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Catholic Recipe: St. Nicholas Soup


  • 2 leeks or onions
  • 5 medium carrots
  • 2 turnips
  • 5 potatoes
  • 1/2 head medium cabbage
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more, according to taste)
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1/3 cup chervil, minced
  • croutons
  • Details

  • Serves: 6-8
  • Prep Time: 1-1 1/2 hours
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin:

Also Called: Potage Saint-Nicholas

Saint Nicholas, a bishop of Myra in the fourth century, is one of the best-loved saints in both the Eastern and Western churches. He was the original "Santa Claus," and in many countries of Europe presents were exchanged on December 6, his feast day. From Europe the lovely custom of giving gifts during the Christmas season came to America. Because the feast of Saint Nicholas usually falls within the first week of Advent, he is considered an Advent saint who joyfully points toward the coming of the Lord. Today, in some European monasteries, his feast is celebrated with revivals of medieval plays about his life. Cook this delicious vegetarian soup to celebrate his great feast.


1. Peel and dice the vegetables. Shred the cabbage.

2. Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add the vegetables, salt, and stir. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Add the water and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to medium, cover the pot, and cook slowly for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir from time to time.

4. When the soup is done, puree in a blender until it is creamy and smooth. Serve hot, garnished with chervil and croutons.

Recipe Source: From a Monastery Kitchen: The Classic Natural Foods Cookbook by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette, Gramercy Books, 1997
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