“The wedding feast began with a thin leek soup, followed by a salad of green beans, onions, and beets…” (III:74)
Medieval Leek Soup
This was a simple, tasty recipe pairing.
The medieval leek soup took all of 5 minutes to prepare, and the result was an interesting, tasty broth with a bit of kick. The pepper and ginger lengthen the feeling of heat in your mouth, transitioning from the temperature of the hot soup to the warm sensation of the spices.
If you were a monk traveling the open road and cooking over campfires, the modern recipe would be your dinner of choice. The citrus flavor makes the soup wonderfully fresh-tasting, perfect for a spring evening with a chunk of sourdough bread. Leeks are a gem of a veg, underused in cooking these days.
Try both recipes and let us know your favorite- viva la leek!
Medieval Leek Soup
Take funges and pare hem clene and dyce hem; take leke and shrede hym small and do hym to seeþ in gode broth. Colour it with safroun, and do þerinne powdour fort. -Forme of Curye, ~1390
- 1½ handfuls of mushrooms
- 6 threads saffron (or a pinch of ground saffron)
- 1 leek
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- 2 c beef broth (or chicken broth)
- ¼ tsp salt
Wash the vegetables; slice the leek finely and dice the mushrooms. Add saffron to the broth and bring it to a boil. Add the leek, mushrooms, and powder fort to the broth, simmer 3-4 minutes, remove from the heat, and serve.We prefer to use beef broth, but it is also good with chicken.
Modern Leek Soup
- 3 medium leeks
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 stalk celery
- 4 hand fulls spring greens
- 1 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
Trim the green end of the leeks to about 3 inches above the white, and cut root end. At root end, slice a cross to about halfway up the stalks, and rinse. Slice the leeks into thin rings. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the leeks. Cover and simmer over a low heat until the leeks are softened, but not colored.
Chop the celery and carrot and add to the pan. Pour in vegetable stock, add bay leaves, salt, and pepper, and leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until veg is soft but sill vibrantly colored.
Rinse the spring greens and shred into thin ribbons.
Grate the lemon zest and drop into thepot with the shredded greens. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the greens are just tender, juice the lemon into the soup and serve.