2. Soups and Sauces June 15 - June 28
Soups, stews, sauces, gravies! Make a soup or a sauce from a historical recipe.
I decided to try something that I have no idea what it is supposed to look like, taste like, or even be. It's called Chet Soup. ...And I'm still not sure what that is. However, here is the original late 15th Century Recipe:
For to mak soupes chet To mak soupes chet tak almond mylk mad with good brothe and sett it on the fyere to boile put ther to clowes maces pynes raissins of corrans guinger mynced and plente of sugur.
First I made the almond milk. I've never actually made almond milk before. I normally just buy whatever they have at the store. However, since this is to be made with a "good broth" rather than water, I threw some pre cut, pre blanched almond slices into the blender with a small amount of chicken broth and got this:
...I know. It looks like French Vanilla Ice Cream. It didn't smell like Vanilla Ice Cream. It smelt like chicken broth. After a half hour of making a small dent to put in the chicken broth, mixing the broth with the almonds (it thickens fast!), and then pressing the mashed almonds against the strainer, I got a nice small bowl full of almond milk.
I then added whole cloves, mace, pine nuts, raisins, ground ginger, and lots of sugar. I *think* I added maybe 8 whole cloves, about 1 teaspoon of mace, 3 tablespoons of pine nuts, probably a good 1/2 cup of raisins, 1 teaspoon of ginger, and nearly 1/3 cup of sugar. I don't really measure anymore because, well, they didn't. I just sort of go by smell and taste.
After about five minutes of boiling, it was done. The soup gets pretty thick but it's still soupy. It's surprisingly good. If anyone has had peanut soup, the sweetness/savoriness is sort of at that level. It's sweet, but not overbearing. It's really creamy and actually pretty nice for a summer day despite it being a "hot" soup. I really enjoyed it and will totally have it again.
The Challenge:Soups & Sauces
The Recipe: (where did you find it, link to it if possible)A Noble Boke off Cookry (Holkham MSS 674)
The Date/Year and Region:England, 1460's
How Did You Make It: (a brief synopsis of the process of creation)See above
Time to Complete:About 1 hour
Total Cost:I had blanched almonds on hand as well as raisins, ginger, sugar, and cloves. The Mace was $7 but I barely used more than a teaspoon. The pine nuts were $10 - again, only used maybe 1/3 of the package. The chicken broth was $2.35.
How Successful Was It?: (How did it taste? How did it look? Did it turn out like you thought it would?) As I stated above, it's actually really good. I had no idea what it was going to look like or taste like. It wasn't nearly as sweet as I thought it would be given the ingredients. It's a really nice nut based soup. I'm going to probably make it for my family and see what they think. I might also try it with veggie broth in the future so I can have it during Lent.
How Accurate Is It?: I made the almond milk myself. Yes, I may not have made the broth myself but given how long it took to make the almond milk, I'm totally calling this accurate. :-)