Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Eve Shepherd's Meal

Christmas Eve Shepherd's Meal 

Serves 6-8Here is a simple, peaceful meal for Christmas Eve that helps us remember and honor the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the simplest Christmas Eve supper, and it’s one of our favorite traditions.
We just pull up the 
coffee table next to a crackling fire in the fireplace, cover it with a tablecloth, sit on the floor around the table and eat this simple meal (after popping English Crackers and putting on the paper crowns).

After dinner, we read Luke 2, and everyone gets to open one or two gifts from under the tree before going to bed. 
I tried to imagine what ingredients the shepherds would have had on hand and came up with this soup.

1 package Pita Bread, soft and thick2 bottles grape juice for drinking 

Shepherd’s Soup 

1 – 2 TBL olive oil
2 yellow onions, sliced in ¼-inch half moon wedges
3 – 6 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced
2 small sprigs Rosemary, fresh (or 1 tsp dried)
2 carrots, peeled and diced finely
2 cans white canellini or navy beans (or reconstituted beans)
2 quarts broth, either vegetable or chicken
Salt to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (for garnish)

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Wrap pita bread in foil and set aside to heat later.
  2. In the copper soup pot, sauté sliced onions in Tablespoon or two of olive oil until soft, about 5- 10 minutes.  Add minced garlic and heat until fragrant.
  3. Add rosemary and stir until fragrant.
  4. Add carrots, beans and enough broth to serve as many as you need. Simmer until carrots are tender.
  5. Put foil-wrapped pita bread in oven while soup is simmering.
  6. Ladle into soup bowl and drizzle in a few drops of olive oil and a shaving of cheese. Remove pita bread from oven and put in basket lined with a tea towel. Serve soup with the warmed pita bread for tearing and dipping into soup, and grape juice for drinking.

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