A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Gourdes in Potage

PERIOD: England, 14th century | SOURCE: Forme of Cury | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Squash cooked in broth


10. Gourdes in Potage. Take young Gowrdes; pare hem and kerue hem on pecys. Cast hem in gode broth, and do þerto a gode pertye of oynouns mynced. Take pork soden; grynde it and alye it þerwith and wiþ yolkes of ayren. Do þerto safroun and salt, and messe it forth with powdour douce. 

- Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). New York: for The Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985.


Stewed Gourds. Take young gourds; pare them and cut them in pieces. Put in good broth, and add a large amount of minced onions. Take boiled pork; grind it and add it along with egg yolks. Add saffron and salt, and serve it with powder douce.


  • 2 lbs. squash peeled and in chunks
  • 3 onions, minced
  • 3 cups Gode Broth (made without bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup pork, boiled then minced or ground (see note on vegetarian substitution)
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbs. of sugar and 1 tbs. each of cinnamon & ginger, mixed together
Boil to a boil the broth, squash, and onions. Reduce heat and cook until the squash just becomes tender. (Don't overcook or you'll wind up with mush.) Stir in the pork, egg yolks, saffron, and salt. Stir; allow to cook for a few minutes, then remove from heat. Serve with the sugar & spice mixture as a garnish or in small serving bowls with spoons off to the side, to allow guests to season as they may.

Recipes for vegetables dishes in period manuscripts are vastly outnumbered by those for meat, fish, & poultry. Since many vegetables were prepared simply, it was often not considered necessary to waste precious parchment on their cooking instructions. Also, feasts, in general, served more meat and in more varieties than the 20th c. diner is used to. Therefore, what vegetable recipes that do survive are of particular value to those recreating Medieval food. For the modern cook seeking vegetable dishes for a feast, Gourdes in Potage may be a disappointment because of the inclusion of pork; however, I've found that substituting the pork with an equal amount of ground walnuts works quite well, and by using non-meat or meat-flavored broth, allows me to present an entirely vegetarian dish for those at feasts who do not prefer meat. Add the walnuts at the beginning with the squash & onions so they'll be tender and not crunchy.

The squash can be of any variety available to you - I've even used pumpkin, which works very well for Autumn or Harvest feasts when pumpkin is plentiful & cheap.

The powdour douce of the original recipe was a mild mixture of ground spices, usually sugar with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, etc., but never pepper.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

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Gourdes in Potage © 2000 James L. Matterer

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