I have a dear friend, Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourette who lives in a Benedictine monastery in upstate New York. Among other things, Brother Victor is the author of several cook books. My favorite of his books is Twelve Months of Monastery Soups. In this book, Brother Victor does an amazing job of presenting, as the title suggests, twelve months of soups, that he prepared right in his own monastery kitchen. I have made several in the past and I am going to share one recipe that I recently made, and I am still enjoying. I hope you enjoy this soup.
Saint Nicholas Soup
2 ounces of butter or margarine
2 leeks or onions
4 medium-sized carrots
half a medium-sized head white cabbage
1 tsp salt or more, according to taste
4 quarts water
croutons (Br Victor includes a recipe in his book to make your own)
1/3 cup minced chervil, chopped
1. Wash and peel the vegetables. Slice them into small pieces
2. Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add the vegetables and salt and stir a few times. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let it rest for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the water and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and allow the soup to cook slowly for about 30 to 40 minutes. Stir from time to time.
3. When the soup is done, blend all of it in a blender until it becomes creamy and even. Serve hot, adding some croutons to each bowl and sprinkling some chervil on top.