Iowtes of Almaund Mylke (Green Soup)

IOWTES OF ALMAUND MYLKE.
Take erbes, boile hem, hewe hem and grynde hem smale. Take almaundus iblaunchede; grynde hem and drawe hem vp with water. Set hem on the fire and seeþ the iowtes with the mylke. and cast þeron sugur & salt, & serue it forth.
The Forme of Cury 89.

Jowtes with Almond Milk.
Take herbs, boil them, hew them and grind them small. Take blanched almonds, grinde them and drawe them up with water. Set them on the fire and seethe the jowtes with the almond milk, and cast thereon sugar and salt, and serve it forth.

The text of the original recipe comes from Curye on Inglysch, edited by Constance Hieatt and Sharon Butler.

A soup like this would have been served on less formal occasions, however the almond milk gives it a touch of luxury and expense that would have put it beyond the reach of most people.

Ingredients

approx. 1kg mixed green leaves and herbs(see notes) 2 tbs sugar
300g blanched almonds 1 tsp salt
1L water

Method

  1. To make the almond milk, soak the almonds in the water for several hours.
  2. Put the almonds and water in a blender, and blend on high speed until the almonds have been reduced to meal and the water is cloudy.
  3. Strain the almond milk. You can use the left over almond meal in a pottage, or as a filling in a tart. However it will not have much flavour. Set the almond milk aside.
  4. Remove any thick or tough stalks from the leaves. Put the leaves into a pan with a small amount of water. Steam the leaves until they have wilted.
  5. Chop the leaves roughly, then add to a blender with the almond milk. Blend until the leaves and herbs are completely incorporated into the almond milk
  6. Add the blended soup to a pan and bring to the boil. Add the sugar and salt, and stir well to mix.
  7. Can be served hot, or at room temperature.

Notes

  • “Jowtes” is another word for pot herb, or herb that gets added to the pot to be eaten cooked. (Hieatt and Butler, 1985, 196).
  • Because I have a garden with many medieval plants that aren’t commonly available, I was able to use a large variety of different leaves in my green soup. I was able to use chard, sorrel, wood avens, horseradish leaf, borage, wild celery, winter savoury and wild thyme, as well as more common herbs parsley, chervil and sage. If you don’t have access to a wide range of interesting medieval leaves, I would suggest using silverbeet, beetroot leaves or turnip leaves. Or possibly even kale, but I really don’t know why you’d bother.
    Chard Sorrel Avens
    Chard (Beta vulgaris) Sorrel (Rumex acetose) Wood Avens (Geum urbanum)
    Horseradish leaf Borage Wild celery
    Horseradish leaf (Armoracia rusticana) Borage(Borago officinalis) Wild celery(Apium graveolens)
    Winter savoury Wild Thyme  
    Winter savoury(Satureja montana) Wild Thyme(Thymus serpyllum)  
  • You may think it odd to use cold water rather than hot to make the almond milk. The resulting milk has a far stronger flavour, as the flavour is not evaporated out as steam, which is what happens when you use hot water. It is far better to make your own almond milk rather than bought almond milk, as the flavour is far better. However use the blanched almonds rather than almond meal, as almond meal loses much of the essential oil when it is ground and stored, and that’s where the flavour comes from.
  • In period a mortar and pestle would have been used to reduce the jowtes to a paste so they mix with the almond milk better; this is probably why they were boiled first.

Jowtes
The soup here has a slight red tinge from the chard. Using different leaves produces different coloured soup.

Further Reading

Click on the links below to buy direct from The Book Depository.
(add to end of Book Depository link – )
Hieatt, Constance and Butler, Sharon (1985). Curye on Inglysch.

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