|This recipe from Linda Duffin blends old and new to create a wonderfully simple and comforting dish. In essence pottage is a simple vegetable stew, historically made by peasants all across Northern Europe with whatever was to hand. Meat was largely reserved for special occasions, so pottage would be enriched and thickened with pulses or grains. Though pottage was a frugal and inexpensive dish, those that could afford to added imported spices, almonds and rosewater.|
The secret ingredient to this dish is poudre douce, an ancient spice mix which gives depth and complexity to what’s otherwise a straightforward lentil and vegetable soup. Poudre Douce mean 'sweet powder' and was a common spice mix in Medieval and Renaissance cookery. Although some recipes include sugar, the sweetness refers to the sweeter spices such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger, which today with associate more with baking than savoury dishes.
Linda runs Mrs Portly's Kitchen Classes in Suffolk and created this recipe while experimenting with lentils for Wakelyns' first Dal Festival, where she was giving a cooking demonstration.
This pottage used a combination of our olive green lentils and whole coral lentils, which had great texture and earthy flavours.
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