Fenkel in Soppes – Forme of Cury


Take blades of Fenkel. shrede hem not to smale, do hem to seeþ in water and oile and oynouns mynced þerwith. do þerto safroun and salt and powdour douce, serue it forth, take brede ytosted and lay the sewe onoward.



Fennel in soppes is one of my go to vegetarian dishes. It’s got great flavours, and is very filling. The fennel and spices combine nicely and present a lovely dish. I also combine it with Slete soppes (or leek in sopes) to give it a bit more flavour)



Take fennel bulbs and cut them not too small. Simmer gently in water and then fry minced onions and add thereto. Add saffron and salt and powder douce (sweet spices), serve it forth, take toasted bread and lay the broth onward.

NB – According to the glossary in this translation of forme of cury, sewe translates as

Sewe. 20. 29. 40. Sowe. 30. 33. alibi. MS. Ed. 38. Chaucer. Liquor,
Broth, Sous. Wiclif. A.S. [Anglo-Saxon: seaþ]. v. Lye in 2d alphabet.

So I interpret this dish to be a soup. Other people interpret it to be more like fennel and onions in a light sauce over the bread.

As I was re-reading the recipe, I realised that I’ve been combining two soppes dishes from forme of curye, fenkel in soppes and slete in soppes – to make a fennel, leek and onion soup.

SLETE [1] SOPPES. XX.IIII. Take white of Lekes and slyt hem, and do hem to see? in wyne, oile and salt, rost brede and lay in dysshes and the sewe above and serue it forth. [1] Slete. slit.


  • 2 fennel bulbs, sliced
  • 2 leeks, whites sliced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 L of vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Add the fennel and onions to a frying pan lightly coated with oil, and fry them. After 5 minutes, add the leeks, and keep stirring until the onions are brown.

Add the fennel, onions and leeks to the vegetable soup and get to a boil. Add the spices, stir in, simmer for another 10 minutes and then serve over bread


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