Kale, Sausage and Cannellini Bean Soup – A Special Autumn Treat

When end-of-summer kale comes in by the armload from the garden, “kale soup” becomes a familiar sounding menu option.  But can’t we make it really different and flavorful for our guests, as the chill of Autumn sets in? And so it develops: browned Italian sausage chunks, lots of fresh thyme, a splash of white wine, potatoes and cannellini beans.  Delicious served with a salad of fresh sliced pears, toasted almonds, and shavings of Parmesan Cheese and a basket of warm dill bread!

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Kale, Sausage and Cannellini Bean Soup - A Special Autumn Treat
SERVINGS
4
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
30minutes
PREP TIME
45minutes
READY IN
1hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan; add chopped onion, thyme and sausage chunks, browning over medium heat for about 10 minutes, adding a splash of wine for enhanced flavor. Drain off excess fat.
  2. Add chopped kale, potatoes, garlic, cooking for a few minutes before adding chicken broth, bringing soup to a boil, then simmering for about 20 minutes.
  3. To achieve a thicker consistency, strain out some of the cooked potato pieces, thoroughly mash and then add back to the soup.
  4. Add cannellini beans and simmer for another 10 minutes, then serve!

Grilled Swordfish with Avocado Butter

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Rating: 5
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Multiple Reasons to Grill
I just love the summer evenings, not only the beautiful sunsets on Cape Cod but also the wonderful aromas being created by all of the grills cooking up wonderful dinners in our neighborhood. I often cook an entire dinner on a grill just to keep the heat down in our house and the dirty dishes out of the kitchen. The other evening, we celebrated one of our Sisters' 40th Birthday and she asked for swordfish since it was such a special celebration. This is one of my favorite swordfish recipes, I think you’ll love it too.
SERVINGS
4
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
10
READY IN
40

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place swordfish steaks in glass baking dish in a single layer
  2. Combine oil and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Pour marinade mixture over steaks; cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Prepare Avocado Butter: Combine butter and avocado in a small mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add the lime juice, zest, parsley, garlic, and salt; stir well. Cover and chill until firm. If desired, shape butter into small bowls before serving.
  4. Remove steaks from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Preheat grill. Grill steaks over medium high heat for 9 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting frequently with the reserved marinade (do not over cook).
  6. Serve fish off the grill with a ball of Avocado Butter on each steak. Garnish with parsley sprigs.

Community of Jesus

Inspired by the Song of Spring

Being a Benedictine House, we start our day with the office of Lauds followed by Eucharist. As I left the service today, I was struck by just how many years Monasticism has existed and thrived, and how blessed I was to be a part of a living organism that has withstood the passage of time and changed the world in the process.

As I passed through our atrium, I was met with the lovely singing of birds. With the cold winter we’ve had, this promise of spring was a delight to my ears and got me itching to create a light new soup that was both colorful and tasty. I set out for the kitchen to create just that.

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Inspired by the Song of Spring
SERVINGS
6
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
30
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, sautee leeks, garlic, and thyme in the butter and olive oil until softened- about eight minutes.
  2. Add diced potato and cook an additional 5 minutes or until the potatoes begin to take on a slightly translucent hue. Meanwhile, prepare asparagus by snapping off the ends and peeling the sides with a vegetable peeler and cut into 1" pieces.
  3. Add broccoli florets to your stock pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add prepared asparagus pieces and cover with 8 cups of stock (vegetable or chicken, whichever you prefer). Stir and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover your pot and cook until your vegetables are tender about 10 min.
  5. After 10 minutes, uncover the pot, turn off the heat and add the spinach. Allow to sit for an additional five minutes.
  6. Cool slightly, and puree using an immersion blender or a countertop blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more broth to achieve the desired thickness or add some cream. Re-heat and serve. Makes 14 cups of soup.

Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup with Caramelized Onions & Apples

This is a winner! We recommend serving this with an open faced sandwich or just on its own. You’ll think this soup has been thickened with cream, but magically it hasn’! Coconut milk and coconut oil have a wonderful way of adding depth of flavor and the under-appreciated cauliflower and parsnip get a bit of attention in this marvelous winter soup. Topped with caramelized onions and sautéed apple, this dish is perfect for fall when you start pulling on your warm socks and woolen sweaters.

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Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup with Caramelized Onions & Apples
SERVINGS
5servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
45mins
PREP TIME
15mins
READY IN
1hr

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 375-400°F. Toss the cauliflower and parsnips in 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and spread in single layer on a sheet pan. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the tips begin to turn brown, then add the minced garlic, cover with foil and continue roasting until soft and tender.
  2. Meanwhile, caramelize the onion: slice the onion into thin strips, and saute over low heat with 1 Tbsp. coconut oil. Adding just a dash of salt and sugar can help the caramelization process. Stir every few minutes, until onions begin to brown. Dice the apple, and add it to the pan. Continue to cook on low until apple is tender and the onions are golden and sweet. Add salt to taste. Set aside for garnish.
  3. Place cauliflower, parsnips, 4 cups warm broth, coconut milk/cream in a blender,. Blend until smooth, adding salt and smoked paprika to taste. Add additional broth, coconut milk or cream until desired consistency and flavor is reached.
  4. Re-heat your soup on the stove or in the microwave or freeze in ziplock bags for later.
  5. When ready to serve, spoon soup into bowls and top with a generous amount of onions and apples.

Stella’s Shrimp and Fettuccine

Sisters birthdays are a special day of celebration in our Convent. Much prayer and discussion goes into the place setting at the table, the beautiful word that is specially picked just for her and then a few carefully and lovingly wrapped gifts (which are usually a few treat foods that she rarely gets). The Sister gets to choose her dinner entree and dessert from a menu. It’s really such fun – some sisters take up to a week deciding what they’re going to ask for on their special day. This past week, I had the great fun of cooking for one such occasion. I made my signature shrimp dish – a little like a scampi, but made richer by the fettucine tossed with cream and parmesan. The fresh lemon in this recipe is a must – don’t skip it. The Sister slowly savored her meal, a smile emanating after every bite. What a blessing it is to bless others – that’s what I love so much about the gift of cooking.

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Stella's Shrimp and Fettuccine
SERVINGS
2servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
20mins
PREP TIME
10mins
READY IN
30mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Boil salted water for pasta
  2. Meanwhile, sauté ¼ c. diced onion and crushed garlic clove until translucent over medium low heat. Watch carefully so you don't burn the garlic. Add chopped basil leaves and chopped tomato – lightly toss, sauté and remove from heat and into a dish to hold.
  3. Cook your pasta and when finished, toss with 4 Tbsp. butter, warmed heavy cream and 1/2 cup fresh parmesan until you have an “Alfredo” – add onion salt and fresh ground pepper - seasoning to taste.
  4. Quickly sauté your shrimp in butter, once golden on both sides, add white wine and juice of one lemon. Simmer slightly and then add the tomato mixture back to the pan and combine - season to taste.
  5. Serve fettuccine with the shrimp tossed over – sprinkle with the lemon rind, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Fast and Easy Weekday Chicken

Last week some unexpected changes in the convent work areas resulted in a brand new kitchen staff with fresh new ideas and increased emphasis on healthy wholesome meals that will be simpler and require less preparation time. The two cooks assigned to the first new meal had no advanced  time to plan a menu or select a recipe, and were simply told to use chicken breasts, rice pilaf, two vegetables and pantry ingredients of choice.

Dinnertime found the sisters enjoying  a bright colorful delightfully seasoned meal  with a different look and flavor than our  usual chicken dinners.  Low in fat yet surprisingly full of flavor this cheerful meal was a promise of very good things to come out of our convent kitchen, and we eagerly look forward to our meals as a result of this change!

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Fast and Easy Weekday Chicken
SERVINGS
4-6servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
30mins
PREP TIME
5mins
READY IN
35mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F)
  2. Sautee onion and garlic in a pan over medium heat until the onions become translucent.
  3. Add tomatoes and olives to the pan and stir together, and transfer into an oven-safe pan.
  4. Place the chicken breasts on top of the olive and tomato mixture.
  5. Mix salt, paprika, cumin and pepper in a separate bowl and sprinkle over chicken.
  6. Bake the chicken in the oven until juices run clear, 25-30 minutes.
  7. Serve warm and garnish with fresh parsley.