Voilà! The finished product: Medieval Cabbage Chowder.


My birthday passed recently and one of my favourite presents was a medieval cookbook, the British Museum’s The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black. I was excited to try some of the recipes and post them so that other people who dig historical cooking might see (realistically) what the average Joe can make. I’m no Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey or Nigella. You will never see me on British Bake off. I’m just a regular girl who happens to be vegetarian, loves to cook and loves history. This was my first attempt at a medieval recipe, so I chose something fairly idiot proof and managed to convince one of my close friends to come over and be my ‘medieval food taster’. One more note, other than the saffron in this recipe, it was dirt cheap to make. It worked out to be around £5-6 (about $11CAD at the time of this writing), and serves 6. Personally, I would say more like 4 hungry people. Still, that’s cheap, and since I live on my own, I had plenty leftover for lunch and dinner the following day. WINNING.

Cabbage Chowder

Instructions from, The Medieval Cookbook' by Maggie Black. The British Museum Press.
Instructions from, The Medieval Cookbook’ by Maggie Black. The British Museum Press.

What’s great about this book is that is has little snippets of the medieval instructions with every recipe. It’s a nice touch.

  • Cabbage
  • Regular cooking onions
  • Leeks
  • Saffron
  • Salt
  • Coriander
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable stock
The ingredients for medieval cabbage chowder.
The ingredients for medieval cabbage chowder.

I ended up using 1 cabbage, 1.5 leeks, and 1 onion and I had a lot of leftovers. You clean and slice the cabbage leaves, chop up your leeks, your onion, and toss them altogether in a large pan or pot. In the meantime, I boiled water and added the 2 vegetable stock cubes. I added all the spices to the stock, mixing them well, and poured it over the cabbage, leek, onion mixture. Then, I cooked it gently for about 25 minutes, the books says 20 minutes bur I cooked it a bit longer to be safe. Voila! You’re done. My medieval food taster/guinea pig really liked it and I did too! It has some great flavours, it’s inexpensive,  it’s quick and easy to make so I would definitely make it again.

Voilà! The finished product: Medieval Cabbage Chowder.
Voilà! The finished product: Medieval Cabbage Chowder.

Join me next week at my next attempt at a medieval meal. Good luck, and enjoy!

Medieval Food: Cabbage Chowder

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