English Puree

What, Where, When:

  • A meat and greens pottage.
  • Based on a recipe from central France, dated to approximately 1466.

Original Recipe and Translation

La puree d’engleterre. Y fault lesser cuire les poiz tant qu’il soient bien cuis. Et mectre l’ongnon et le percilh monument mainssé avec et boullir ensemble, et du saffran, et du poivre, et du sel, et du vin aigre, du verjust – Le Recuil de Riom

English puree. Leave peas to cook until they are well cooked. And take onions and parsley cut into small pieces with it and boil together, and saffron and pepper and salt and vinegar and verjuice (Translation by Jennifer Soucy)


This recipe is from Le Recuil de Riom, a source more fully discussed in the full translation.  

  • A similar recipe is found in Le Menagier, and it informed my redaction of this recipe, as the directions in the Recuil version are rather vague. 

And first a SOUP of OLD PEAS […] it is appropriate to wash them in a pan with warm water, then put in a pot with warm water on the fire, and boil them until they burst. Then separate the liquid from the solid, and put the liquid aside, then fill the pea-pot with warm water and put on the fire and separate a second time, if you wish to have more liquid: and then put back without water, for they will produce enough. and boil in it; and it is not appropriate to put the spoon in the pot after the separating, but shake the pot and the peas together, and little by little feed them with warm water or a little more than warm but no cold, and boil and cook completely before you add anything except hot water, be it meat or anything else: do not add salt, nor bacon, nor absolutely anything whatsoever until they are fully cooked.  […]  With all these peas, whether old or new, you can force them through a sieve, or a fine or horsehair mesh; but the old peas must be yellowed with ground saffron of which the water may be put to boil with the peas and the saffron itself with the liquid from the peas. (Hinson)

  • It also influenced my choice to omit the parsley and verjuice from this recipe; with the parsley the flavor profile was too similar to the Haricot of Veal which was to be served at the same time. 

English Puree


  • ½ lb dried, split yellow peas

  • Water

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • Pinch Saffron

  • Salt and Pepper

  • Vinegar


  • Soak the dried peas overnight.
  • Drain, then boil until tender with saffron.
  • Add onions, salt, and pepper, continue to cook until onions are done.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, add vinegar to taste.


Sources are detailed here.

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