Vegan Medieval Potage Stew
If you have kids have them stew up a pot of medieval potage for Halloween weekend. The perfect activity!
Vegan medieval potage stew has been on the menu since at least the 1300s!
Albeit, when meat was available it was included along with the vegetables, grains and herbs.
Medieval peasants did not have meat as an everyday staple instead relying on vegetables and grains, such as barley.
Potage means thick soup or stew cooked in a pot. It is believed to have originated in France and adopted by Britain.
Medieval people would have cooked potage in a cast-iron cauldron pot over an open fire/fireplace. A large wooden spoon was used to stir the potage.
Given the craziness of 2020 so far, a comforting bowl of potage stew is just the medicine that will help get us through the winter months.
Literally use any vegetable, beans, grains and seasonings you have on hand. Potage is one of the best, economical dishes.
Vegan medieval potage stew is perfect for all the family, with 100% amazing nutrition.
Although this is a plant-based blog, (for the purposes of this blog the definition of plant-based is using all plant ingredients) this potage recipe can be utilised as a base for those that eat meat within your family. Just add whatever meat product you have and cook for recommended time.
For example, if there is only one meat eater within the family, use a second smaller pot and remove some of the cooking potage to the second pot. Then add meat.
I have included a rough guideline for preparing your own vegan medieval potage stew. As well as my daughters recipe she invented a few days ago for dinner, further down the post.
The beauty of potage is that you can be as simple or as inventive as you desire. No two potages will be the same so each time you prepare it, it will be like an evolving creation which will just get tastier as you practice. My daughter loves the medieval ages so she is the potage creator in the family.
Any size cooking pot/pan can be used depending on what you have and how many you are cooking for. Also, it is up to you how much vegetables, grains and legumes you’d like to add. There is absolutely no wrong way of making potage. Everything and anything edible can get bunged in!
To make your potage even more economical use reduced vegetable bargains from your local supermarket. As well as look out for vegetables in season as they tend to be less expensive.
Vegetable and herb ingredients can include:
- spring greens
- Brussel sprouts
- courgette, marrow
- capsicum peppers
- pumpkin, butternut squash
- tomatoes, fresh, tinned or puree
- any fresh herbs available especially rosemary sprigs, parsley, bay leaf, and/or sage
- dried mixed herbs, and seeds such as fennel and celery seeds
Any vegetable not mentioned here could also potentially be included.
Also, frozen vegetables, beans and mixes can be added, bearing in mind they will take less time to cook.
For example, don’t add frozen broccoli/cauliflower at the beginning of cooking as it will quickly go mushy.
I think chunky, rough cut vegetables result in the potage looking more authentic but obviously go with whatever your family prefers.
Grains and legumes that could be added (follow packet cooking instructions for guidance on how long each ingredient will require):
- oats (the type used for porridge is fine)
- split peas
- dried and tinned beans (cook dried beans first, according to the packet instructions, before adding to your potage. Tinned beans can just be added straight from tin).
- various types of lentils, including: green, brown and red, etc.
- rye, wheat, barley flakes (I find these for sale at my local health shop)
- whole-wheat grains
Other additions can include:
- TVP (textured vegetable protein) chunks or pieces/soya chunks, pieces, curls
- Quorn pieces, chunks, fillets
- Vegan/vegetarian burgers and sausages chopped up after defrosting or pre-cooking according to packet instructions. For example, cook your sausages, chop, then add to the potage near the end of cooking just to warm through.
Extra flavourings for Potage Stew
- Any vegetable stock cubes or powder that you have is fine. I prefer to use stock cubes free of MSG.
- The same with gravy powder, I use one that is vegan and does not contain MSG.
- If you have no gravy powder, use some cornflour/starch or potato starch etc, to thicken up the pottage. Just follow the package instructions.
- Other seasonings could include salt, pepper, a glug of white wine, red wine, balsamic or apple cider vinegar.
- Also, a tbsp or 2 of liquid amino acids.
- A glug of liquid smoke.
- Some nutritional yeast flakes sprinkled on top of the served potage is also yummy.
- Or some grated or thin sliced vegan or vegetarian cheese, dairy cheese can be used as a topping for those who are not vegan, vegetarian or plant-based.
- At the end of cooking, add a splash of plant-based milk or plant-based cream for a creamy potage if desired. This is especially nice if you have added leeks, potatoes. oats and barley to your potage.
Serve your potage stew creation with:
- Any type of bread you have available
- homemade dumplings or use a packet mix
- Scottish oat cakes. Find my recipe here.
- mashed potato, turnip or celeriac, etc
- any steamed leafy greens
- noodles. pasta
- Some nutritional yeast flakes sprinkled on top of the served potage
- Or top with some grated or thin-sliced vegan or vegetarian cheese, dairy cheese can be used as a topping for those who are not vegan, vegetarian or plant-based.
- Sprinkle some chopped spring onions, and/or fresh herbs on top of served dish
- toasted seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin: dry-toast in a fry-pan on medium-high heat, shaking pan constantly after the seeds get hot, to avoid burning till seeds are browned
My daughters latest pot of vegan medieval potage stew :
This quantities are enough to made 6-8 servings depending on serving sizes, accompaniments, etc. My family had it two days in a row for dinner. But with different sides.
Place all ingredients, except gravy powder, into a 4.5 litre pot, cover with water and stew until everything is soft and cooked. Add the gravy powder or any thickener near the end of cooking, and continue stewing for another 5 minutes. Check your seasonings and adjust according to your family’s preference. If your pot is smaller then just reduce your ingredients to fit. If adding dumplings, plonk them in 15-20 minutes before potage has cooked. My daughter gently, stewed her potage for about an hour and twenty minutes.
- 4 carrots cut very thick and chunky, skins left on if blemish-free, even if they are going bendy they will still be fine!
- cup of shallots, peeled but left whole
- half a bulb of garlic, chopped. Or less if your prefer. My daughter actually added an entire bulb of garlic as she says she likes to actually taste the garlic! Plus its a great winter medicine for the flu and cold season.
- 2 rough chopped onions
- 2 small turnips, chunky cut
- a cupful of little baby potatoes or normal potatoes rough, chunky chopped
- 2 or 3 celery sticks, chopped
- handful of chopped beetroot greens, if I was making the potage I would have added more greens!
- about half cup of oats
- about 3/4 cup of barley
- half a cup of frozen peas
- tin of butter beans
- 2 vegan stock cubes
- about 4 tbsp of vegan Marigold gravy powder
- tbsp of dried rosemary
- tsp of dried thyme
- tbsp of mixed dried herbs
- tsp dried marjoram
- tsp dried sage
- salt and pepper
To serve, my daughter prepared a batch of mashed potatoes and baked some Irish wheaten bread.
The bread was from a bread mix, but I am planning on posting up an easy Irish wheaten bread recipe soon. I lived in Northern Ireland for awhile and nothing beats freshly, baked Irish wheaten bread with a stew. The smell from the oven is amazing.
My daughter made enough vegan medieval pottage stew for the next day, and we enjoyed that with some little rosemary-garlic dumplings for a quick, yummy dinner. As well as some toasted rye bread, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, and grinding of black pepper.
My daughters recipe for rosemary-garlic dumplings:
Makes between 10-12 depending on the size you like them.
- 200 grams self-raising flour
- 100 grams of vegetable suet
- dash of salt
- tbsp of dried rosemary (alternatively a tbsp of mixed dried herbs is also tasty)
- tsp dried garlic powder or granules
- about 10 tbsp of water, or enough to mix
- Mix flour, suet, salt and herbs together in a bowl.
- Add 8 tbsp of water and mix. Add another 1-2tbsp if necessary until the dough comes firmly together.
- Shape into little balls. If sticky do this with some flour.
- Add to your potage about 15-20 minutes before the end of cooking. Just drop into your pot and stew.
I hope you enjoy creating your own potage. I would love to read your comments about how you got on. Feel free to comment below.
For more delicious stew recipes, check out:
Finally, why not try my Vegan Irish Stew: