Lenten Cooking

I am trying to focus on making fast days more prominent this Lent, and I’m going to put my copy of From a Monastery Kitchen to good use. This classic cookbook by Brother Victoire-Antoine d’Avila Latourrette is organized by season and contains lots of soups, main dishes, salads and desserts.

From the front flap:

Monastic kitchens strive for a healthy and balanced diet, one in which vegetables play a critical role. Monastic gardens produce their own vegetables, fruits, and herbs for the monks and nuns. There is nothing dull or bland about their food, neither in preparation or presentation.

The recipes contained in this book are not only tasty and healthful recipes, but showcase one of the key factors of monastic cookery: the careful attention to the rhythms of the season, utlilizing the bounty of Nature in the ingredients. Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourette combines them with wise words, inspirational quotes, and informational lore, making this a feast for the mind and body.

Yesterday, for Ash Wednesday, I made Vermicelli Soup that consisted of vegetable stock, garlic, carrots, onions (I sustituted shallots due to my Headache Diet), vermicelli, fresh parsley and salt. I added some cumin as well. It was great! The boys lapped it up with homemade herb bread and butter, and grapes for dessert.

The monks must grow leeks because they use a lot of them in various recipes. I’ve only cooked with leeks a couple of times but I guess I’ll be getting more practice.

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