Monday, September 01, 2008


"Gourmet cooking means food that truly satisfies the server: food in which the balance of texture and flavor is exactly right, food that looks and tastes delicious. And contrary to what many people believe, such foods do not have to be elaborate." -Rose Elliot, The Festive Vegetarian

A few months ago, I purchased a cookbook called Twelve Months of Monastery Soups for $1. I don't remember where I found it, only that my mom and I were together at the time, and we both reached for it. I reminded her of the quilts. I got the cookbook (but agreed to share, of course!).

Anyway, I was drawn to this cookbook because I find monastic life very interesting, and I really loved that the the recipes in this book were organized according to the months. I like having that starting point for finding a seasonal recipe. Of course, seasonal foods can vary greatly by region and sometimes I want to use an ingredient that I have canned or frozen, so I might look up the month that the particular item would have been fresh.

I have had a bit of a cold the last few days, and with Matt being sick, I thought a nice pot of vegetable soup and cornbread would be good. The recipe below, from the September section, will be made later today (with a lot of modification to suit what I have on hand). Maybe with some warm homemade bread instead of the cornbread. Hmm, tough call.

Potage du Jardin
(Garden Vegetable Soup)

2 quarts water or vegetable stock
2 bouillon cubes (if stock not used)
1 onion
1 zucchini
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
2 swiss chard or cabbage leaves
1/2 cup pastina
salt and pepper to taste
6 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese

1. Cut the vegetables into small slices julienne style.

2. Place the water in a soup pot. Add the bouillon cubes and vegetables and cook over medium heat for 40 minutes.

3. Add pastina, salt, and pepper and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

4. Serve soup hot, and sprinkle grated cheese on top of each serving.


  1. Come get the stupid quilt already, GOSH!!!!! (smile) and I'll take the cookbook. Mama

  2. Teresa8:00 PM

    I wonder if you found it at the cookbook estate sale that was located at the strip mall across from L&D last fall. I bought a stack of cookbooks there, including one with Mediterranean recipes, in which I found a recipe for Monastery soup last week.

    I had organic beets (from BiLo) and was craving lentil soup, so I found a very simple recipe and improvised a little (several stalks of rosemary instead of the bouquet garni). Delicious!