The final recipe in my series on Tudor era cooking, inspired by my hour with the Great English Bible of 1541, is for a very interesting soup. Honestly, my dealings with green peas are limited to salads and as a side dish. I’ve had pea soup, and don’t really care for it but this one I liked, mainly because it’s not the thick, sticky kind I’ve always been accustomed to eating.
This is another of those fast dishes that are perfect for cold, winter weeknights. It was done in 15 minutes. The recipe comes from a cookbook with what might be the happiest title in all the ages: A Book of Cookrey Very necessary for all such as delight therin by Edward Allde, published in 1591. It’s written as follows: To boyle yong Peason or Beanes: First shale them and seethe them in fair water, then take them out of the water and put them into boyling milk, then take the yolks of Egs with crums of bread, and ginger, and straine them throrw a strainer with the said milk, then take chopped percely, Saffron, and Salt, and serve it foorth for Pottage.
I love the random capitalization of words!
The translation comes from Tudor Cookery: Recipes and History by Peter Brears. One word of warning: Brears recipes calls for salt. I leave it out of my recipe, because I call for canned peas. The soup doesn’t need it and may be unpalatable with any additional salt. If you’re using dried peas or beans that have been soaked overnight and then cooked, add a teaspoon of salt to the breadcrumb mixture. This recipe serves 3-4 people as a side dish or two people as a main course.
2 slices of bread, chopped fine in a blender or 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of saffron
1 cup milk
One 19 ounce can of peas OR 12 ounces of cooked peas
Beat together the breadcrumbs, egg yolk, parsley, ginger and saffron.
Bring the milk almost to a boil, then pour in the peas and breadcrumb mixture.
Bring the entire mixture to a boil over a low heat, stirring continuously.