I’m sure I’ll have more to say later on “pottage” and the late-medieval diet, but I figured I should get something up on this blog, even if it’s just a dead simple recipe. This is loosely adapted from a fourteenth-century English cookbook. “Pottage” was a catch-all term for stuff boiled in a pot and served as a soup or stew. Along with beer and bread, pottage was a staple for peasants and for those monastics who sought to emulate the poor in the simplicity of their diets. This particular adaptation with “funges,” or mushrooms, would have been some upmarket pottage, with the addition of spices unavailable to your average commoner but common in more aristocratic diets. Recipe after the fold…


  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cubes vegetable bouillon
  • 1/2oz dried porcini or other wild mushrooms
  • 1 cup packed parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • dash ground cloves
  • pinch of saffron filaments, crushed (optional)
  • generous amount of fresh-ground black pepper and salt to taste


Combine water, bouillon, mushrooms, parsley, leek, and spices. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes. Add salt to taste and plenty of fresh-ground black pepper. Serve with ale and a hearty multi-grain bread to sop up the broth.


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