A Not So Fat Tuesday

By on 6 March, 2011 in Cooking, Davena McRae, Food with 4 Comments

Fat Tuesday marks the end of indulgence and the beginning of sacrifice. I observe Lent, mostly to challenge myself. I will stop eating out (saving money and calories) and cook five nights a week. Even though I make a living cooking food, by the time I come home, I am often less than thrilled to have to cook another meal, especially if I’m unable to submit an invoice for doing so.

Last year, I decided to give up cream in my coffee. I survived, barely. My husband gave up red meat. We celebrated Fat Tuesday by enjoying a meal of filet mignon with a gorgonzola cream sauce. This year, we thought it best to ease into Lent by giving our bodies a glimpse of what was to come, instead of alerting them to deprivations ahead. We have decided to flip the script on Fat Tuesday. We will celebrate the bounty of early spring while continuing to ease out food that doesn’t make us feel our best.

We will think of this Lent not as giving up something, but as reclaiming better eating habits, ones that we will be happy to continue embracing, even after Lent has come and gone.

Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Davena’s “More Like Phat Tuesday” Veggie Soup:

* medium onion, chopped
* 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
* 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
* 1 tablespoon tomato paste
* 1/2 pound sweet potato, peeled and cubed (1/2 inch)
* 1/2 pound Yukon Gold or boiling potatoes, peeled and cubed (1/2 inch)
* 2 cups vegetable stock
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1/2 LB. asparagus tips
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Cook onion with bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon salt in oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute, then add sweet potato, Yukon Golds, broth, water, pepper. Simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Puree 1 cup soup in a blender, and return to pot. Bring to a simmer, then stir in asparagus and dill and cook until asparagus is heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Davena McRae is a chef and cooking class instructor living in Montgomery, Alabama.  She is the mother of  three dogs and the wife of one man.

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Katie Rose says:

    Can’t wait to try this one!

  2. Elizabeth Brown says:

    I don’t like the taste of dill. What other herb would you suggest? Or just leave it out?

    • davena mcrae says:


      The dill in this recipe is very subtle. However, If you can’t stomach it, try flat leaf parsley or scallions.


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