Zucchini! I Found You! ~1880

Mrs. Beeton Zucchini Recipes.

Victorian Marrow.


Ah, late summer…The only time of year when Smalltown America locks its car doors so that neighbors can’t offload their zucchini in the front seat.

Our vegetable co-op box comes each Friday, and tis the season for zucchini. So I said to myself, “Self, why not find a great zucchini recipe from past?”

Ha! If only it were that easy.

Search as I might, ‘zucchini’ can’t be found in any of the old cookbooks.

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Hmm….This can’t be right. Zucchini are seriously one of the best bang-for-your-buck-vegetables around. Time to do some digging.

Zucchini are called courgettes in British English (a much lovelier term), with the larger courgettes named marrow. Back to the table of contents.

Antique cookbooks have interesting ways of organizing themselves. There is no standardized format nor appendix, so locating keywords is something of a chore.

If, for example, I was looking for courgette, it might be under vegetable, soup, or courgette. The recipe itself would then have a number next to it. That number refers to the numerical order of the recipe, not the page number. Recipe 324 is the 324th recipe in the book.

Four books later…Wal-lah!



  • 4 Small Zucchini
  • 2 Quarts Stock (Chicken/Beef/Vegetable)
  • 1 Pint Cream
  • Salt/Pepper to Taste

Modern Modifications:

  • Add 1 cup of a strong cheese, shredded, right before serving.
  • If you want it to be smooth, then use a blender. Don’t use a sieve. That’s so 1800s.
  • This took about 25 minutes, start to finish. Yeah for modern stoves!
Zucchini Soup Recipe, 1880

More Fun Discoveries


Source: Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1880. Recipe No. 160

5 thoughts on “Zucchini! I Found You! ~1880

Add yours

    1. I know! Now I’m finding them everywhere. I don’t think they became ‘zucchini’ until the big Italian immigration influx in the early 1900s. I haven’t looked in the cookbooks from that era, but I really should.


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