You are here

Medieval Soup

Medieval soup may refer to any soup dish that was prepared during the Medieval Ages, i.e. the time period between the 5th century and the 15th century, when the world was undergoing several cultural transformations, including in its culinary arts and heritages, following the ebbing away of the Iron Age and the beginning of the early Modern Era. Primarily, the medieval soups were mostly made from the broths that could be easily prepared from the readily available ingredients in the kitchen. The soups from medieval times are made and savored to this day, throughout the world with slight modifications in choice of ingredients, and still, form an integral part of the medieval themed dinners.

History of Medieval Soups
The word "soup" is derived from the word “sup” which referreed to the breads on which the thick broths were poured. It is believed that most of the European soups served during the medieval times were inspired from the soups savored in Central Asia. The European cooks started referring to Central Asian soup recipes after the decline of the Roman Empire.

The medieval soups got their due acclaim in the 1600’s when their first soup recipe was published in "Robert May's Accomplished Cook”. It is believed that until the medieval times, leftover liquid of cooked food was mostly served as soup. The soups were conferred typical culinary status throughout Europe and New World. The Germans considered their soups as complete meals, the French considered their soups as comfort foods, and people from the New World had it as the first course of dinner during community meals.

By the 19th century, the soups became an integral part of the diet throughout the world.

Medieval Soup Recipes: Introduction, Ingredients and Method of Preparation

  • Oyle Soppes / Onion- Ale Soup - Period: 15th Century| Place of Origin: England
    Onions, Oil, Ale, Saffron, Stale bread and Salt are the ingredients required to prepare this soup. The Medieval soup preparation begins by cooking the onions. When partially cooked, the onions are removed from water, dried and then fried in oil. Then, they are combined with other ingredients in a pot and cooked for about 15 minutes to an hour. The soup is served with stale bread.

  • Cinnamon Soup - Period: 14th Century | Place of Origin: France
    Cooked chicken, chicken broth, butter or lard, cinnamon, ground almonds, cloves, ginger, grains of paradise, and salt are required to prepare the cinnamon soup. The chicken are cut into pieces and fried in butter until they turn brown and are then combined with the remaining ingredients and cooked until the soup turns thick. The soup is served hot with bread.

  • Lentil Soup
    There is biblical reference of the red lentil soup and actually this was one of the soups that paved way for the many of the modern day soups. It is believed that variants of this soup were enjoyed throughout Europe during the medieval times.

    Olive oil, onion, tomatoes, lentils, vegetable broth, poudre douce are required to prepare this soup. The soup preparation begins by frying onions and other ingredients are gradually added to it and cooked until the lentils turn soft. Even this medieval soup is served over stale bread.