Medieval Cabbage Chowder For The Goodman Of Paris

Medieval Cabbage Chowder

Medieval Cabbage Chowder 3

It’s a jolly time to feel like a king!

To start off my saffron adventures proper, I’ve finally decided to use and adapt one of the simplest recipes found in ‘The Medieval Cookbook‘. The original excerpt in old English for the ‘Cabbage Chowder’ recipe goes like this:

‘Caboches in potage. Take caboches and quarter hem, and seeth hem in gode broth with oynouns ymnced and the whyte of lekes yslyt and ycorue smale. And do therto safroun & salt, and force it with powdour douce.’

Here’s what I gather they’re trying to tell us:


  • Water: 1.5 litres
  • Chicken stock cube: 1.5
  • Dried saffron strand: 1/4 tsp (about 8 strands), soaked 10 min in hot water and removed
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Ground coriander: 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon: 2 barks
  • Sugar: 1/2 tsp
  • White cabbage: 1 small, sliced into strips
  • White onion: 1 small, finely chopped
  • Leek: 2 stalks, leaves removed, finely sliced


  1. Cook stock with water and chicken stock cube. Reduce to simmer once it boils.
  2. Stir in saffron water, salt, coriander, cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Add cabbage, onion, and leek.
  4. Cover and leave to simmer for 20 min till vegetables are tender.
  5. Serve warm with toast or fried bacon.

Medieval Cabbage Chowder 2


  • The saffron strands are added to to create the golden red tinge in the chowder. During the medieval period, pompous colours were commonly added to dishes that befitted the status of the kings and nobles.
  • If you prefer chowder that is thicker and creamier, add milk or cream into the soup before turning the heat off.


  • This cabbage chowder is not as thick and creamy as those that we commonly find today – perhaps reflecting a bland preference of the nobles back in the 14th century.
  • In the past, the nobles would have eaten this with girdle bread rather than with toast!

6 persons as side dish

Share This!
    This entry was posted in English, Soup, Spices and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *