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.
By Lois Rogers | Correspondent
There are few things I enjoy more than watching Jacques Pépin cook on public television.
Pépin, whose most recent book is “Heart and Soul in the Kitchen,” conveys such love of family and food and his recipes are so warmly adaptable that it often seems like a favorite uncle has welcomed me to the counter to learn at his side.
This Lent seemed a good time to offer a Pépin staple – Fridge Soup – made out of whatever vegetables he has left over in the fridge and served up in his kitchen once a week.
Fridge Soup has just the right quality for a Lenten simple supper, reflecting the frugal sensibility he tells interviewers he learned from his father, a fighter in the French Resistance during World War II who couldn’t bear to throw food out.
Pepin often says he uses his soup pot instead of a trash can when clearing out the fridge. He steadfastly maintains that wilting lettuce, carrots, cabbage and the like have all the makings of a wonderful soup, which he likes to finish with grated cheese. I couldn’t agree more.
The chef writes that over the years, he has used a wide range of vegetables for the soup – everything from broccoli to cauliflower, eggplant and potatoes. I used exactly what I had in the fridge to prove his point: diced tomatoes, chickpeas, zucchini, salad greens and the contents of a bowl of already-cooked ditalini pasta.
While he grates the ingredients, I chopped them so they would show up more clearly in the photo. He rates the level of this recipe as easy, writes that it will make six cups and serve four.
Grace Before the Meal
Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation
you make us hunger and thirst for holiness.
Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation:
You call us to our true fasting:
To set free the oppressed,
to share our bread with the hungry,
to shelter the homeless and to clothe the naked.
Adapted from the Book of Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers