The first 'Keeping the Feast' recipe for the 2020 Lenten season features a hearty minestrone soup.
The first 'Keeping the Feast' recipe for the 2020 Lenten season features a hearty minestrone soup.

The Holy Season of Lent is a time when folks may be looking for tasty, easy-to-prepare meatless meals. Over the years, The Monitor’s freelance writer Lois Rogers has created a library of meals in her Keeping The Feast column.

With Lent just around the corner, my thoughts turn to creating meatless meals for family and friends. These are meals that reflect a season that begins in the cold midwinter and gradually gathers the warmth of the spring harvest into soup pots, casserole dishes and deep pie plates.

Images of the sturdy stews and soups of midwinter evaporate as I look forward once again to creating new dishes and recreating Lenten treasures from recipes tucked away in my mother’s tattered old cook book. Accompanied by her notes – the flounder and vegetables sealed in aluminum packets was “good,” the eggplant lasagna, not so good – the recipes include some she got from friends or clipped out of magazines and newspapers.

There were many more created or adapted by her, frequently with suggestions from my dad. These were my favorites – macaroni and cheese topped with breadcrumbs, tuna noodle casserole and vegetable soups, including the No. 1 Lenten soup, which we named “Mom’s Minestrone.”

Since Keeping the Feast began as an occasional feature for The Monitor in 2005 and morphed into an award-winning blog in 2013, family recipes and some from friends and even a celebrity chef or two have been featured during Lent.

This year, once again, Keeping the Feast will be offering favorite Lenten recipes. They will appear on Wednesdays and Sundays on throughout Lent. Look for them to begin appearing on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26. Expect to find a mix of meatless dishes and soups that are easy and economical to prepare and reflect the diversity of the Catholic community – close to home and worldwide.

Look for insight on regional ingredients – what fish are running, for instance – the waters of the Diocese are, after all, home to some of the finest seafood on the East Coast.