Military Spouses are quite a unique lot, so are you ready for this challenge? For National Soup Month (every January), how about making a delicious, steamy pot of soup perfect for a winter’s day, based on a recipe straight out of the 18th Century!

There’s no one better to show you how to make it than John Townsend, jovial presenter of all things 18th Century on the popular Townsends YouTube cooking channel.

He does note that the recipe may be a little complex for some cooks, but we think it will be worth the effort! Take a look and give it a try:


1/2-gallon water
Approximately 14 peeled turnips
2 onions
Handful of whole cloves
1/2-oz. whole peppercorns
2 pinches of ground mace
1/4 of a nutmeg nut (or equivalent ground nutmeg)
Small bundle of fresh herbs: sage, thyme
French bread crust
Vermicelli noodles
Salt to taste


1. Fill large soup pot with water. Add 10 of the turnips (reserve 4) to the water.

2. Spike one of the onions with several cloves and add it to the pot, along with the peppercorns. (Reserve the remaining onion.)

3. Break apart the nutmeg half (it will be strained out of the soup later). Add it to the pot.

4. Add the mace to the pot.

5. Tie up the herbs and drop them in the pot.

6. Tear up the bread crust and add two or so handfuls to the pot.

7. Boil over a medium-high heat (or so) for 1 hour.

8. Pour the entire pot of soup through a strainer over a medium-sized bowl. Remove the turnips and mash them in a separate bowl.

9. Once the turnips are mashed, return the strained liquid to the cooking pot. Add in the mashed turnips.

10. Dice 2 of the reserved turnips into large chunks, along with some celery and carrots cut small. Add it all to the pot.

11. Return the pot to the stove and put a lid on it.

12. Dice the 2 remaining turnips, with chopped carrots and sliced onions. Coat in flour and fry in butter until crispy.

13. Add the fried vegetables to the cooking pot, along with the vermicelli noodles.

14. Cook until noodles are soft and ingredients are well-blended. Salt to taste.

15. Serve with toasted bread.

You can also find the recipe here, in The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse, featuring all sorts of wonderful 18th Century meals:

Let us know if you’ve ever tasted anything like this before! And if you’d like to immerse yourself in the 18th Century lifestyle, be sure to check out the Townsends website, featuring historically accurate food, clothing, and gadgets galore!

More soup, anyone?



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