Table Top Spirituality

Gathering around the table is our only truly consistent practice at Monkfish Abbey. We do it every week, without fail. Mostly we eat soup – with the occasional emergency pizza or a “the-cook’s-burnt-out” potluck. We like soup because it’s slow food (as opposed to fast food – who can eat takeout after watching Super Size Me?) It’s also easy to eat around the seasons with soup (potato chowder in the winter, gazpacho in the Summer, Matzo Ball at Passover…you get the picture.) This connects us more deeply to the rhythm of the created order. So if you like soup, like we like soup, try these recipes from the Abbey. (P.S. some of the recipes have little stories at the end of them — click “continue reading” to find them.)

Tips from the Monkfish Abbey Kitchen:

-These soups are all involve minimum chopping and inexpensive ingredients – a must for group cooking. A weekly meal for 12-15 with a bottle or two of wine and a couple loaves of crusty bread should run you about $40.

-Find a good bakery and put someone in charge of bringing fresh, crusty bread. For special occasions add olives and some hard cheese or fresh mozerella, basil, and tomatoes.

-Once in awhile, ask folks to stock your larger instead of your offering plate. Find out how many microbrews, red wines, iced teas, and seltzer you can fit in your basement refridgerator.

-Craving Meat? Make room for your one vegetarian by keeping a whole foods gourmet-y box of creamy tomato soup on hand for the night you just have to have some beef stew and offer two pots of steamy goodness.

-Please, in the name of all that is good and holy, don’t use bullion cubes! A meal can be a holy experience, even if it’s simple. So be sure to use good, basic ingredients. You don’t have to make your own stock though. We use try Imagine products which makes tasty organic stock in resealable, recycleable cartons.