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Jan. 29, Feb. 26, April 29, May 20, Oct. 7, 2012; 5-7 p.m. at 1323 Quincy Street NE

Read about the Souposiums  - Watch videos of our speakers Find soup recipes 

First Sunday Souposium: An Evening of Franciscan Fellowship
Franciscan. Fellowship. Food. These three words sum up FMS’ inaugural Sunday Souposium on the evening of January 29. Almost 40 religious and lay people gathered in the comfortable setting of Casa San Salvador for FMS’ newest celebration of Franciscan community and ministry.

The evening centered around a presentation by Sr. Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF on “Francis in His Time, Franciscan in Our Time.” Sr. Margaret Mary, who serves as a board member of Franciscan Action Network and the Washington Theological Union, and directs Catholic Church relations at Bread for the World, talked about what it means to live today as St. Francis did. Highlights of her talk included stories from her 48 years as a Franciscan Sister of Allegany. Excerpts can be found on our YouTube channel.

After the talk, participants broke into small groups to discuss the topic, “What is ours to be, what is ours to do?” Participants shared that the small group conversations were enriching and a good way to meet new people.

All Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted people are invited to this regular Franciscan social event, which we plan to hold regularly at Casa San Salvador. We hope to create an inclusive atmosphere in which guests can share their ideas on and hopes for Franciscan life, ministry and spirituality.

The Souposium is part of FMS’ natural evolution as an organization. For more than 20 years, FMS’ ministries have drawn members from all branches of the Franciscan family. Our lay missioners live and serve alongside vowed Franciscans from all three orders, and Franciscans of all types have been instructors in our formation program.

The inaugural gathering featured donated breads and desserts, and three kinds of soup made by our own Development Director/trained chef, Br. Paul O’Keeffe, OFM. Recipes for the soups are available below.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Br. Paul, paul@franciscanmissionservice.org, 202-832-1762, ext. 7.

Br. Dan Horan, OFM, lead a short reflection titled, "What Does it Mean to 'Date' God? Prayer as Relationship in the Franciscan Tradition."  Br. Dan is a member of Holy Name Province studying at Holy Name College Seminary in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The idea of "Dating" God is a rather unusual concept. For many people such an image can be a challenge or even a problem, just as images used to describe God throughout the Christian tradition ("Father," "Friend," "Lover," etc.) assist the spiritual lives of some, while hindering the pilgrimage of prayer and faith for others. In this reflection, Br. Dan shared what he means by this new image for imagining one's relationship with God as it is presented in his new book, Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2012), and explained how it ties into the rich and inspiring Franciscan tradition. Central to appreciating this different way of viewing spirituality is an embrace of the notion that our prayer can be more than something we simply do, but could be imagined as a more dynamic relationship with the Divine.

In honor of Earth Day, guest speaker Patrick Carolan, executive director of Franciscan Action Network, lead short reflection on what St. Francis and other Franciscans can teach us about caring for the environment and creation. He encouraged attendees to imagine how we could create heaven here on Earth.

Marie Dennis, a secular Franciscan and co-founder of the Assisi Community, lead a reflection on "Mission as Peacekeeping."

Marie is a recognized leader among Catholics committed to peace, social justice and ecological integrity. She is the current co-president of Pax Christi International, the global Catholic peace movement, and is the former director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. Marie has traveled extensively, received numerous awards and has been involved in a wide number of organizations and projects including the White House Task Force on Global Poverty and Development

January's Soups: Cream of Mushroom - Chicken, Fennel and Parsnip - Carrot and Ginger
February Soups: Broccoli Cheddar - Moroccan Lentil
April Soups: Corn and Cheese Chowder - Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
May: Clam Chowder

Br. Paul’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 6 cups sliced fresh mushrooms ( I use Portobello or Crimini)

  • 3 cups beef or vegetable broth

  • 3/4 cup chopped white onion

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or ½ teaspoon fresh thyme)

  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup light cream or half-and-half

  • ¼ cup cream sherry or Port wine


In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter and sauté onions and sliced mushrooms until half cooks, stirring often for about 20 minutes. Add broth and thyme, bring to a boil and the reduce heat to simmer. Reduce liquid by about a quarter by simmering for 30-45 minutes. Add cream, salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce again and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Add sherry. Allow soup to cool slightly and then in blender or food processor puree half of the mixture. Return to stove and mix blended soup with unblended portion. Heat again and serve with bread or croutons.

Br. Paul’s Chicken, Fennel, and Parsnip Soup

  • 3 quarts low-salt chicken broth

  • 4 carrots, thickly sliced

  • 1 large onion, peeled, rough cut

  • 3-4 stalks of fennel, thickly sliced, reserve fennel fronds for garnish

  • 3 large parsnips, thickly sliced

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper corns, salt to taste

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, whole


Sauté onions, carrots, fennel, parsnips in butter for about five minutes on high heat, or until they begin to get translucent. Add chicken breasts, broth, pepper corns, salt, bay leaves and bring to a boil. Every so often skim the foam that will rise to the top and boil for fifteen minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Remove breasts and let them cool. Simmer soup an additional 30- 45 minutes on low heat. Break up chicken into pieces (either cut or pulled into bite-sized pieces) Return chicken to soup and warm through. Add parsley and fennel fronds just
before serving.

Br. Frank’s Carrot and Ginger Soup

Thank you to Br. Frank Critch, OFM for sharing this recipe with Br. Paul for our first Souposium!.

  • 1 Tbsp butter

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • I large onion diced

  • 1 cup celery diced

  • 2 cups carrot diced

  • 1/4 cup peeled and chopped ginger.

  • 2 Tbsp curry

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

  • 2 lbs sweet potato chopped

  • 2 granny smith apples, cored, peeled and chopped

  • 2 roasted red peppers chopped

  • 1 cup orange juice

  • 2 cups of chicken broth

  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and ginger. stir and cook until the onions are softened.  Add curry powder and cayenne and stir for about one minute to flavor the vegetables. Add sweet potato, apples, red peppers, Orange juice and chicken broth,  salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat until all the vegetables and apples are soft, about 30 minutes. Cool and then puree in batches in blender or puree with an immersion blender. Add more juice and broth if needed.  Garnish with cream, apple slices or whatever hits your fancy. (Serves 8)

Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup (February)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped

  • 3/4 cup chopped white onion

  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 2 cups half-and-half

  • 2 cups chicken stock or bouillon

  • 1/2 pound fresh broccoli

  • 1 cup carrots, julienned

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese


Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half . Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

Moroccan Lentil Soup (February)

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • 6 cups water or beef stock

  • 1 cup red lentils

  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained

  • 1 (19 ounce) can cannellini beans

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup diced carrots

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

  • 1 teaspoon Rus El Hanoot

  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. In large pot saute; the onions, garlic, and ginger in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the water, lentils, chick peas, white kidney beans, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, garam masala, cardamom, cayenne pepper and cumin. Bring to a boil for a few minutes then simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or longer, until the lentils are soft.

  3. Puree half the soup in a food processor or blender. Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir and enjoy!

Corn and Cheese Chowder (April)

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

  • 4 Tablespoons 1/2 stick butter

  • 1 whole onion, chopped

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into pieces

  • 3 whole bell peppers, finely diced (red, Yellow, Orange)

  • 5 ears corn, kernels sliced off

  • 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth

  • 2 cups half-and-half

  • 1 cup (heaping) grated Monterey Jack

  • 1 cup (heaping) pepper jack

  • 1/3 cups sliced green onions


In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions for a couple of minutes. Add bacon and cook for another minute or so, then add diced bell peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. Finally, add corn and cook for a minute. Sprinkle flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in broth and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Stir in half-and-half, then cover and allow to simmer/thicken for 15 minutes or so. Stir in cheeses and green onions. When cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup (April)

Recipe from All Recipes

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 (1 pound) package frozen pepper and onion stir fry mix

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 3 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained

  • 4 (14 ounce) cans vegetable broth

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn

  • 12 ounces tortilla chips

  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the pepper and onion stir fry mix, garlic, and cumin, and cook 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Mix in the tomatoes and chile peppers. Pour in the broth, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes. Mix corn into the soup, and continue cooking 5 minutes. Serve in bowls over equal amounts of tortilla chips. Top with cheese and avocado.

Clam Chowder (May)

  • 3 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams

  • 1 cup minced onion

  • 1 cup diced celery

  • 2 cups cubed potatoes

  • 3/4 cup butter

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 quart half-and-half cream

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • ground black pepper to taste


Drain juice from clams into a large skillet over the onions, celery, and potatoes. Add water to cover, and cook over medium heat until tender. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth, cook for 5 minutes without allowing it to brown. Whisk in cream and stir constantly until thick and smooth. Stir in vegetables and clam juice. Heat through, but do not boil. Stir in clams just before serving. If they cook too much they get tough. When clams are heated through, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.

Franciscan Mission Service
P.O. Box 29034
Washington, DC 20017-0034

T: 202-832-1762 | F: 202-832-1778