Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A recipe for Ash Wednesday

Since this begins the Lenten season for Christians around the world, I thought it was a good time to re-post one of my recipes that uses no meat but has gotten rave reviews. As my goddaughter says about most of what I cook (yes, I did say MOST—she is a teenager after all), it is “nutritious and delicious!”

However, before we get to the recipe, I want to remind you that the Catholic tradition of not eating meat on certain days can help us, Catholic or not, identify with people around the world who don’t have an opportunity to add meat to their diet. For many years, I’ve participated in the Rice Bowl campaign during Lent, through which I save money I might have spent on meals out, special foods, etc. to donate to the good work of Catholic Relief Services throughout the world. As a former employee of the organization, I’ve seen this good work in person and it’s has impressive results. 

A fun part of Rice Bowl is that they publish a calendar of simple recipes, along with stories about the countries they represent. To find these recipes, go to the website and click on the Stories of Hope tab. This year they’ve also added a video that shows some of the preparation steps.

Now, here is my recipe that I hope you’ll enjoy.  

Fall Navy Bean Soup
1 1/4 cup navy beans
½ yellow onion
½ red onion
1 carrot
3 medium beets
1 small butternut squash
salt, pepper, garlic powder
baking soda
1 sprig fresh majoram
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/3 cup chopped parsely
2 sage leaves, chopped
1 ½ TBSP vegetable bouillon

Soak beans in salt water a few hours to soften. Rinse. Put in soup pot, cover with water, sprinkle in salt and baking soda then bring to hard boil for 10 minutes.

While beans cook, peel and chop onions, carrots and beets. Drain beans through colander and rinse. Return to pot and cover with about 2 inches of water. Add vegetables and bouillon plus salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cover and bring to boil then simmer 1- 1 ½ hours until beans are soft. Add squash and cook until soft (10 – 20 minutes depending on their size). Remove 2 cups soup and puree in blender. Return puree to soup pot with fresh herbs. You can puree more if you want to make the soup thicker without cooking it down. Stir and cook without lid until you like the soup’s taste and consistency. Enjoy!

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