So, we journey onward with another week’s menu and recipes.  This past week’s favorites:  Olive Garden Copycat Minestrone…delicious!  And, of course, the St. Patrick’s Day Guinness Stew is always a hit…the bread bowls were an excellent addition, too.  Do you have any favorites?  Not necessarily the recipes I’ve posted…I’d love to hear about the soups you and your family enjoy throughout the year…feel free to include in the combox!


Lenten Menu – Week 3


Fr. Z’s Lenten Soup with Rice Noodles

Oriental Salad and Homemade Bread


Crab Corn Chowder

Corn Muffins

Fruit Salad

Friday:  Feast of the Annunciation!

Roast Chicken with Rosemary seasoned Potatoes and Carrots

Caesar Salad

Angel Rolls

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Cream


Chicken and Egg Soup with Pastina

Crusty Italian Loaf


Sunday (Feast!)

Roasted Pork de Provence

Red Potatoes in Balsamic-Olive Oil Marinade

Spiced Pears

Salad and Homemade Bread


Moussaka Soup

Rustic Spinach Feta Bread



Seuppe ou Piat (from week 1)

Grapes and Salad


 Taco Soup

Corn Chips and Condiments

Here are the soup and bread recipes…double as you need to…that’s what I do!

Crab Corn Chowder

“Creamed corn and crab meat intermingle with white wine, small bits of bacon, and cubes of potatoes in this soup. Try the chicken curry variation for a more piquant experience.”


1 russet potato, peeled and cubed

5 slices bacon, diced

1/2 onion, chopped

1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained

1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

2 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)

1 cube chicken bouillon

1 1/2 cups milk

1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn

salt and pepper to taste


1. Wrap potato cubes in plastic wrap, and microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside.

2. In a saute pan, cook bacon over medium heat until heated through, and add chopped onions. Cook and stir until onions are clear. Stir in crab meat and parsley flakes. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large stock pot over low heat. Whisk in flour until mixture becomes creamy and takes on a eggshell color. Continue to cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in wine. Dissolve chicken bouillon in milk; when the flour mixture is crumbly, slowly whisk in the milk. Mix well in order to eliminate all lumps.

4. When the mixture is creamy and hot, stir in bacon mixture, cubed potatoes, and creamed corn. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. For a creamy curry variation add 2 tablespoons curry powder after adding the wine to the flour mixture, and substitute cooked, cubed chicken for the bacon.

Fr. Z’s Lenten Soup

Could it be any simpler than this?

Vegetable broth
Chopped up vegetables
Ginger root, shaved
Soy sauce and rice vinegar
Rice noodles

Bring broth to a boil with the ginger.
Put in the noodles and cook for a minute.
Put in the veg and cook for half a minute.

Season to taste.

Moussaka Soup

Servings: 5 (we;ll definitely double!)

1 ea Eggplant; Small

4 tb Olive Oil

8 c Lamb Stock

1/2 c Lamb; Cooked, Cubed

1/4 ts Salt

1/2 ts Oregano Leaves; Dried

2 ea Tomatoes; Lg, Chopped

1/2 c Peas; Frozen


1 x Grated Parmesan Cheese

Peel the eggplant and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat the olive oil in a 2

1/2-quart saucepan and brown the eggplant. Add the stock, lamb, salt and

oregano. Bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5

minutes or until the eggplant is very soft. Add the tomatoes and peas and

cook an additional 2 minutes. Serve hot with a garnish of grated Parmesan


Rustic Spinach Feta Bread

Ingredients: Makes four 1lb loaves

1 cup packed cooked (lightly steamed, boiled or sauteed), chopped spinach

3 cups lukewarm water

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (About 1 1/2 packets)

1 tablespoon salt

2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

6 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Cornmeal for pizza peel

Mixing and storing the dough: Squeeze the cooked spinach through a strainer to get rid of excess liquid. Mix the yeast, salt, spinach, cheese and sugar with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty mixer (with dough hook). If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.

Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 7 days.

On baking day: Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 1 hour (or just 40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).

Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty boiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.

Sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and slash a cross or tic-tac-toe pattern into the top, using a serrated bread knife. Leave the flour in place for baking; tap some of it off before eating.

Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time.

Allow to cool before slicing or eating.

Chicken and Egg Soup with Pastina


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 (2 1/2-to-3-pound) rotisserie chicken (on the bone)

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 lemons

1/2 cup pastina (small pasta)

2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks

2 cups baby spinach or other baby greens

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Crumbled feta cheese, for garnish (optional)


Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, the broth, 4 cups water and the juice of 1 lemon; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the pastina and simmer until the pasta is cooked and the soup thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken; when cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bone and shred into bite-size pieces.

Remove the soup from the heat. Whisk the juice of the remaining lemon with the whole eggs and yolks in a medium bowl until frothy. Gradually whisk a ladleful of the hot soup into the egg mixture, then stir the warm egg mixture into the soup and return to medium-low heat. Cook until creamy, about 1 minute. Stir in the shredded chicken, spinach and dill, and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls; garnish with feta, if desired.

Paula Deen’s Taco Soup


2 pounds ground beef

2 cups diced onions

2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles

2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles

1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional

1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional

1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix

1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix

Corn chips, for serving

Sour cream, for garnish

Grated cheese, for garnish

Chopped green onions, for garnish

Pickled jalapenos, for garnish


Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

Another week down, a few more to go!  Enjoy the recipes…simplicity and nutrition in a single bowl.