[This is an article from Cariadoc's Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992. For copying details, see the Miscellany Introduction.]


A Potage with Turnips

Platina book 7

Turnips that have been well washed and cut up into nice bits, you cook down in some rich juice. When they have cooked and been mashed, put them near the fire again, in more rich juice, even better than before, if possible; and put in little pieces of salt pork, pepper and saffron. When it has boiled once, then take it and serve it to your guests.

6 turnips = 3 lb
rich juice: 1 10 1/2 oz can conc. beef broth + 6 c water
more rich juice: 1 can beef broth + 1 1/2 c water
6 oz salt pork
1/16-1/8 t pepper
24 threads saffron

Wash turnips and cut off ends and slice 1/4"-1/2" thick. Heat first broth to a boil, then add turnips. Simmer 20 minutes, remove turnips and get rid of broth. Cut salt pork into small pieces, cutting off rind, and fry it until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Drain. Mash turnips with a potato masher, return to pot with second broth, salt pork, pepper and saffron; bring to a boil, boil briefly and remove from heat. Produces about 9 c of pottage.

Note: an earlier recipe in this chapter of Platina's for potage of peas says to fry morsels of salt flesh, so we do so with the salt pork here.

Rapes in Potage

[or Carrots or Parsnips]

Curye on Inglysch p. 99 (Forme of Cury no. 7)

Take rapus and make hem clene, and waissh hem clene; quarter hem; perboile hem, take hem vp. Cast hem in a gode broth and see+ hem; mynce oynouns and cast + erto safroun and salt, and messe it forth with powdour douce. In the self wise make of pastunakes and skyrwittes.

Note: rapes are turnips; pasternakes are either parsnips or carrots; skirrets are, according to the OED, "a species of water parsnip, formerly much cultivated in Europe for its esculent tubers." We have never found them available in the market.

1 lb turnips, carrots, or parsnips
2 c chicken broth (canned, diluted)
1/2 lb onions
6 threads saffron
3/4 t salt
powder douce: 2 t sugar, 3/8 t cinnamon, 3/8 t ginger

Wash, peel, and quarter turnips (or cut into eighths if they are large), cover with boiling water and parboil for 15 minutes. If you are using carrots or parsnips, clean them and cut them up into large bite-sized pieces and parboil 10 minutes. Mince onions. Drain turnips, carrots, or parsnips, and put them with onions and chicken broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Crush saffron into about 1 t of the broth and add seasonings to potage. Cook another 15-20 minutes, until turnips or carrots are soft to a fork and some of the liquid is boiled down.

Potage from Meat

Platina book 7 (GOOD)

Take lean meat and let it boil, then cut it up finely and cook it again for half an hour in rich juice, having first added bread crumbs. Add a little pepper and saffron.

When it has cooled a little, add beaten eggs, grated cheese, parsley, marjoram, finely chopped mint with a little verjuice. Blend them all together in a pot, stirring them slowly with a spoon so that they do not form a ball. The same may be done with livers and lungs.

2 1/3 lb stewbeef
4 c water
"Rich juice": 31 oz (3 cans) concentrated beef broth
1 1/2 c dry bread crumbs
3/4 t pepper
8 threads saffron
5 eggs
1 1/2 c grated cheese (~ 7 oz)
3/8 c chopped parsley
3/4 t dried or 1 t fresh marjoram
1 1/2 T chopped fresh mint
verjuice: 3 T wine vinegar
1 t salt (to taste)

Bring meat and water to a boil and cook 10 minutes; take meat out and cut up small; put back in water with broth, bread crumbs, pepper, and saffron. Simmer 1/2 hour over low flame, being careful that it does not stick. Mix in remaining ingredients; cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. This makes about 10 cups.

This is a rather meat-rich version; it also works with as little as half this much meat.

The Soup Called Menjoire

Taillevent p. 112

First you need the necessary meat-Peachicks, pheasants or partridges and if you can't get those, plovers, cranes or larks or other small birds; and roast the poultry on a spit and when it is almost cooked, especially for large birds like peachicks, pheasants or partridges, cut them into pieces and fry them in lard in an iron pan and then put them in the soup pot. And to make the soup you need beef stock from a leg of beef, and white bread toasted on a grill, and put the bread to soak and skim the broth and strain through a sieve and then you need cinnamon, ginger, a little cloves, long pepper and grains of paradise and hippocras according to the amount of soup you want to make, and mix the spices and the hippocras together and put in the pot with the poultry and the broth and boil everything together and add a very little vinegar, taking care that it just simmers and add sugar to taste and serve over the toasted crackers with white anise or red or pomegranate powder.

3 leg quarters chicken
2 cans beef stock
4 slices white bread
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t ginger
3 whole cloves
1/4 t coarsely ground peppercorns
1/4 t coarsely ground grains of paradise
1/2 c hippocras (see p. 87)
1 T vinegar
1 T sugar
1/4 t ground aniseed

Bake chicken 45 minutes at 350deg. . It is a good idea to debone it after it has cooled enough to handle before frying it. Toast is soaked until soft, then beaten into the soup. Simmer soup about 45 minutes. Serve over toasted crackers.

Saffron Broth

Platina book 6

Put thirty egg yolks, verjuice, the juice of veal or capon, saffron, a little cinnamon together into a bowl and blend. Pass them through a strainer into a pot. Cook it down slowly and stir it continuously with a spoon until it begins to thicken. For then it is taken from the hearth and served to ten guests. While in the dishes, sprinkle with spices.

7 egg yolks
2 T verjuice (or 1 T vinegar+1 T water)
21 ounces (2 cans) chicken broth
1/8 t loose saffron
1/2 t cinnamon
"spices": 1/4 t black pepper, 1/8 t nutmeg


Platina book 6

Take seven eggs, half a pound of grated cheese, and ground bread all blended together. Put this into the pot where the saffron broth is made, when it begins to boil. When you have stirred it two or three times with a spoon, compose your dishes, for it is quickly done.

Saffron broth (see above: one recipe)
4 eggs
3 cups ground mozzarella cheese
3 slices ground bread

Variants on Platina Soups

Platina book 6

Green Broth: Take all that was contained in the first broth (Saffron Broth) except for the saffron and to these things add orach and a little parsley and a few ground sprouts of wheat if there are any green ones at the time. Pass this through a strainer and cook it in the same way as above.

1/2 c orage (spinach is a substitute), 2 T parsley, 2 T wheat sprouts. Grind them up in a mortar to get the green color.

Green Pottage: You prepare green potage in the same way as described above (Zanzarella), but instead of saffron, put in herbs which I noted with the green broth.

Potage of Beans Boiled

Curye on Inglysch p. 77 (Diuersa Servicia no. 81)

For to make a potage fene boiles, tak wite benes & se+ hem in water, & bray + e benys in a mortar al to noght; & lat + em se+ e in almond mylk & do + erin wyn & hony. & se+ reysouns in wyn & do + erto & after dresse yt forth.

1 c fava beans
2 c water
1 c almond milk from: 1 c = 5 oz almonds, 1 1/2 c water
1/8 c wine
1 1/2 T honey
1/4 c more wine
(1/2 t salt)
1/4 c = 1 1/2 oz raisins

Soak beans overnight in 2 c water, drain. Boil them for 40 minutes in 2 c of water. Drain them, mush them in a mortar. Make almond milk ( see p. 5) and set to boil; throw beans into boiling almond milk, add wine and honey, simmer 1 hour. Simmer the raisins in wine for about ten minutes, add them to the pottage a few minutes before it finishes cooking.

Cretonnée of New Peas

Menagier p. M-19

Cook them almost to a puree then remove from the liquid and take fresh cow's milk. And first boil this milk before you put anything in it for it still could turn then first grind ginger to give appetite and saffron to yellow: it is said that if you want to make a liaison with egg yolks pour gently in from above these yolks will yellow it enough and also make the liaison but milk curdles quicker with egg yolks than with a liaison of bread and with saffron to color it. And for this purpose if you use bread it should be white unleavened bread and moisten it in a bowl with milk or meat stock then grind and put it through a sieve and when your bread is sieved and your spices have not been sieved put it all to boil with your peas and when it is all cooked then add your milk and saffron. You can make still another liaison, with the same peas or beans ground then strained; use whichever you please. As for liaison with egg yolks, they must be beaten, strained through a sieve, and poured slowly from above into the milk, after it has boiled well and has been drawn to the back of the fire with the new peas and spices. The surest way is to take a little of the milk and mix with the eggs in the bowl, and then a little more, and again, until the yolks are well mixed with a spoon and plenty of milk, then put into the pot which is away from the fire, and the soup will not curdle. And if the soup is thick, thin with a little meat stock. This done, you should have quartered chicks, veal, or small goose cooked then fried, and in each bowl put two or three morsels and the soup over them.

1 lb = 4 c peas
(4 egg yolks-or bread and saffron)
(Meat stock)
1/2 c milk
1/2 t ginger
2 chicken legs (or veal or goose)

Note: Save the water in which you cook the peas-it is useful for making other soups.

Boil peas 10 minutes. Mix 1 c warm milk with 4 egg yolks. Add ginger and salt to the peas, then milk and eggs. Makes about 6 cups.

Green Broth of Eggs and Cheese

Menagier p. M-22

Take parsley and a little cheese and sage and a very small amount of saffron, moistened bread, and mix with water left from cooking peas, or stock, grind and strain: And have ground ginger mixed with wine, and put on to boil; then add cheese and eggs poached in water, and let it be a bright green. Item, some do not add bread, but instead of bread use bacon.

3 T parsley
1/2 oz cheese, grated
3 small leaves fresh sage
5 threads saffron
2 thin slices = 1.5 oz white bread (or bacon)
2 c pea stock or dilute chicken stock
1/8 t ginger
1 T white wine
1 3/4 oz cheese, grated
3 eggs

Soak bread in stock (either water left from cooking peas or 1/2 c canned chicken broth + 1 1/2 c water). Grind parsley, sage, and saffron in a mortar thoroughly; add 1/2 oz cheese and soaked bread and grind together. Strain through a strainer; if necessary, put back in mortar what didn't go through, grind again, and strain again. Mix wine and ginger, add to mixture, and bring to a boil over moderate heat; be careful that it does not stick to the bottom. Stir in the rest of the cheese; break eggs into soup, and continue to simmer until eggs are poached.

Note: We have used both Gouda and cheddar cheese; both are good.

Webbed by Gregory Blount of Isenfir