Green leafy vegetables -Cabbage, collards and other greens

Medieval recipes

Cabbage soup

Ingredients

600g firm hearted cabbage or 700g spring greens
225g onions, peeled and finely chopped
225g white part of leeks, finely sliced
teaspoon dried saffron strands (saffron was and is expensive so you can cut down on quantities if desired)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon each ground coriander, cinnamon and sugar
850 ml vegetable stock

Method

Cut the cabbage into 8 segments and remove the core (if using spring greens cut off the stalks and cut into strips).
Put the cabbage in a large pan with the onions and leeks.
Add the stock and stir in the saffron, salt, and spices.
Cover the pan and cook gently for about 20 minutes until cabbage is tender.
The soup can be served over squares of toast, known as sops.

Compost (mixed pickles)

Ingredients

900g of mixed roots- can include radishes, turnips, carrots, parsnip, parsley roots
450 g white cabbage
450g hard eating pears
6 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon dried saffron
425ml white wine vinegar
50g currants
575ml white wine
6 tablespoons clear honey
1 teaspoon French mustard
⅛ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and black pepper
¼ teaspoon each of anise and fennel seeds
50g white sugar

Method

Peel the root vegetables and slice them thinly.
Core and shred the cabbage.
Put all the vegetables into a large pan of water and bring slowly to the boil.
Peel, core and chop the pears and add to the pan.
Cook until everything starts to soften, but still maintains a bite.
Drain and spread the vegetables and spread out in a 5 cm shallow, non-metallic dish.
Sprinkle with the salt, ginger, saffron and 4 tablespoons of the vinegar.
Leave covered for 12 hours.
Rinse well.
Add the currants.
Pack into sterilized jars leaving 2.5 cm space at the top.
Put the wine and honey in a pan.
Bring to simmering point, skim off surface scum and add the remaining vinegar, spices and sugar.
Reduce the heat and stir, without boiling until the sugar dissolves.
Bring back up to the boil and pour over the vegetables ensuring the are covered by at least 1 cm of liquid (to ensure the glass jars don’t crack stand the in a basin of hot water before pouring over the hot spiced wine liquid).
Seal and store for future use.