e-book Soup Through the Ages: A Culinary History with Period Recipes

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Starches made the soup thicker allowing the meal to be more satiating. Cooking also opened possibilities of including ingredients that would otherwise be inconsumable owing to the bitterness or possibility of poisoning. When food was scarce, soup was made by dumping all sorts of ingredients in the pot and boiling the contents.

The soup was filling and cheap, making it a convenient food item for both the rich and the poor. Since it was made from simple ingredients, it was easy to digest by both the sick and healthy. After the invention of waterproof containers, soup became much easier to make.

It was not anything more than a watery gruel. It involved cereals that would be roasted and ground to form a paste. The paste would be boiled with additional water which was known as pottage, broth or porridge. In other cultures, more vegetables and starchy foods like legumes, peas, beans, or pasta-like products would be added to the pot.

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Realm of History

This made the soup more filling and hospitable. You can still find this kind of soups in different cultures around the world. Soups also progressed to involve meat and fish. The quality of the soup also improved with the advancement in agricultural practices, availability of durable cooking containers, quality of vegetables, and availability of seasoning herbs.

Fruits fresh or dried were also adapted in soups as they were seen to improve the flavour of the soup. During these times, soup was primarily left to the poor partly because of fuel. Roasting was for the noble during the Renaissance as the classes were hugely divided. But because of the careful preparation of soup, it was not going anywhere as many of the old recipes have been passed on through generations to our dinner tables today. After a few decades, soup evolved as the cookery became more diversified and artistic.

This is as cooks realized that soup would become more extravagant. It was now prepared artfully and seasoned with a nice touch like we continue to see it today. The middle ages was a period of discovery since more ingredients were added to the pot while others were removed to gain different flavours of the soup. Changing of the various ingredients depended on the importance of that particular food item. If a specific ingredient dictated the flavour of the soup, it would not be substituted or left out as it would alter the overall flavour of that soup.

Seasons also dictated what was in the soup. Meats, for example, would be dried, roasted, salted, smoked, and preserved for the winter. But it would be monotonous to eat soup with one main ingredient day after day.

Let's Cook History: The Medieval Feast (Medieval Documentary) - Timeline

The modern restaurant is based on soup. In the 16th century, the French began using the word restaurant to refer to the soup that was sold by vendors in the streets. It was a typical dish sold to help restore energy or heal fatigue. A Parisian Entrepreneur known as Boulanger invested in a shop that used to serve soup, restoratifs, and eggs.


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As such, the word restaurant became attached to a place where you could go to buy and eat ready food. The first luxury restaurant was also opened in France in It paved the way for Gastronomic cooking styles. This went ahead to define soup from its region. Every culture had its version of soup. These soups reflected the pride of a specific region while some represented national heritage. They also speak about the foods available in a particular region, and that every nation has a soup they can call their own.

In the same period, specifically , a chemist, Dr. John T. This discovery led to what we now call canned soup that is ready-to-eat. The volume of the soup is simply doubled by adding a can full of water or milk.

Soup Through the Ages: A Culinary History with Period Recipes - Victoria R. Rumble - Google Libros

This kind of soup comes at a lower price. It does not require any more cooking other than heating it in a pan. Canned soup also makes an excellent base for most soups as you can recook it with additional ingredients like meat and vegetables. The invention of canned soup made it more portable. And because those later Europeans had similar tastes, by reading their recipes we can learn a lot about the way people ate centuries before them as well. These mainly 16th Century recipes are not all sweet pies, or rather not only sweet.

They blur the line between savory foods and desserts, and would be on the table at any time alongside any kinds of other courses. Did Europeans suddenly wake up one day, tired of Medieval living, and decide to change course, to rebirth themselves in modern ideas and start creating good art? Or, as usual, is the story something much more complicated, gradual, and subject to the influence of other cultures from outside? Hmm, I wonder? Please leave a review to help spread the word! This was a fun one.

As all the posts the last two years show, I prefer taking inspiration from the past rather than trying to recreate it. But with so many primary recipe sources written during the late middle ages, I figured I should probably try some of them. This recipe comes from Le Menagier de Paris , a kind of instructional manual for a housewife of I picked it because it felt particular evocative of the era to me. Poultry Broth, thickened with almonds and heavily spiced? I mean what sounds more Medieval than that?

Cut up your poultry or other meat, then cook in water and add wine, and fry: then take raw almonds with the skin on unpeeled, and a great quantity of cinnamon, and grind up well, and mix with your stock or with beef stock, and put to boil with your meat: then grind ginger, clove and grain, etc. Mm, thick and yellow brown! The end product is definitely unusual to my modern palate, but not bad at all!

My interpretation of this recipe is 1 part ground almonds, 2 parts chicken meat, 4 parts chicken broth, and then like. Your quantities may vary. I got the idea for this recipe years ago from Chef John from foodwishes. This showstopper recipe combines three great culinary passions of the European Middle Ages: 1 Lots of spices, 2 Baking everything into a pie, and 3 Cooking things that look like other things! A couple important distinctions. While Medieval pie crusts, known at the time as coffins, were probably not designed to be edible, ours most certainly will be.

And regarding my distaste for frivolous cooking techniques, a whole pie in the shape of the chicken contained within it does not feel so egregious to me as say… a roast meat made to look like a fruit or something. No jelly or wax involved here, and natural spices give it the meat yellow color. Medieval cooks loved to dye and color their foods as well. This recipe seems complex but is actually quite simple. We will be treating the chicken like any roasted bird, coated with salt and spice and stuffed with herbs and aromatic vegetables.

Almost like a primitive chicken pot pie. How did Europe get out of its dark ages? Classic Europe. Would it surprise if I told you that the Black Death did a lot to help as well? Come take a culinary journey through the High and Late Middle Ages, and see why.

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I can think of few better examples of the power of human cultural tradition then something like soy sauce. Honestly, who first decided to make a soy and wheat dough, let it get moldy, dry it out, then let it ferment in brine for 2 years before consuming what resulted as a foodstuff?? This recipe is a couple weeks of actual work, and then indeed a very long year waiting period for the sauce to fully age Full disclosure, this post is actually just part 1….

It will be a little scary eating this moldy soy dough brine when all is through, but we have a few elements on our side to battle any bad bacteria. Sunlight is key to the soy sauce fermentation process and also good at killing off bad microbes.