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Propagating Wild Yeast for Reenactments

Today, if you asked 50 people about how to start a wild yeast culture for making sourdough bread, it’s likely you’ll get 100 different answers, but in reality, all it takes is a little bit of flour, some water and…

Which Yeast (Time 0_00_55;12)

September 29, 2017

Akara Recipe

Akara is a simple, easy to make snack that was frequently made in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Dried Black-eyed Peas Onions Parsley flour Boiling water Lard First, pulverize the dried black-eyed peas into very small pieces. Add to…


A Fanciful Yet Easy Asparagus Soup

This delicious Asparagus Soup recipe from Elizabeth Cleland’s A new and easy methods of cookery (1755). Many of this recipe's techniques, including roux, food coloring, bone broth, and court-bouillon (the ingredients boiled in the soup that are removed before eating)…


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September 28, 2017

Rye and Indian Bread

This is called Rye and Indian bread, because it’s made of part rye flour and part Indian meal or sometimes we call it cornmeal. You can use just those two grains to make the flour, or you can add wheat…


Simple Boiled Plum Pudding

Many people hear the word pudding today and they think about some little custardy stuff in a cup or something you buy at the grocery store in a box and mix it up with some milk. Pudding has a much…

Plum Pudding (Time 0_11_05;10)

An Onion Soup Recipe from 1801

This recipe for onion soup is out of John Mollard’s 1801 cookbook, “The Art of Cooking Made Easy and Refined”. 4 oz. Butter 4 tbsps. Flour 8 midsized Onions of choice Salt 3 qts. Beef Stock 4 Egg Yolks 1…


A White Pot Recipe

A White Pot with Raisins and Dates Serves 1 - 6 (depending on how polite you are) The name “White Pot” originates from the Devon region of England. But this sweet, buttery custard bread pudding, layered with sweetmeats (dried fruits)…

Also Known as a White Pudding

Master Wood Turner Erv Tschanz

In this special video, master wood turner Erv Tschanz shares his passion for the craft. Erv is one of several skilled artisans that sells handcrafted items through Jas. Townsend & Son. The treenware cherry wood plate being made in this…

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September 13, 2017

Weaver/Trapper Interview: Experiencing History Through Reenacting

We've been busy interviewing fellow reenactors for the purpose of inspiring and encouraging viewers who are interested in getting involved in historical reenacting but don't know how to begin. Today we interview Tony Baker, a weaver by trade, who has…

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Starting a Living History Group from Scratch

It took an idea and a group of friends, and it went from there. Albert Roberts tells the story of how the innovative historical interpretive group "The HMS Acasta" was born. More great information! ***************************** Our Retail Website -…

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Page 1 of 69
A Fanciful Yet Easy Asparagus Soup

A Fanciful Yet Easy Asparagus Soup

This delicious Asparagus Soup recipe from Elizabeth Cleland’s A new and easy methods of cookery (1755).

recipe asparagus soup

Many of this recipe’s techniques, including roux, food coloring, bone broth, and court-bouillon (the ingredients boiled in the soup that are removed before eating) might be considered quite refined today.  However, in the 18th century these procedures were fairly common ways of enhancing flavor, color, and texture.  If you give them a try you’ll notice they are quite easy.  This recipe, being simple to make and extraordinarily delicious, makes you wonder why Americans don’t still cook today like they did in the 18th century.

Jon uses a bone broth that he discusses in a previous video:

The recipe for this is also from Cleland’s book:


Asparagus Soup


  • 4-5 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • Jelly Bag (which you can find on the Jas Townsend and Son Store)
  • 1 quart of bone broth
  • 15-20 asparagus stalks chopped in 1/2 inch segments
  • 1 onion
  • about 6 cloves (stuck in the onion)
  • 1/3 teaspoon of mace
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper
  • 1 large pinch of allspice
  • a small bunch sweet herbs
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1/2 cup of flour


For the Roux

Set the butter in a small pan over a low flame.

After the butter melts but before it begins to brown add the flour, making sure the ingredients are evenly spread.

Cook this mixture until it is a nutty brown color.


Use immediately or preserve it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

For the spinach coloring

With a mortar and pestle (or blender) mash the spinach with a little bit of water.


Strain the mixture through the Jelly bag, squeezing out as much of the colored liquid as possible.


Use the coloring immediately or preserve in the fridge for 1 week.

For the Soup

Add the spinach “green” to the broth.

In a large pot, bring the liquid to a boil.

Add the asparagus, onion, spices, herbs, and salt to the pot.



Boil the pot until the asparagus is cooked, but not soggy (approximately 5 minutes).

Add the roux.


Again bring the mixture to boil, stirring regularly.

When the roux is dissolved immediately remove the pot from the heat.

Strain out the sweet sweet herbs, onion, and clove.

Garnish with some herbs and spinach “green”.


I like to eat soups like this with a slice of rustic wheat bread, and I know Jon enjoys Ships Crackers.  What hardy addition would you toss into this soup?

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