Medieval Leek Soap

Category: Lean, Fat, Vegan

From two Medieval cookbooks Registrum Coquine(a) and Liber de Coquina(b) comes a versatile dish for a Lean day or Fat day according to the Catholic church calendar. From the Registrum Coquine, a cookbook written in Latin by Johannes von Bockenheim, a German cook who worked in Rome at the court of Pope Martin V in the 15th century, comes a recipe of Leek soup.

As many Medieval recipes of the time the recipes merely listed ingredients, yet failed to included specific amounts of various seasoning. So I have redacted the recipe and experimented with the taste buds of several people and they provided input into what they thought was overpowering or lacking. Thus with final appoving consensus, I am please to present Leek soup.

From the Registrum Coquine is the original recipe with translation:

Ad faciendum ministrum de porro pro rusticis et villanis. Recipe porrum album et lava eum bene et fac eum modicum bulire. Et trita eum cum cultello, et tempera eum cum lacte amigdalorum et modico oleo oliuarum et mitte intus zucharum cum sale, tunc mitte superius cynamomum. Si est extra [quadragesimam] potest fieri cum bono brodio grasso cum diversis carnibus et erit bonum pro rusticis.
To make leek soup for rustics and peasants. Take the white part of the leek, clean it well, and make it boil for a short time. Then, mince the leeks with the knife and dilute with almond milk, adding a little olive oil, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the soup with cinnamon. In the fat days, you can use a good fat broth prepared with different meats. It will be good for the rustics. Following the ingredient list provided by Historic Italian Cooking blog © This is what I arrived with.

4 Leeks
32 oz (946 ml) of Almond milk
1 tbl (15 gm) of brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1 tsp (4 gm) corse sea salt
Cinnamon to taste

Cut and trim leeks removing outer skin
Parboil for 3 minutes then chop
Place in pot with Almond milk, olive oil, salt, and brown sugar
Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer cooking for 10 minutes
Serve hot and sprinkled with cinnamon.

It is good paired with fish.
A more robust version for a Fat day is to substitute the Almond milk for beef, pork, or chicken broth, then pair it with a matching meat.


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