"Oh, she's so cute! What's her name," they inquired. "Tess," he answered. "Oh, what does that stand for?"one of them asked.
Henry, who is gifted with a vivid imagination and the ability to think on his feet, answered immediately:
"Theresa Immaculata. The Holy Father has christened her the Holy Dog of Patient Suffering. In fact, she is the star of the radio show, the Catholic Pet Hour. It airs at 6 on Sunday mornings."
When he recounted the story later, I was horrified: "How could you do that? Those poor women are going to get up early on a Sunday morning to tune into a radio show that exists only in your imagination!"
But that was not the only thing going on in his imagination. By the time he got home from the park, Theresa Immaculata, the dog, had morphed into Thérèse-Immaculée, a little French Canadian girl who lived in Montreal in the 1850s. Her raison d'etre was to perform good deeds, especially for abused and abandoned animals. She became the heroine of a tale that Henry spun at bedtime each night, for the benefit of Tess and me.
Each installment began the same way: " One day, when little tiny Thérèse-Immaculée was only 4 years old, she was walking down the streets of her parish in Montreal when she exclaimed 'Soupe du jour!'"
This was what she said when she was about to embark on another rescue adventure.
Thérèse's father was a leader of skilled artisans and her mother was known throughout Quebec for her "superb cuisine and her high standards of housewifery." She fed her family and she also fed the hungry in the soup kitchens of the parish.
For Thérèse's maman, making soup was a labor of love. It is for me, too.
Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)
6 cups chicken broth (I use Imagine brand)
1/2 small head of cauliflower, diced in a food processor, so pieces resemble grains of rice
5 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 tsp or more sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped parsley or mint for garnish
2. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes until cauliflower is tender
3. Beat eggs until frothy
4. Add 6 TBS of hot broth to the eggs, one TBS at a time, stirring after each addition.
5. Carefully pour egg mixture into simmering broth, stirring the whole time. Do not allow broth to boil, or eggs will curdle.
6. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley or mint
1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked over night in water and 1 TBS sea salt
6 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white part only, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 large zucchini, steamed and puréed, to make about 2 cups
3-4 large fresh tomatoes ( or frozen, and defrosted, if you've been lucky enough to preserve the bounty from your summer garden)
1 lb cabbage, sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp or more sea salt
Pepper to taste
1 cup baby kale, sautéed in 2 tsp olive oil, for garnish
1/2 cup grated Paleo mozzarella cheese (see Paleogram post, 12/30/15)
1. Heat olive oil in large pan and sautée leeks, carrots and celery until soft.
2. Add tomatoes, thyme and puréed zucchini; cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add cabbage, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the pumpkin seeds and purée 1/2 cup of them in 1/2 cup water. Add the whole pumpkin seeds and the puréed pumpkin seeds to the soup pot.
5. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook slowly for one hour. Add water if soup gets too solid, but soup should be thick. Taste and correct seasonings.
6. Ladle soup into bowls, then garnish with sautéed kale and grated Paleo mozzarella cheese and serve hot.
Super Easy Pumpkin Soup
2 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tsp sea salt
Small pinch of cayenne pepper
3 cups low sodium chicken broth (I use Imagine brand) or vegetable broth ( to make it vegan)
1 15-oz can organic pumpkin purée
3/4 cup canned organic coconut milk
2 TBS coconut sugar
1/4 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted in a frying pan or toaster oven
1. In large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion and apple until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt and cayenne pepper and cook for another minute.
2. Add broth and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add coconut milk and coconut sugar. Stir and then turn off heat
3. Purée soup with an immersion blender or purée in batches in a regular blender. In any case, reheat and serve hot, garnished with the toasted pumpkin seeds.