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Lettuce Soup

Translation of a 16th century Italian Recipe.


From Christoforo di Messisbugo, Banchetti composizioni di vivande e apparecchio generale (Lucio Spineda, Venice, 1610)

p79v/r A fare una minestra di coste li lattuca in modo, che pareranno zucche un mese innanzi il tempo. (To make a soup of lettuce stems in the fashion, that it would appear rather as a vat of gourd).

Take the ribs, and base of lettuce; and clean [them] well, cut them all roughly into small pieces, then make them boil with a good broth, with a little prosciutto, or salted meat, the quantity of the latter that you would make, and a little beaten lard, and make it boil like you would do gourd, and then when it will be rather cooked put a little parsley, and a little basil at the same time in, and a very little saffron to make it appear like natural gourd, and a little verjuice or none at all, and put in it moreover some beaten onions it will be sweet.