Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent and Potato Soup

For Lent, something light is in order. The recipe I share today might be a good Ash Wednesday or Lenten Friday meal. But first, a few thoughts. One thing I appreciate about the Catholic faith is the observance of the liturgical seasons. The observances are intentional and reverent in many cases. With the different seasons are practices that can add to the meaning of the holy days. I like the names, Lent, Advent, and the Season of Ordinary Time. The appellation "ordinary time" indicates that although it may be ordinary, it should be noticed.

Funny way to start a Mennonite cooking blog entry? Well, I am rather eclectic in many things, no less my faith expressions. I think the way I was raised has something to do with that. When I was young, we sang, Jesus loves the Little Children, and He's got the whole world in His hands and I always knew deep down that my family and my faith community believed each word was true. If we are all God's children, it seems to follow that individual and varied practices, petitions, and prayers are all worthy. That works for me. Nearer my God to Thee, and I will take it almost any way you serve it.

At my school I am the Mennonite who loves Mass, I have been touched by Baptist altar calls, I love the quietness of traditional Quaker services, African American spirituals move me to tears, and I wish I could be a better Buddhist-like person. When I was thinking about this, I remembered my grandma's first question upon learning when I had a new boyfriend. "Is he Mennonite?" If the answer was no, we moved down the flow chart, "Does he go to church?" It never bothered me, these questions. At the time, I didn't really know for sure who I was and I mostly cared if my boyfriends were cute. I appreciate that Grandma let me know what she thought was important. I know better now who I am, a pilgrim with deep Mennonite roots, a learner with an open heart and a seeking spirit, so thankful that every road honestly followed leads to God.

So, here you are- a recipe for potato soup which is a rather eclectic mix in itself, combines a couple of recipes, none enough to give credit. A melting pot if you will...

Crock Pot Potato Soup
4 russet potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks of celery, cut into small pieces
28 ounces of chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups fat free half and half

Bread, cut into small cubes
2 T butter or margarine

Combine first eight ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for 3 hours or until vegetables are tender. stir together half and half and flour. Pour into soup. Cover and cook 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Brown diced bread cubes in butter. Add to the soup just before serving.

Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord.

Many Blessings,

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