Pompions and Squash Soup

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Halloween is Friday. Some of us might be struggling to use the left overs from carved pumpkin decorations in medieval flavoured recipes.

Henry Butte’s describes ‘pompions’ in Dyets Dry Dinner, 1599. He uses the Latin: Melones seu Melopepones, to clarify which fruit he was discussing, which is not the modern pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo or Cucurbita maxima), nor is it proper Latin for any thing else. It gives one hope, or plausible deniability, if you want to go forward, but not good scholarship.

Winter squashes and gourds (family Cucurbita) appear in art and in recipes in many places pre-1600, even though they were seemingly all brought to England from the new world. A lot of recipes for one type of new world squash work with a different brightly coloured, starchy vegetable.

Here are 3 recipes, only slightly different, for you to try.
Gourdes In Pottage.
Take young Gowrdes pare hem and kerue hem on pecys. cast hem in gode broth, and do þer to a gode pertye of Oynouns mynced. takePork soden. grynd it and alye it þer with and wiþ zolkes of ayrenn. do þer to safroun and salt, and messe it forth with powdour douce. Forme of Cury 1390

Ingredients

  • 4 cups winter squash, peeled, and cubed
  • 8 cups broth made from beef or pork bones
  • 1 cup onions, chopped fine
  • 1 cup ground pork, made into meat balls
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon, powdered
  • 0.5 tsp ginger, powdered
  • 0. tsp pepper, powdered

Directions

  1. Bring sauce pan to medium heat, add squash, broth, and onions. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, and add pork balls, saffron, and salt, to simmer until squash is soft and meat is cooked.
  3. Remove 1/2 cup of the squash mixture and add the two egg yolks to this smaller portion, mixing well. Pour egg mixture into larger squash soup, stirring well. Simmer until soup thickens.
  4. Mix cinnamon, ginger and pepper together and garnish soup.
  5. Serve hot.

Pottage Of Gourds
Potage of gouidys. Take yonge gourdys, and pare hom clene, and wash hom in hote watur, when thai byn cut on peces, and do hom in a pot, and do therto godebroth, and mynfe onyons and do therto, and let hom seth ; then take soden porke and grynde hit final, and tempur it with rawe yokes of eyren, and put hit to the potage, and colour hit wyth saffron and serve hit forthe, and caste thereon pouder douce. Ancient Cookery, 1425

Ingredients

  • 4 cups winter squash, peeled, and cubed
  • 8 cups broth made from beef or pork bones
  • 1 cup onions, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon, cooked crispy
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon, powdered
  • 0.5 tsp ginger, powdered
  • 0. tsp pepper, powdered

Directions

  1. Bring sauce pan to medium heat, add squash, broth, and onions. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, and bacon bits to simmer until squash is soft.
  3. Remove 1/2 cup of the squash mixture and add the two egg yolks to this smaller portion, mixing well. Pour egg mixture into larger squash soup, stirring well. Simmer until soup thickens.
  4. Mix spices together and garnish soup.
  5. Serve hot.

Gourd Soup
Gourd…Eat it with pepper, mustard, vinegar, or hot herbs, as onions and parsley.” Henry Buttes 1599

Ingredients

  • 4 cups winter squash, peeled, and cubed
  • 8 cups broth made from beef bones, including marrow
  • 1 cup onions, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 0.5 tsp pepper, powdered
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Bring sauce pan to medium heat, add squash, broth, onions, parsley, vinegar, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer until squash is soft.
  3. Cream ingredients together.
  4. Serve hot.
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4 thoughts on “Pompions and Squash Soup

  1. ok, that was a big leap of artistic licence. I had bacon, I didn’t have left over pork. I think the original recipe is a good way to make pork or left overs stretch. Its true the dish should be used ground pork.

    Like

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