Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

Lenten Soups


Skip to:
Fish Stew
Tomato, Spinach and Basil Soup
Onion Soup
Black Bean and Salsa Soup
Black Bean Soup
Corn Chowder
Lentil Soup
Garlicky Lentil Soup
Minestrone alla Tucciarone
Greek-style Lemony Spinach and Orzo Soup
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Hungarian Mushroom Soup
Potato, Cheese, and Green Chile Soup
Minestrina Tricolore
Traditional Ukranian Cabbage Soup
Split Pea Soup
French Spring Soup

Fish Stew (serves 8)

6 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chopped yellow onions (about 2 medium)
2 cups chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
2 cups chopped fresh fennel
10 small tomatoes, diced (about 1 pound)
2 TBSP tomato paste
4 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
2 TBSP sugar or to taste
2 TBSP fennel seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 pounds fish, (e.g.cod, sea bass, halibut and red snapper fillets) cut into 1-inch pieces

In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, heat the oil and saute the garlic and onion for about 3 minutes or until soft but not brown. Add the celery and fennel, and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, wine, water, parsley, sugar, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add the fish, cover the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, or until fish is cooked through but still firm. Serve immediately in heated, shallow soup bowls.

Tomato, Spinach and Basil Soup (serves 8)

1/4 cup butter
2 large yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 cups milk
2 (28 ounce) cans tomato puree
2 TBSP white sugar
4 cups fresh spinach, torn
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion til almost soft, then add garlic and saute til both are just cooked and tender. Stir in milk and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato puree and sugar. Mix well, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add spinach, basil, salt and pepper and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Onion Soup (serves 8)

1/3 cup butter
11 onions, sliced
5-1/3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups white wine
dash or two of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 TBSP worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
8 slices baguette
2-2/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onions until deep brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in broth and wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot. Season with thyme, bay leaves, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Cook until heated through. Preheat oven on broiler setting. Ladle soup into heatproof serving bowls. Top each bowl with a slice of bread, and sprinkle with cheese. Place under a hot broiler until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Black Bean and Salsa Soup (serves 8)

4 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups chunky salsa of desired "heat"
2 TBSP lime juice
fresh cilantro
2 tsp garlic
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 can corn, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion

To a food processor or blender, and add half of the beans, broth, salsa, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and cumin and blend until fairly smooth (or mash together by hand). Stir in the rest of the whole beans and the corn, and heat the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Add more broth, if needed, to desired consistency (or add more pureed beans for a thicker soup). To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top each bowl with 1 tablespoon of the sour cream and green onion.

Black Bean Soup (serves 6)

1 TBSP olive oil
3 cup chopped onion
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1 medium carrot, diced
10 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bell pepper, diced
5 c black beans, soaked and cooked
1½ cup orange juice
black pepper
cayenne pepper
2 medium tomatoes, diced (optional)

Sauté the onion, cumin, salt, carrot, and half the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat, until the carrot is tender. Add the bell pepper and the rest of the garlic and sauté until everything is very tender, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to the Dutch oven along with the cooked beans. Mix in the orange juice, both peppers, and the tomatoes. Optionally purée some or all of the soup in the blender, then return to Dutch oven.

Simmer over low heat for another 10-15 minutes, add toppings, and serve. If you prefer a thinner soup, add a cup or two of water and simmer until hot. Top with sour cream, onion, cheddar, and/or cilantro.

Corn Chowder (serves 8)

6 TBSP vegetable oil
6 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, chopped
6 stalks celery from heart of stalk, chopped
2 small red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
4 bay leaves, fresh or dried
2 TBSP Old Bay seasoning *
salt and pepper, to taste
6 TBSP all-purpose flour
2 package (10 oz.) frozen corn kernels, defrosted and drained
2 can (15 oz.) vegetable stock
2 quarts milk
8 scallions, chopped, for garnish

Heat a deep pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add oil and potatoes. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion, celery, red bell pepper, and bay leaves. Season with Old Bay and salt and pepper. Cover and reduce heat a bit; cook a few minutes more, stirring occasionally. Uncover and whisk in flour. Cook a minute more. Add corn, chicken broth, and milk. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, 7 to 10 minutes, to thicken. Adjust seasonings and serve bowls of chowder with a sprinkle of chopped scallions and oyster crackers.

* Old Bay Seasoning is made of: celery salt and paprika blended with mustard, red pepper, black pepper, bay leaves, cloves, allspice, ginger, mace, cardamom, and cinnamon.

Lentil Soup (serves 8)

8 cups water
2 cup brown lentils
1 -2 tsp salt, to taste
4 TBSP vegetable oil
4 TBSP chopped onion
12 tomatillos, peeled, rinsed and quartered
12 whole, dried chiles de arbol
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
8 TBSP queso fresco (bland Mexican cheese), crumbled

Bring water to the boil. Add the lentils, turn the heat down and simmer until the lentils open, about 30 minutes. Stir in the salt. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatillos and chiles and cook an additional five minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cilantro and remove from heat. Add this mixture to the cooked lentils and simmer the soup about five more minutes so the flavors will blend. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco.

Garlicky Lentil Soup (from Carole K.)

2 cups lentils
1 head garlic, peeled and finely minced or pressed (yes a whole head of garlic!)
2 med. mild (sweet or yellow) onions finely chopped
1 1/2 T olive oil (regular not extra virgin for more flavour)
1/2 bunch celery chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4-5 carrots sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
4 small to medium baking potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes (peeling is optional)
8 to 10 cups water or vegetable stock/broth
2 bay leafs (remove before serving)
1 T finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste

You can add any vegetables you like to this soup. Some options include: asparagus, snow peas (in the pod), sugar snap peas (in the pod), sweet peas, zucchini, corn, mushrooms (any type), bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes, etc.

In a medium sauté pan sauté onions and garlic in olive oil (or sweat them in vegetable stock or white wine) over medium heat for about five minutes or until transparent to do not brown. Put the onions and garlic in a large stock pot with water or stock. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occassionally for at least 2 hours. The longer the soup cooks the more flavourful it will be. Simmering the soup in crock pot can be done also.

Minestrone alla Tucciarone (serves 10)

4 TBSP olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
5 carrots, sliced
6 cups vegetable stock*
Large can diced tomatoes and its juice
Large can crushed tomatoes and its juice
Large jar Great Northern Beans or Cannellini Beans, undrained
2 small zucchinis, quartered and sliced
2 summer squash, quartered and sliced
1 can corn, undrained -- optional
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach -- optional
2 TBSP chopped fresh oregano (or 2 tsp. dried) -- approx.
1 TBSP chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried) -- approx.
2 TBSP chopped fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried) -- approx.
1 TBSP fennel seeds, approx., to taste (this is key)
salt and pepper to taste

For serving:
Small pasta, cooked separately just before serving -- optional
Shredded Provolone and grated Parmesan for topping
1 tablespoon olive oil

Over medium-low heat, in a large pot, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes (do not let brown!). Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add stock and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to low and add beans, corn (if using), spinach (if using), zucchini, squash, oregano, basil, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Simmer an hour. Ladle soup into bowls, and add cooked pasta (if desired). Sprinkle cheeses on top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with crusty bread. Better the next day.

* Use more, or use V-8, tomato sauce, water, etc. for more liquid.

Greek-style Lemony Spinach and Orzo Soup (serves 6)

1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
1 cup chopped onion or sliced leek
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 vegetable bouillon cube
16-ounce can diced tomatoes
5 to 6 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed, stemmed, and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or dill (or a combination), or to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion or leek and sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and garlic and sauté the vegetables for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onion or leek turns golden and the red pepper softens.

In the meantime, cook the orzo in a separate saucepan until al dente. When done, drain.

Add the 5 cups water, the bouillon cubes, and tomatoes to the soup pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the cooked orzo to the soup along with the spinach and herbs. Stir in the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. Serve at once.

Cream of Mushroom Soup (from Kathy) (makes 7 cups)

1 pound mushrooms
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 small onion, sliced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup heavy or whipping cream

Trim and wash mushrooms, remove the stems and set them aside. Thinly slice the caps. In a 4 qt. saucepan over medium high heat, in hot butter cook sliced mushroom and lemon juice until mushrooms are just tender, stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low and remove mushrooms with slotted spoon to a bowl. In the same pan, cook the onion and stems until onion is tender. Stir in the flour until blended; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in water; cook stirring constantly until mixture is thickened. (At this point, you can use a blender to smooth the thickened mixture, half at a time. I usually skip this step. Too messy and time consuming.) Into thickened mixture, stir in salt, pepper, cream, sherry, and mushroom slices; reheat just until soup is boiling.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

6 whole shallots, sliced thin
1 cup butter, sweet
3 TBSP hot paprika
3 TBSP sweet paprika
6 TBSP flour
5 cups vegetable broth
10 cups sliced mushrooms
4 cups sour cream
1/3 cups chopped fresh dill

Melt butter in large soup pot over medium heat. Add shallots and saute 'til softened. Stir in both paprikas and reduce heat to low. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in broth and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil 20 minutes. Add sour cream, a half cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Reduce heat to low (don't boil after sour cream's been added). Add dill, salt, pepper.

Potato, Cheese, and Green Chile Soup (serves 6)

5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tablespoon light olive or olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh, ripe tomatoes (can use canned)
1 cup cooked fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
4-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the potato dice in a soup pot and cover with the stock or water. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered, until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a small skillet. Sauté the onion over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and green pepper and sauté until the mixture begins to brown lightly.

Remove half of the potatoes from their cooking liquid with a slotted spoon and place them in a shallow bowl. Mash them well, then stir back into the soup pot, followed by the onion-bell pepper mixture. Add the tomatoes, corn, green chilies, and chili powder. Add additional water if the soup is too dense. Stir together, return to a simmer, then simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle in the grated cheese, a little at a time, stirring it until it is fairly well melted after each addition. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over very low heat, stirring frequently, for another 5 minutes.

Serve at once, or let stand for an hour or so before serving. Heat through as needed and adjust the consistency with more water if the soup becomes too thick.

Minestrina Tricolore (from Kathy) (serves 4)

1 1/2 pounds potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons onion, chopped fine
3 tablespoons carrots, chopped fine
5 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for table
1 cup milk
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Peel the potatoes, rinse them in cold water, and them up in small pieces. Put them in a soup pot with just enough colod water to cover, put a lid on the pot, and turn on the heat to medium-high. Boil the potatoes until they are tender, then puree them, with their liquid, through the large holes of a food mill back into the pot. (I use a hand blender for this) Set aside.

2. Put the butter, oil, and chopped onion in a skillet and turn on the heat to medium. Saute the onion until it becomes colored a pale gold. Add the chopped carrot and celery and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring the vegetables to coat them well. Don't cook them long enough to become soft because you want them noticeably crisp in the soup.

3. Transfer the entire contents of the skillet to the pot with the potatoes. Turn on the heat to medium, and add the grated parmesan, the milk, and the stock. Stir and cook at a steady simmer for several minutes until the cooking fat is dispersed throughout the soup. Don't let the soup become thicker than cream in consistency. If that should happen, dilute it with equal parts of stock and milk. Taste and correct for salt. Off heat, swirl in the chopped parsley and swerve immediately.

Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan.

Traditional Ukranian Cabbage Soup (serves 6)

2 TBSP olive oil
2 cups sliced leeks
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 carrots, halved and cut in 1/8-inch rounds
1 medium green cabbage, coarsely chopped (7-8 cups)
1 tsp dried thyme
7 cups boiling water
1 TBSP powdered vegetable broth or 1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 heaping TBSP light miso *
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP honey
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
Freshly ground pepper

1. Heat oil, leeks, and onion is a soup pot. Sauté, stirring for 2 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add carrots and cabbage, and continue sautéing over medium heat until cabbage begins to wilt. Add thyme and stir well.

2. Add boiling water and broth to water. Stir well. cover and bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir in miso, lemon juice, and honey. Simmer for 2 or 4 minutes longer, then stir in tomatoes. Add ground black pepper to taste.

* Miso is fermented soy paste, available at most health food stores. It is somewhat like a bouillon in that it adds a salty flavor. It tastes good, and is good for you.

Serve this soup with Potatoes and Zucchini in Olive Oil:

Potatoes and Zucchini in Olive Oil

12 red-skinned potatoes
8 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 TBSP olive oil
4 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper

1. Steam potatoes until tender, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly, then quarter and cut into 1/4-inch slices.

2. Steam zucchini until bright green and just tender, about minutes. Allow to cool.

3. Combine zucchini slices and potato slices in a medium bowl. Toss gently with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings to taste.

Both of these recipes are from The American Vegetarian Cookbook, by Marilyn Diamond.

Split Pea Soup

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried split peas
1/2 cup barley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
7 1/2 cups water
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 potatoes, diced - optional
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large pot over medium high heat, saute the oil, onion, bay leaf and garlic for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add the peas, barley, salt and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, celery, potatoes (if using), parsley, basil, thyme and ground black pepper. Simmer for another hour, or until the peas and vegetables are tender. May have to add extra liquid, especially if using the potatoes.

French Spring Soup

1/4 cup butter
1 pound leeks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 quarts water
3 large potatoes, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 pound fresh spinach
1 cup heavy cream

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the leeks and onion, and cook until tender.
Pour water into the pot. Mix in potatoes, carrots, asparagus, and rice. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, until vegetables and rice are tender. Stir spinach and heavy cream into the soup mixture, and continue cooking about 5 minutes before serving.