I recently had the pleasure of reading a review copy of Brother Victor-Antoine D'Avila-Latourrette's The Monastery Garden Cookbook. It was was sent to me by Monastery Greetings, a lovely catalog based website that combines hundreds of religious and spiritual gifts from Abbeys, Convents, Monasteries, and Hermitages.
Anyhow, I already own a couple other books by Brother Victor, including Twelve Months of Monastery Soups and Blessings of the Table, and was excited to be able to add this one to my collection as well. After talking to a friend and looking through the table of contents, it looks like The Monastery Garden Cookbook is a revised version of his out-of-print book Fresh from a Monastery Garden: An A-Z Collection of Delectable Vegetable Recipes, though I don't own a copy of the older book to compare for sure.
This book contains 200 vegetable recipes, starting with Artichokes and ending with Zucchini and Yellow Squash, direct from Brother Victor's kitchen at Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery, complete with illustrations and descriptions.
It was quite simple to make (the trip to the market with all the kids for some Avocados and Leeks was by far the hardest part) and it is chilling in the fridge right now. I tasted a little bit and it is absolutely delicious! Here is the recipe in case any of you would like to make it for tomorrow.
Saints Peter and Paul Avocado Soup
adapted from The Monastery Garden Cookbook
3 leeks, white parts only, trimmed and sliced
3 avocados, peeled and sliced in half
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
lemon rind as garnish
Place the leeks in a saucepan, cover with 6 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook leeks for 15-20 minutes.
Remove pan from heat, allow to cool slightly, and then whirl leeks and water in a blender or food processor. (I used my Vita-Mix.) Pour the mixture back into the pan or a large bowl.
Tip: If you'd like to use some of the lemon rind as a garnish, it is probably a good idea to peel the lemon before juicing it for your soup! ;)
Place the avocados, lemon juice, sour cream paprika, and salt and pepper in the blender or food processor and whirl for about 1 minute.
Add to the leek mixture and blend all the ingredients well by hand. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve cold and add some lemon rind on the top of each serving as garnish.
Yields 4-6 servings
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