Soupe de Lasagnes (Provençale Pasta Soup)
December, 2002

Serves 6 / The traditional Christmas Eve "fasting supper" in Upper Provence is a delicious winter-vegetable soup, meatless but fortified with pasta. The ribbon noodles' frilled edges are said to remind participants of the curls of the infant Jesus. Olive oil or a garlic mayonnaise (aioli) is passed around separately to allow participants to adhere as strictly to the rules of fasting as they please.

3-4 stalks celery, washed and cut into short lengths
3-4 large carrots, scraped and roughly chopped
3-4 young turnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
8 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces lasagne or papardelle (frilly edges optional), broken into bite-size pieces
5-6 stalks chard, washed and cut into short lengths
1/4 head cabbage, cut into fine strips
3-4 leeks, trimmed, well-washed and cut into thin rings
Salt and pepper
Olive oil or garlic mayonnaise (aioli)

1. In a large pot, cover celery, carrots, turnips, garlic, and herbs with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are nearly done, 10-15 minutes.
2. Add pasta and return to a boil. Add chard, cabbage, and leeks in order, bringing back to a boil between additions. Cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Ladle broth and vegetables into deep soup plates. Enrich with oil or aioli, if desired.

Reprinted with permission from Sacred Food: Cooking for Spiritual Nourishment by Elisabeth Luard (Chicago Review Press, 2001).

Calories 205,Fat 1,Perfat 4,Cholesterol 0,Carbo 43,Protein 7