Water, beer or wine soup - 3 unique recipes from before 1700

Water, beer or wine soup - 3 unique recipes from before 1700


That you can't make soup without water everyone knows, just as you can't smoke without fire. That soup is better if the water is clean knows every good housewife or householder. And in that of meat, in addition to clean water, you must also boil many bones, with marrow, if possible, to give good taste and robust aroma to the food. Soups are made from all edible vegetables, fruits, bulbs, and tubers, from birds, mammals, and fish of all kinds, and this is known. And if, especially in Transylvania, beer or wine soups are still made - I don't think too many people have heard of the water soup.

"Water soup" (just like that!) is a recipe that appears in our country, written and printed for the first time, in an old cookbook, published by GastroArt publishing house.

"The Little Book of the Chef's Profession – the Cluj Cookbook printed in 1695", represents a translation for the first time from medieval Hungarian made by the Cluj historian József Lukács, who also signs the explanatory notes and the introductory study. The book marks many other premieres more than worth mentioning and emphasizing: the oldest cabbage rolls recipe in Romania, the oldest cabbage recipe à la Cluj, and the oldest bread recipe in the current Romanian territory. Moreover, "based on arguments, we can say that Sofia Tofeus can be recognized as the author of the first four parts of The Book of the Chef's Profession and, implicitly, the first author on Romanian territory to have a work printed."

Water soup, the poor man's panacea

What is such a simple recipe looking for in an old cookbook, in the context in which at that time books were addressed to wealthy social classes who were not looking for poor, common recipes, but for those with fake, opulent, only good to show social status in blonds when you receive guests. And in the case of this soup (which, after all, has all the characteristics of a subsistence food) as in the case of bread soup, which we find in eighteenth-century cookbooks, they used children and the sick as an easy panacea to swallow for the bedridden.

Water soup

In a pitcher boil clean water, and put salt in it. In another bowl put slices of bread, as many as you want, and pour hot water over them to cover them. Cover the bowl with another bowl. Meanwhile, in a pot, fry some shredded red onions in butter. When the slices of bread are well soaked, drain the water from them and put the onion fried in butter on them, bring them to the table.

Beer soup

Boil the beer until it boils. Break one or two eggs into a bowl, mix them well with cold beer, then thin it with warm beer. Add salt and serve sprinkling on it cubes of bread cut from slices of bread fried in butter. If you want, instead of eggs put sour cream. If the beer is too vinegary, drown it with water.

Soup with wine

Boil wine mixed with honey until it boils. Add pepper, thorn[1], saffron, raisins and figs. Serve it on slices of bread. On top put fried eggs[2]. When you take it to the table, put almonds in it, it will be better."



Cosmin Dragomir


gastroart.ro photo sources: bacaniaveche.ro

[1] 1] Thorn – ginger

[2] In the original, tyukmony rátotta, meaning fried eggs in fat. As regionalism, in the form of ratota, there is also the Romanian language. The word rántott has the meaning of food (meat, fish, chicken, donut) fried in fat.