizen beer
1-1/4 cups white wine vinegar
crumb from 1/2 lb. bread
10 egg-yolks, beaten
sugar, as needed
- Put peas in deep pot with water on a high fire.
- When water comes to a boil, reduce heat and cook until softish, about 1/2 hour after water boils.
Set aside 1 or 2 cups of pea broth - the thin liquid - for the Spinach dish later in the feast.
- Season with ginger, grains of paradise, caraway seeds, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, and pepper, mashing peas as much as possible while stirring.
- Add vegetable broth, raise heat until liquid boils. Then reduce heat and cook until very soft, about 1/2 hour after liquid boils, stirring often so it doesn't burn on the bottom.
- Mash peas as much as possible by hand. If too lumpy, put through food processor. Ours was quite mooshy all by itself and didn't need much mashing, which was accomplished with the wooden stirring spoon.
- Return to heat and thicken with beaten egg-yolks or with bread moistened with milk or vegetable broth and pureed. Keep fire low and stir constantly to avoid burning on the bottom.
- Thin with beer, and temper with a little vinegar, adding sugar to taste, if needed.
- Dish into serving bowls. - may look nice sprinkled with some fresh chopped greens...
Serve this first, along with baskets of rolls, even if other foods haven't been completely dished.
NOTE: There was WAAAAY too much liquid. I had soaked the peas ahead of time, in fact i put them in water on Thursday afternoon, and they cooked quite quickly. So adjust liquid as needed: use the above quantity of water if you haven't soaked the peas; but if you soak them well over 24 hours as i did, eliminate the water and just use the vegetable broth.
To deal with the excess of liquid, we took the soup off the fire and let it settle, then poured much of the liquid off the top into another pan. As that settled, i ladled the solids back into the soup pot.
Because the soup was so liquid - it wasn't really thin, just very liquid, as most of the peas had dissolved of their own accord - i used both the bread and the egg yolks to give it a bit more body.
NOTE: We didn't have soup serving bowls and ladles, so we poured the soup into pitchers and the servers poured the soup into people's bowls.
NOTE: Several people commented on how much they liked the "Curried Pea Soup". I was surprised that the pea soup all got eaten up.
Back to top of page
Chicken & Quince Stew
Ein Buch von Guter Spise, German, 14th c.
30. A good food. Take hens. Roast them, not very well. Tear them apart, into morsels, and let them boil in only fat and water. And take a crust of bread and ginger and a little pepper and anise. Grind that with vinegar and with the same strength as it. And take four roasted quinces and the condiment thereto of the hens. Let it boil well therewith, so that it even becomes thick. If you do not have quinces, then take roasted pears and make it with them. And give out and do not oversalt.
25 lbs chickens parts
water to cover
10 cups bread crumbs
2 TB. powdered ginger
1 TB. powdered anise
1-1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
2-1/2 cups white wine vinegar
chicken broth as needed
- Boil chicken in water just barely to cover, until almost done. If still a little pink, that's ok, as it will cook further.
- Roast quinces at 300 degrees Farenheit until tender, about 1 hour, and let cool.
- Remove chicen from broth and let cool, saving broth.
- Remove the crust from a loaf of white bread and tear up the white crumb.
- Soak bread crumbs in vinegar.
- When soft and moist through, mix with ginger, pepper, and anise.
- Puree seasoned bread.
- Dice quinces, discarding core and seeds.
- When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and tear into bite-sized chunks.
- Mix chicken and quinces with spiced breadcrumb mixture, adding just enough broth to moisten.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until mixture is fairly thick. Stir constantly to make sure it doesn't burn on the bottom. Don't cook too long or chicken will become mush.
NOTE: This tasted better than i thought it would. I was concerned that the tartness of the quinces along with the tanginess of the vinegar might be unpleasant. I was also concerned that the seasoning would not balance well. But it was fine. Only one plate came back to the kitchen and that was from a table of vegetarians.
Back to top of page
Rice with Cherries
Ein Buch von Guter Spise, German, 14th c.
1. Ein konkavelite. To make a dish, take a pfunt of almonds and mix (lit. hit or push) the (almond) milk with wine. And (take) a pfunt of cherries and pound them through a strainer and add the cherries in the milk. And take a vierdung rice. Pound to meal. Add this to the milk. And take clean lard or bacon fat and melt it in a pan. And add three ounces white sugar. And do not oversalt, and give out.
10 cups almonds
10 cups red wine
10 cups white wine
10 cups bottled morello cherries
10 cups whole white rice
1-2 sticks butter - to accomodate vegetarian and kosher diners
1 lb. white sugar
salt to taste
- Mix almonds with wine in 3 gallon pot, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until almonds are soft.
- Remove from stove and let cool somewhat.
- Make into almond milk by straining the almond solids out of the wine.
- Measure rice and almond milk into rice cookers with cups that come with rice cookers using twice as much liquid as rice.
- Add cherries to rice cookers, using the rice cooker measure, an amount equal to the rice.
- Cook rice and cherries in rice cookers - will take several batches. Watch carefully: our rice cookers both bubbled over a bit, and shut themselves off before the rice was fully cooked, so we had to keep switching them back to "cook" several times before a batch was done.
- As each batch is finished, dump into a wide shallow pot that will hold 20 cups of rice.
- When all the rice is cooked, melt butter in a pan on a low fire or in a plastic or ceramic dish in a microwave oven.
- Add butter, white sugar, and salt to cherries-and-rice in big pot and mix well.
- If desired, reheat before serving.
1. The original recipe makes a sweet rice pudding. I altered it to make it more like a side dish of modern cooked rice. It was still mushier than modern plain white rice. After it was cooked, several of my helpers tasted it and remarked how good it would be as a dessert rice pudding if cooked until really mushy and sweetened more.
2: My source of bottled morello cherries had only 2 bottles left - maybe half of what i needed. They did have some whole morello cherry jam, so i got 2 jars of that and mixed that with the bottled cherries. It tasted fine and there were plenty of cherries in the rice.
3: The wine flavor was rather strong, to my taste. When i make this again, i'll use about 2/3 as much wine and make up the difference with cherry liquid and water.
Back to top of page
Forme of Cury, English, circa 1390
12. Funges. Take funges and pare hem clene, and dyce hem; take leke and shrede hym small, and do hym to seeth in gode broth. Colour it with safroun, and do therinne powdour fort.
10 small leeks, whites only, cleaned well and shredded
10 lb. flat of button mushrooms
4 bags of Trader Joe's frozen mixed mushrooms
2 tsp. saffron
1-1/2 gallons vegetable broth
- Poudre Forte, le Menagier de Paris, 1395
- 1 TB cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp grains of paradise, ground
- 1/4 tsp powdered nutmeg
- 1-1/2 TB ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp cubeb, ground
- 1/2 tsp galangal powder
- Let frozen mushrooms thaw.
- Wash fresh mushrooms, then cut in half.
- Peel and chop the onions.
- Put broth in deep pan, add saffron, and bring to a boil.
- Mix together spices for Poudre Forte, add them to broth, and simmer 10 minutes.
- Add shredded leeks and mushrooms to the broth.
- Simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is mostly gone. This can take longer, depending on how moist the mushrooms are.
1. I wanted to use Trader Joe's mixed mushrooms because mushrooms were picked wild and could possibly have been a mix of different sorts.
2. The local Trader Joe's market decided not to carry the mushrooms during the holiday season as they needed the freezer space for other stuff, so we made it without them. The Funges all got gobbled up just the same.
Back to top of page