In the kitchen with St. Josephine Bakhita


It was a fine thing to check the “stats” for Keeping the Feast this afternoon and see that a lot of folks came looking for St. Josephine Bakhita.

This being her memorial, we’re all heartened by the fact that last year’s post attracts visitors to this day. In fact, throughout the year, faithful stopped by for insight and information on St. Josephine Bakhita who we  hold in the highest regard and affection as the possessor of an indomitable soul who pressed on for her freedom and her faith when many fainter hearts would have given up.

In honor of her skills as a cook — the least of her graces, we admit — this year, KTF offers another soup. Since none of the recipes she prepared for the sisters during her years in the Italian village of Schio seem to have survived (and believe me, I’ve searched), I look for dishes I think she might have made.

This sturdy, warm and appealing smoked sausage and lentil soup from the Vicenza region of Italy where Schio is located, seems to fit the bill.

Smoked Sausage and Lentil Soup

Ingredients: 1 small bulb of fennel; 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil; 1/2 cup chopped sweet, medium size onion; 1 cup chopped carrots; 1 – 1/4 cup lentils, rinsed and drained; 6 cups spring water; 2 teaspons sea salt; 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; 6 ounces smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 pieces; 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Directions: 1 cup of fennel bulb, chopped and set aside. In a deep skillet, cook garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add onion and cook until tender and golden brown. Add carrots and chopped fennel; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add water, lentils, salt and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

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