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An Old Southern Italian Proverb
"Soup does seven things:
From my friend Denise's website at: http://whatimcookingnow.blogspot.com/

It calms hunger, slakes thirst, fills the belly, cleans the teeth, makes you sleep, helps you digest, and puts color in your cheeks!"

"Sette cose fa la zuppa, cava fame e sete attuta, empie il ventre, netta il dente, fa dormire, fa smaltire, e la guancia fa arrossire."

Two weeks ago, dear daughter and I were missing my mother a lot, and she showed me her most prized possession, a memento from my mother. It was my mothers little silver pill box, and inside, folded up many times to fit, was a scrap of paper on which my mother spidery handwriting flowed with the soup does seven things proverb. Mama loved that proverb, and especially loved that it was Italian. In fact, she wanted me to write it artistically around the perimeter of my dining room in the old house, somewhat like a border near the ceiling. I never did that, but maybe in my new house.....

We tend to eat a lot of soup during lenten periods, and all year, really, because we adore soup! I love thick creamy chowders and thin broths and everything in between. I'm a soupaholic, I think! So, what do you make when you really, really want soup and you really, really need to go food shopping and you know you have to use up some mushrooms or they'll go bad? You could make what I made:
Roasted Red Pepper, Mushroom and Barley Soup
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
1 good sized onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 C vegetable broth (I used Vogue Vegebase, my favorite)
1/2 C barley cooked in 1 C water with 1/4 tsp salt
12 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
1 - 2 tsp Herbes de Provence
Good squirt of Sriracha sauce, or hot sauce of your choice
1 tsp Adobe seasoning (use instead of salt)
extra virgin olive oil
In a nonstick pan with tight fitting lid, cook the barley, or you could probably use quick cooking barley, too. In a 3 - 4 qt soup pot, saute the onions and mushrooms in some olive oil over med heat until translucent and beginning to turn golden. Add the garlic and saute another couple of minutes, then pour in the broth and all other ingredients. Let simmer for about 20 minutes so the flavors meld. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings. It needed some more salt, so I sprinkled more Adobo seasoning to bring the saltiness up.
This was delicious! Next time, I think I'll put in a can of chickpeas and make it a kind of Moroccan with some cinnamon and cumin. Dear daughter doesn't care how I make it next time as long as there *IS* a next time. I was hoping to put a portion away for lunch on Monday, but DD is on her third bowl, so I think I'm going to be eating peanut butter and jelly on Monday!

Sauerkraut Soup: Olga Style Fasting Version

When we lived in Georgia, one of our favorites brought to Church fasting suppers was Olga’s delicious Ukrainian style sauerkraut soup. We also enjoyed this soup at her home in Alpharetta on several occasions. It is very easy to make, so easy that she just told me the basic recipe, which can be varied to your own liking. Below is the recipe’s basic idea, waiting for your own special touch:


1 Lg. Onion, Chopped

2 Carrots, Diced

2 Stalks Celery, Diced

Several Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced

1 – 2 Potatoes, Diced Very Small

Fresh Cabbage, Cut Very Thinly, Optional

A bit of oil

2 Qts. Vegetable Broth &/or Water

1 Lg. Can Petite Diced Tomatoes

1 Small Can Tomato Sauce

1 Jar, Bag or Can Sauerkraut, Rinsed

Fresh or Dry Dill, To Taste

Black Pepper, Freshly Ground or Several Peppercorns

2 Bay Leaves

1 Tsp. Dried or Fresh Thyme

Fresh Parsley, Minced

Salt, to taste

Honey, just a bit


Sauté the vegetables in a bit of oil. When they are soft, add vegetable broth, tomatoes, sauerkraut and herbs. Reserve the fresh parsley and dill. For a soup a bit less “sauer,” drain (reserve juice) the kraut and rinse it off with fresh water before adding it to the pot.  Cook all for about an hour, until vegetables are soft and flavors meld. Taste.  If you need to add some of the sauerkraut juice, add it, allow to cook a bit more, taste again and adjust seasonings. If the soup is too sour, add a bit of honey, to taste. Just a few minutes before the soup is done, add the fresh parsley and dill.  Serve with some good, hearty rye or pumpernickel bread on the side. If not during a fast, some juice sausage is excellent cooked into this soup.



Fasolada - Greek Bean Soup

Several years ago, a young student named Eleni, from Larisa in Greece, attended the local University of Texas, Pan American. She became like another daughter to us and often spent weekends with our family. Eleni was the first to teach us about Fasolada. She told us her mother made it at least several times a week during the Great Fast. To make her feel more at home, I tried to come up with a recipe for this wonderful Greek Bean Soup. I found and adapted the recipe below and it’s very good. The original came from: http://greekfood.bellaonline.com

The author of the online site shared this history about the soup, stating, "The name of this soup is derived from the Greek name for bean, which is "fasolia." It is often spelled fassolada or fasolatha when translated in to English. There are those who consider Fasolada to be the Greek national dish.  To paraphrase an old saying: "all of Greece has been brought up on bean soup"  Today fasolada continues as a staple in the Greek villages.  Eaten with fresh crusty Greek bread, some feta cheese if not during a fast, and a handful of Greek olives, fasolada makes a wonderful, complete dinner. Some people believe the dish should be made with chicken stock instead of
water, but given the possible age of the original dish, and the fact that it is normal fare during fasting seasons, it seems more likely plain water or a vegetable stock was originally used instead. Either way you choose to make it, fasolada makes a very welcome hot and hearty soup on a cold day or during the spring Lenten fast."

1 1/2 Cups Dried White Beans (Great Northern, for example) or equiv. canned

2 – 3 Carrots, Diced
2 – 3 Stalks Celery, with Leaves, Diced
2 Onions, Chopped
5 Roma Tomatoes, Chopped, or a Can of Diced Tomatoes
3 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced
2 Qts. Water or Vegetable Stock
1 Tsp. Dried Thyme of Several Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Tsp. Dried Oregano
1/3 Cup Olive Oil, if not fasting
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste (1/2 tsp)
Salt, To Taste

Soak the beans, in water to cover 2 inches above the beans, overnight.
This reduces the "gassy" nature of the beans.  Drain the beans.

In to a large soup pot add carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Saute in a bit of olive oil until the vegetables are softened. Add water (or stock), thyme and oregano, beans and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until the beans are tender or about 2 1/2 hours.  Add the remaining olive oil, if not fasting, as well as pepper and salt. Return to the heat thoroughly.  Simmer for about 10 additional minutes and serve. This serves 6 - 8 people as a main dish soup.

Favorite Vegan Tortilla Soup


A vegan version of one of our family’s favorites, this is a wonderful and warming soup. It can be made rather thin and served as a first course caldo or can be made more heartily and be served as a thicker meal-in-one. This soup has long been the remedy southwestern cooks had for using up older corn tortillas. Use either tortillas or corn tortilla chips. 


3 Tbsp. Olive Oil, or other oil

1 Large Onion, Chopped

4 or More Cloves Garlic, Minced or Pressed

2 Med. Summer Squash, Diced

1 Stalk Celery, Diced

5 Ripe Roma Tomatoes, Chopped (Or, 1 Can Diced Tomatoes w/Mild Green Chiles)

1 or 2 Small Cans or several Frozen Mild Green Chiles, Chopped

¼ C. Fresh Cilantro, Chopped

2 Qts. Homemade or Canned Vegetable Stock

Salt & Pepper, to taste

2 Cans Garbanzo Beans


Reserve for Serving Time:

2+ Cups Corn Tortillas (torn into bite-sized pieces) or Corn Chips

1 Cup Black Olives, Sliced

Fresh Cilantro, Chopped

Fresh Scallions, Chopped

Quartered Limes

Red Pepper Flakes, Optional

Mexican Style Shredded Soy Cheeze, Very Optional


Sauté onion, garlic, squash and celery in the olive oil.  Put this, plus the tomatoes, chiles and cilantro into a food processor.  Blend until coarsely ground or smooth, depending on your preferences. Put vegetable stock and blended vegetables into a suitable soup pan.  Add salt, pepper and garbanzo beans and cook until flavors meld.  When time to serve, put crumbled tortillas or chips in the bottom of each soup bowl.  Serve each bowl with soup.  Top soup with soy cheese, if desired, black olives and a pinch of fresh cilantro and scallions, plus a squeeze of fresh lime juice. 


New Mexico Posole, Totally Vegan

Yes, it’s true! One can make a totally vegan New Mexico style Posole which is also totally delicious.  We often make a big batch of this to serve after Pre-Sanctified or on Lenten Sundays. During our Winter Service Retreat for Youth & Young Adults, we also made a batch for our Monastic and other vegetarian guests. No one complained at the lack of meat!  This makes a very large family or take-to-church batch, but just pare down the quantities for smaller households.



1 10# Can Hominy, or Frozen or Dried Hominy, if one can get it

2 Boxes Vegetable Broth (or homemade vegetable stock)

2 Med. Cans Diced Tomatoes, with liquid

2 Containers or Bags Frozen NM Green Chile Peppers, or substitute

3 Lg. Onions, Diced

1 Head Fresh Garlic, Minced

2-4 Stalks Celery, Diced

2 Carrots, Diced

2 Small Summer Squash, Diced

A bit of oil

1 Tbsp. Oregano

1 Tsp. Ground Cominos (Cumin)

2 Bay Leaves

Salt & Pepper, to taste


Sauté onion and garlic in oil. Add carrots, celery and squash. Cook until vegetables are softened. Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then slowly cook for several hours until the flavors have melded. Add water if needed. If frozen or dried hominy is being used, you will need many hours of cooking time to prepare this wonderful, soul-of-New Mexico dish.

Caldo Tlalpeño ~ Soup from Tlalpan ~ Vera Cruz Cooking

A vegan version of a chicken soup originating from the Vera Cruz restaurant named Zarela. The original form of this recipe was once served to Queen Elizabeth when she visited the Reagan’s ranch back in 1983.  If not fasting, this can be made with chicken stock, shredded chicken breast & shredded white cheese served in each bowl. But, now we will try for the vegan version, something different for during a fast.

3 Quarts or More Good Vegetable Stock

1 Onion, Diced

4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced

1 - 2 Med. Summer Squash, Diced

1 – 2 Med. Potatoes, Diced

1 Tbsp. Oil

1 Can Petite Diced Tomatoes, or equivalent fresh

3 Canned Chipotle Chiles en Adobo

3 Cans Garbanzo Beans

Salt, To Taste


Sauté onion, garlic, potato and squash in oil. Add to vegetable stock, along with diced tomatoes, garbanzo beans and chipotle chiles.  Cook until flavors meld.


When ready to serve the soup, put out small bowls of the following ingredients, and allow each to sprinkle or squeeze as much or little as they wish to their bowl of soup.


3 Ripe Avocados, Cut into Thin Strips

A Bunch of Red Radishes, Cut into very Thin Slices

Scallions, Finely Diced

Fresh Cilantro, Finely Diced

Lime Wedges, To Squeeze into Soup

Red Pepper Flakes, Optional

Mexican Style Grated Soy Cheese, Very Optional



Chinese Hot & Sour Soup, Vegan Style


It may be odd coming from an old Kansas gal, but when I get sick, especially with a cold or flu, the “comfort food” of choice would have to be Hot and Sour Soup. Whether it does a body good or not, it certainly feels like it’s both nourishing and healing. At least the fire in the soup makes one think that a little extra muscle is being added to the fight? The following is a vegan version. If not during a fasting season, a meat broth can be used rather than vegetable stock. This recipe can be as plain or fancy as one likes, depending upon one’s budget or what happens to be on hand when one gets the urge to make this wonderful, wholesome soup. Increase or decrease quantities depending upon the size of batch needed for your family or event.


2 Qts. Or More Vegetable Stock or Vegetable Broth

A bit of Olive Oil or other oil

1 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil

2 Carrots, Diced Finely

2 Stalks Celery, Diced Finely

1 Lg. Onion, Diced Finely

1 Green or Red Sweet Pepper, Cut into Very Thin Slices, Optional

4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Cut into Very Thin Slices

1 Thumb-sized Piece Fresh Ginger, Peeled & Cut into Very Thin Slices

1 Container Firm or Extra-FirmTofu, Drained and cut into Thin Strips

1 or 2 Cans Bamboo Shoots, Cut into Very Thin Slices

1 C. Bok Choy, Cut into Thin Strips

Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, Cut into Strips & Soaked, if available – if not, use any type mushroom you’d like, amt. to taste

½ C. Green Peas, Frozen, Optional

¼ C. Soy Sauce or Tamari, or more

¼ C. White or Red Wine and/or Rice Vinegar

1 Lemon, Juiced

1 Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes or Chinese Peppers in Oil, or to taste

1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

2 – 4 Tbsps. Corn Starch, Mixed in a bit of stock

Hot Chili Oil, Optional, When Serving, Optional

Green Onions, Finely Chopped, When Serving, Optional

Fresh Cilantro, Finely Chopped, When Serving, Optional


Sauté carrot, celery, onion, sweet pepper, garlic and ginger in the two oils. Add vegetable stock. Heat and cook until flavors blend. Soak mushrooms in a bit of stock. When it’s about 15 minutes before serving time, add tofu, bamboo shoots, Bok Choy, mushrooms, peas and all remaining seasonings.  Correct seasonings to your taste. If you want it a bit more sour, add more lemon juice or vinegars.  If you want it hotter, add more black and red peppers. Add corn starch in broth to slightly thicken the soup.  When serving, sprinkle the top of each bowl with green onions, cilantro and hot chili oil, as desired.

Quick Bean Soup for a Crowd (Lenten)

One Wednesday afternoon during Great Lent, we got busy and I forgot to make the main dish for our Lenten meal at Church which, at St. George’s, always follows the mid-week Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified gifts. Quickly, I looked through our pantry and put together this soup. After it's assembled, the soup can slowly simmer all during the service, to be ready whenever you are! It’s easy to add more beans and such to stretch the batch for a bigger crowd, or to decrease the quantities for a smaller family or group.

A bit of oil…

2 Lg. or 3 Med. Onions, Chopped

½ Head Fresh Garlic, Cloves Slivered

½ C. Celery, Thinly Sliced

¼ C. Fresh Parsley, Italian or Curley, Minced

¼ C. Fresh Cilantro, Minced

1 #10 Can Pinto Beans (White or Black Beans would work fine, too.)

2 Cans Diced Tomatoes, or Tomatoes with Green Chile Peppers

½ Container Frozen, Chopped Green Chile Peppers, or 2 Small Cans, Mild or Hot

2 Cans Vegetable Broth (or Vegetable Stock)

1 Small Can Tomato Sauce

1 Tsp. Dry Oregano

1 Tbsp. Ground Cominos (Cumin)

¼ C. Mike’s NM Red Powdered Chile Mix


In a large soup pot, quickly sauté onions, garlic and celery in the oil. Add parsley and cilantro. Stir together then add all remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until you’re ready to eat. A nice fasting meal-in-one when served with fresh, warm corn or flour tortillas on the side.


Lebanese Lentil, Potato and Greens Soup, Lenten-style

Norma Hodge, a Lebanese American Founder and Parishioner of St. George's Church served this delicious soup to us for lunch one day when we took a load items over to her home for the annual Parish Garage Sale, which fell within Great Lent that year. The following recipe is how she told me to make it.

Vegetable Stock – Homemade or Canned



½ C. Celery, Optional

Fresh Spinach, Chard or Kale, Chopped

Salt & Pepper, to taste

2 Lg. Onions, Sliced Thinly

Olive Oil


Cook lentils until half-way done. Add potatoes, celery, salt and pepper. Cook until potatoes are soft and nearly done. Add greens and cook until they are soft but still bright. Sauté onions in olive oil while the soup is cooking. Cook the onions until they are browned and caramelized. Add them over the top of the soup when serving. Serve with Greek or Lebanese style pita bread on the side.


Sopa de Calabacitas, Elote y Chile Verde (Soup of Squash, Corn & Green Chile)

A flavorful soup for a fast day supper, perfect with warm tortillas served on the side.


6-8 C. Vegetable Stock or Broth

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Lg. Onion, Chopped

4-8 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Sliced

8 Small Squash, Chopped

2 C. Frozen, Fresh or Canned Corn

1 Lb. Roasted Mild Green Chile Peppers, Diced

1 Tsp. Mexican or Reg. Oregano

1 Tsp. Ground Cumin (Cominos)

3-4 Leaves Fresh Epazote

Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Lime Wedges

Fresh Cilantro, Minced

Sauté onion and garlic in oil. Add squash and cook until tender. Add corn, chiles, spices and salt. Cook until the vegetables are soft. Serve with wedges of lime, to squeeze over the soup, and a bowl of fresh cilantro, to sprinkle over the top.

Mexican Potato Soup with Green Chiles

(Caldo de Papa con Chile Verde)

 An old Spanish soup, inspired by the Moors, and adapted to Mexico and Southwestern USA. It can be eaten as a main dish on a fasting day, or can be adapted to be eaten as a meaty main dish. Either way, when served with a salad and some Bolillos or Tortillas, you have a hearty and wholesome meal.


2-3 Med. Onions, Diced

4-6 Lg. Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced or Pressed

3 Carrots, Diced

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Vegetable Stock (or Meat Stock, if not fasting) Or, Vegetarian Broth Powder

2-3 Lbs. Potatoes, Cut in to Chunks

1 Can Diced Tomatoes or Several Diced Fresh Tomatoes

6 Lg. Green Chiles, Roasted & Peeled (or Canned), Diced

¼ C. Fresh Parsley, Minced

Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Lime Juice, to taste

1/3 C. Fresh Cilantro, Minced

2 Tbsp. Fresh Epazote, Optional

If not fasting: Italian Sausage, Cut into Pieces, Optional

If fasting: Soy “Italian Sausage” Cut into Pieces, Optional


Sauté the onions, garlic and carrots in olive oil. Add stock and potatoes. Add tomatoes, green chiles and parsley. If you are adding meat, add it and cook until potatoes are tender and meat is done. About 10 minutes prior to serving, add salt and pepper, lime juice, fresh cilantro and optional epazote.



Coconut Lemon-Grass Soup

The first time I had this soup was at a Matushki Retreat held at the Sts. Mary and Martha Orthodox Monastery in Wagener, SC.  The Mothers feed and treat the Clergy Wives like royalty while visiting there, and this soup was absolutely exquisite!  What a joy, these many years later, to actually be able to grow cold-tender lemon grass in our own garden!


Make the following ingredients into an infused soup stock.  Bring the stock to a boil, cover, then remove from heat and allow it to steep, cool and infuse, overnight (or, at least for several hours) before it is required for the meal:

2 C. Water (or mild Vegetable Stock, or, if non-fasting, Chicken Stock)

4 – 14 Oz. Cans Coconut Milk

12 – 16 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Peeled & Bruised

6 – 7 Stalks Fresh Lemon Grass, Bruised & Cut into 2” length pieces

14 - ¼” Thick Slices of Fresh Ginger, Unpeeled

3 Large Jalapeño Peppers, Cut in Half Lengthwise & Seeded, (Optional but Good!)


Soup Ingredients:


4 – 5 Tbsp. Olive or Canola Oil

1 ½ C. Finely Minced Onion (Not blended in a food processor!)

1 ½ Tbsp. Finely Minced Garlic (This can be processed).

1 ½ Tbsp. Finely Minced Fresh Ginger (This can be processed).

2 Tsp. Salt, or to taste

2 – 2 ½ C. Cauliflower, Broken into Tiny Florets

¾ C. Carrots, Diced

2 – 2 ½ C. Cabbage, Chopped

1 - 16 Oz. Can Baby Corn, Cut into 1” Sections

1 Small Zucchini or Yellow Summer Squash, Cut into 1” Sections

1 Red Sweet Bell Pepper, Chopped Small

8 Oz. Fresh Mushrooms, Sliced

1 Lb. Extra Firm Tofu, Cut into ½” Cubes

1 ½ C. Fresh Cilantro, Basil and/or Curry Leaves, or, 3 – 4 Tbsp Dried Basil or Cilantro

2 – 3 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

Cayenne Pepper or Red Powdered NM Chile, to taste, Optional


Heat the oil in a large, heavy soup pot.  Add onion, garlic, ginger and salt.  Sauté over medium heat until the onions begin to brown.  Then add the cauliflower, carrot, cabbage, mushrooms, corn, squash and red bell pepper.  Continue cooking for approximately 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally. Strain the infused soup stock into the sautéed vegetables. Add the tofu, herbs and lemon juice.  Heat for an additional 15 – 20 minutes.  Serve hot, topped with a sprinkle of cayenne or NM red chile powder.  This soup is good kept refrigerated for several days, if there are any leftovers.  It can easily be doubled or tripled for large groups. 


Shchi (Russian Cabbage Soup)

Another Russian recipe shared with us by Tatyana (Polataeva) Adams, one of our St. George’s parishioners.  Tatyana adds that this cabbage soup is especially popular in the Moscow region of Russia.


2 Tbsp. Butter or Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil

2 Onions, Thinly Sliced

2 Carrots (about 2 C.), Thinly Sliced

4 – 6 C. Beef or other Meat Broth (Stock) – Or, if in Fasting times, Vegetable Broth

3 Potatoes, Cut into Small Cubes

1 Bay Leaf

 1 Tsp. Caraway Seed, Optional

3 C. Cabbage, Finely Chopped or Shredded

½ C. Fresh Parsley, Chopped (Or, 1 Parsley or Celery Root)

2 – 3 Ripe Tomatoes, Chopped

8 Oz. Beef or Tofu, Cooked & Cubed, Optional


Sauté the onion in the butter or oil. Then add the carrots.  Cook until the onion is transparent.  Place the broth in a large soup pot.  Add the bay leaf, potatoes and caraway seed.  Add the onion and carrot mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add the cabbage, tomatoes, parsley and cooked meat (if using).  Simmer the soup, covered, for about 10 more minutes.  Remove the bay leaf before serving.  Serve with sour cream on top of each served bowl, if desired (not during a fast).


Scotch Barley Broth (With or Without Meat)

In honor of both the Feast of Ascension and the June 9th Feast of St. Colomba of Iona, Enlightener of Scotland, which happened to fall out on the same day on the year that our daughters had just had their wisdom teeth extracted and we therefore, required something quite soft to sup upon, we adapted this fine recipe found in the From Scotland to You Cookbook published by the Scottish Cultural Festival of South Texas. We made up this soup and had it with some wonderful Scottish Scones on the side. Yum! As ole Scottish poet Bobby Burns doth say, “Some hae meat and canna’ eat, And some wad eat that want it: But we hae meat and we can eat, And sae tha Lord be thank it.” ~ Robert Burns. Another year, we made a vegan version of this same soup in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, which always falls within the Great Lenten Fast. A hearty vegetable stock, minus the meat, makes a great St. Patrick’s Day stew!  


1 – 2 Med. Onions, Chopped

1 Leek, Thinly Sliced, Optional

1 C. Chopped Carrots

1 C. Chopped Turnips & Greens

1 C. Chopped Celery

5 Lg. Potatoes, Cut into Bite-sized Pieces

1 Chopped Parsnip and/or Rutabaga, Optional

2 C. Fresh Cabbage, Chopped

1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2+ Lbs. Mutton, Lamb, Beef, Venison or a Combination, Optional

1 Qts. Meat or Vegetable Stock, Broth or Water

½ C. Pearl Barley

1 Tsp. Fresh or Dried Thyme, Optional

1 C. Fresh, Frozen or Canned English Peas

2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, Minced

Salt & Pepper, to taste


Sauté the onion, leek, carrots, turnips, celery, potatoes, parsnips and/or rutabaga and cabbage in a bit of olive oil. If using meat, add it and quickly brown. Add stock or water, barley and thyme. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for at least 1 ½ hours. Skim, if needed. Add peas and parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until the peas are just done. Serves 6.


Sans Coche – Vegan Split Pea Stew from Trinidad

During Great Lent, we sometimes need a change of pace recipe. The following is one using protein-rich split peas. We adapted the dish from Madhur Jeffrey’s fine cookbook entitled, World Vegetarian.  In describing Trinidadian cuisine, Jeffrey stated, “Trinidad is the one place on earth where African, the Mediterranean, India and the New World met in a state of shock and, speaking in culinary terms, reconciled fast in a spirit of mutual survival. This Creole soup speaks of this creative reconciliation.”  Below is our own version of this fine, slightly spicy stew. Serve it in a pasta bowl, over rice.


¼ C. Olive or Peanut Oil

1 Lg. Onion, Chopped

½ Head Fresh Garlic Cloves, Sliced

2-3 Stalks Celery, Chopped

2-3 Carrots, Chopped

1-2 Zucchini Squash, Chopped

1-2 Fresh Green Chile Peppers or 1 Small Can Green Chiles

1 Tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves, Chopped, or ½ Tsp. Dried Thyme

2-3 C. Green or Yellow Split Peas

8-10 Cups Vegetable Stock or Vegetable Broth

Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Green Plantain, Cut into 1/2” Pieces, Optional

Hot Pepper Sauce, to sprinkle on top of the soup

Limes, Cut into Quarters or Wedges

Fresh Cilantro, Diced, Optional



Sauté onion and garlic in the oil, until they brown. Add celery, carrots, squash and chile peppers and continue to sauté. Add thyme and split peas. Stir and cook briefly.  Add vegetable broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours, or until done. If using the plantains, add these about a half an hour before the soup is done. Serve on rice. Set out hot pepper or Tabasco sauce and lime wedges to use as a condiments. Shake some hot sauce, squeeze lime juice and sprinkle a pinch of fresh cilantro over bowls of soup, to one’s taste.  


Lenten Corn Chowder

One 14.5 oz can vegetarian vegetable broth (homemade or vegetarian vegetable bouillon)
3 Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Carrot, peeled and diced
1 Celery rib, diced
1 Onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
One 10 oz. package frozen corn niblets (or canned corn
niblets, drained)
One 14.75 oz. can creamed corn
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (whatever kind is "Lenten")
1 c. soy milk, plain or vanilla (the sweetness of
vanilla soy milk can help bring out the natural
sweetness of the corn)
1 tbsp margarine
salt and pepper, to taste
2 chopped scallions, for garnish
Imitation (soy/veggie) bac’un bits, for garnish, Optional

In large saucepan, combine broth, potatoes, vegetables and garlic. Add a little water, if
necessary, to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are fork tender.

Add corn niblets, creamed corn, mustard, soy milk and margarine. Cook for another five minutes, uncovered on low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, garnish with chopped scallions (both green and white parts) and imitation bac-un bits. Makes 3 quarts.

Purée of Carrot Soup

One winter, my mother’s sister, Edith, was quite ill and could only eat soft foods. Several times, my mother made this for her and the entire family. Aunt Edith and everyone else really enjoyed this hearty and nourishing soup. She died in January 2006. May her memory be eternal!

2 Tbsps. Olive Oil

1 Lg. Onion, Coarsely Chopped

1 C. Celery Coarsely Chopped

1 ½ C. Diced Potatoes

2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Chopped

3 C. Carrots, Diced

½ Tsp. Sugar

Heat oil in a heavy pan. Add onions, celery, potatoes, garlic and carrots. Cook until the vegetables are limp.  Add:

4 C. Vegetable Stock or Chicken Broth, if not fasting

4 Whole Cloves (NO more than 4!)

Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Bring all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely soft. Remove from heat. DISCARD the whole cloves. Puree soup ingredients in small batches in a food processor.  Can, freeze or serve at once. Nice served with a side salad and hot French bread or Whole Wheat Rolls.


Easy Mexican-style Vegetarian Soup

Shared with me by Christian homeschooling mom-of-many and my dear friend, Nanette Klinect from Dacula, Georgia. This recipe is a quick and easy solution for dinner on a hot dinner on a fast day, when one has little cook-time.


3 Med. Onions, Chopped

3 Green Peppers, Chopped

3 Zucchini or other Summer Squash, Chopped

1 Bunch Parsley, and/or a mixture of Parsley and Cilantro

3+ Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced

Optional: 1 Can or Several Fresh Green Chile Peppers

1/4 C. Olive or Vegetable Oil

1 Lg. Can V-8 or Tomato Juice

Water w/Vegetable Bouillon, or Vegetable Stock, as needed

1 Can Fat-Free Refried Beans

1 C. Flour

1 C. Nutritional Yeast

Salt & Pepper, to taste


Chop up all vegetables, rather finely. Sauté vegetables in oil. Mix together flour and nutritional yeast. Put this in a large pot.  Slowly add the juice, stirring well to prevent lumping. Add 1 juice-can full of vegetable stock or water and bouillon.  Add to this the sautéed vegetables and the can of refried beans.  Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until flavors have blended. Excellent and quick!  Good served with Carrot Sticks and Avocado Dip or Guacamole and with Fresh Rolls or Warmed Tortillas on the side


Posole Verde ~ Vegan Green Posole from Mexico

For this recipe, either use frozen, dried or canned hominy (posole). See recipe above for tips on using frozen or dried posole. If you want a quicker version, use canned hominy, as per recipe below.  This posole was a big hit at our St. George’s Lazarus Saturday meal and work day, which we hold every year after the Divine Liturgy for the day.


1 #10 Can White Hominy (Posole) + Liquid

3 Cans Canelli or other White Beans + Liquid

2 Lg. Onions, Chopped

1 Head Fresh Garlic, Sliced

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Lb. Mild Green Chiles, Chopped

1 Lb. Fresh or Frozen Tomatillos, Coarsely Chopped

1-2 Jalapeño or other Hot Green Peppers, Minced, Optional

1 Bu. Fresh Cilantro, Minced

¼ C. Fresh Parsley, Minced

2 Tbsps. Fresh Oregano, Minced

1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin

Salt & Black Pepper, To Taste

Vegetable Broth Powder or Bouillon, To Taste

1 Can Petite Diced Tomatoes with Juices, Optional

¼ C. Lime or Lemon Juice


Sauté onion and garlic in oil. Add green chiles, tomatillos, hot peppers, cilantro and parsley. Add posole and beans, then all remaining spices, including salt. If you wish to add the flavor and coloring to this otherwise green and white dish, add the can of  diced tomatoes. To make a richer broth, add vegetable broth powder, to taste. Just before serving, add lime or lemon juice. Serve with tortillas on the side. Small bowls of chopped cilantro, scallions, lime quarters and salsa verde can also be served as accompaniments.


Houmous & Tahini Soup (Garbanzo & Sesame Soup from Cyprus)

Foods from the Island of Cyprus are very similar both to Greek and to Lebanese dishes. This is a soup which can be made vegan (for fasting) or can be made with chicken broth.


2 Cans Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)

6 -8 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Peeled

1 Med. Onion, Peeled & Quartered

4 Tbsp. Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter)

1/3 C. Fresh Lemon Juice

6 – 8 Cups Broth – Chicken or Vegetable

8 Slices Bread, Cubes & Toasted as Croutons

½ Bunch of Fresh Parsley, Minced

Olive Oil, at table

Coarse Salt, to taste

Greek-style (Calamata) Olives, 6 – 8 Per Each Bowl Served


If using dried garbanzos, soak and cook them until tender.  In the bowl of a food processor of a blender, mix together until smooth  the Tahini, Lemon Juice, Onion and Garlic. Add the (drained) garbanzo beans.  Reserve the liquid.  After blending, warm the broth in a large pan. When it is quite hot, add the blended chick peas. Stir well and heat, but do not boil.  Serve into individual bowls.  Add minced parsley, croutons, a sprinkling of coarse salt and the Greek Olives to each bowl.  Put olive oil on the table, and let each one drizzle the top with as much or little as they desire.  Serves 6 – 8.


Jillian’s Vegan Potato Soup

From our Valley homeschooling friend, Jillian DeMoya.  She brought this wonderful soup to us one winter, when we are all sick with the flu. Jillian’s husband is from the Dominican Republic, and is actually a distant relative of Fr. Antonio’s. She relates, “We call this our “lifesaver” soup" and our family would agree. So easy! There's really no recipe, half of what I cook I just make up!  I also made a version of this soup for Glenn (Chrysostom) Geil's memorial service, and folks really enjoyed it. Here's what I did this time”:

Potatoes, Diced - I made most of a 15 pound bag
Dice Several large onions

1 Entire Head of Garlic, Chopped

A bit of oil
4-5 Tbsp of veggie powdered stock (like boullion cube, but powdered and veg
based with no msg!)

Or (I usually use) Vegetable Broth or Homemade Vegetable Stock
2 bunches bok choy (could substitute chard, kale or collard greens)

(Any greens will work - collards, kale, chard, mustard, turnip, spinach - sometimes one

can find these in already washed/chopped & ready to throw in the pot bags now)

Optional:  Carrots, Celery, Mushrooms, Squash - Use any, all or none

Juice of 1 or More Lemons or Limes, Optional & To Taste

Sautee onion and garlic in a little oil. .Add potatoes and fill with water or stock to just over the top of potatoes.  Add any other vegetables you want to use. Add bouillon and salt and pepper to taste.  When potatoes are soft add cleaned and sliced up bok choy or other greens. Add lemon just before serving, if you choose to use it. That's it!

Peas Porridge Perdomo Style

Split pea soup is one of our favorite busy fasting day suppers. Often, we’ll get this started this early in the day and let it cook until after Wednesday night Daily Vespers. It’s great to have a hearty, satisfying meal to come home to when it’s late and we’re quite hungry!


1-2 lbs. Dry Split Peas, rinsed

1 Lg. Can Diced Tomatoes

2 Cans or 1 Lg. Box Vegetable Broth (or homemade veggie stock)

2 Onions, Chopped

4 Small Potatoes, Chopped

3 Lg. Carrots, Chopped

3 Stalks Celery, Chopped

3+ Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced or Pressed

¼ C. Fresh Parsley, Minced

1 Tsp. Oregano

Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

A bit of olive or vegetable oil.


Put the peas, tomatoes, vegetable broth and as much water as needed into a pot or a slow cooker (crock pot). Sauté the vegetables in a bit of oil, until they are just beginning to soften up. Add herbs, salt and pepper, and allow to cook until peas are soft and you’re ready to eat. A loaf of whole wheat French bread on the side makes a filling meal of it!


¡Gloria a Dios por todo!
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