Summer is here and I have been extremely busy. So busy that I haven’t got any time for blogging. Summer means also fantastic and exciting events for us. One of the high lights for this summer will be soon starting Double Wars.  Because of DW I have been doing more handicrafts than cooking.

I like onion soups very much. So this is nice medieval soup and it’s something that we have used many times as a base recipe for cooking onions at re-enactment events.

Oyle Soppes (serves 2)

Harleian MS. 4016, Volume II

Take a good quantity of onions, and mince them, not too small, & seethe them in fair water, And take them up; and then take a good quantity of stale ale, as three gallons, And thereto take a pint of good oil that is fried, and cast onions thereto, And let all boil together a great (while), and cast thereto Saffron and salt, And then put bread, in manner of brewes, and cast liquor thereon, and serve it forth hot.

2-3 onions


1 bottle of ale or more

1 tablespoon olive oil

a small pinch of saffron


dried bread slices or cubes

Chop the onions, not too small and not too big. I say spoonful size. Put water to boil and add some salt. Add the onions to boiling water and parboil them for a couple of minutes. Then discard the liquids and let the onions dry. Fry the onions in olive oil until golden brown. Put the fried onions to the pan and add ale and a small pinch of saffron and salt to taste. Cook for 15 minutes to one hour. Serve with dried bread cubes or slices.


It is very common in medieval cookery that certain ingredients are first parboiled, then fried and then cooked again. Be careful with the saffron! And pale ale is better than very dark beer for this one. The recipe calls for stale ale which is if I have understand right an ale that is outdated :P.