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Title: Potage  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Medieval cuisine, List of soups, Ribollita, Pottage, Scottish cuisine
Collection: Medieval Cuisine, Soups
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Type Soup, stew, or porridge
Main ingredients Meat, vegetables
Cookbook: Potage 

Potage (from Old French pottage; "potted dish"; French pronunciation: ​, UK , US ) is a category of thick soups, stews, or porridges, in some of which meat and vegetables are boiled together with water until they form into a thick mush.


  • History 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Potage has its origins in the medieval cuisine of northern France and increased in popularity from the High Middle Ages onward. A course in a medieval feast often began with one or two potages, which would be followed by roasted meats.

European cottage gardens often contained a variety of crops grown together. These were called potage gardens by the French, as the harvest from that garden was used to make potage.[1]

The earliest known cookery manuscript in the English language, The Forme of Cury, written by the court chefs of King Richard II in 1390,[2] contains several potage recipes including one made from cabbage, ham, onions and leeks.[3] A slightly later manuscript from the 1430s is called Potage Dyvers ("Various Potages").[4] The word "pottage" is used in the earliest English translations of the Bible, in relation to the lentil soup for which Esau trades his birthright in Genesis 25:29–34; from this story, the phrase "mess of pottage" means something attractive but of little value being exchanged for something much more important. During the Tudor period, a good many English peasants' diets consisted almost solely of potage. Some Tudor-era people ate self-cultivated vegetables like cabbages and carrots and a few were able to supplement this from fruit gardens with fruit trees nearby.

Some potages that were typical of medieval cuisine were frumenty, jelly (flesh or fish in aspic), mawmenny (a thickened stew of capon or similar fowl), and pears in syrup. There were also many kinds of potages made of thickened liquids (such as milk and almond milk) with mashed flowers or mashed or strained fruit.

See also


  1. ^ From puritanical to pleasurable: Potage not as challenging or exotic as it sounds. The America's Intelligence Wire. June 19, 2004
  2. ^ "The Forme of cury - Pygg in sawse sawge". The British Library. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Smith, Henry (2008), The Master Books of Soups Applewood Books, ISBN 978-1429011808 (p. 2)
  4. ^ "Potage Dyvers - Contents". The British Library. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 

External links

  • Potage à la Reine, a Dutch variation of potage
  • How to Make Potage With Cooked Rice
  • Paris' real passion is in the potage
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