by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - West Linn Lutheran Church will be hosting a soup supper every Wednesday during Lent. They invite the public to join them, free of charge.Yesterday, Christians all over the world entered the reflective season of Lent. For the next 40 days they will scrutinize their lives, hoping to rediscover who they are and what God wants them to be, and then take action to become that being.

This is a time of fasting, prayer and almsgiving as well as penance and self-denial.

The 40 days of Lent represent the 40 days which, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent fasting in the desert, where he was tested time and again by Satan. Jesus overcame Satan’s temptations by citing scripture to the devil. When Satan finally admitted that Jesus would not fall, angels appeared to tend to Jesus and He was ready to begin his ministry. He clearly knew the path in front of him.

That is what Christians around the world will be focusing on for the next six-plus weeks. How can they become more Christ-like in their actions?

Many Christians “give up” something that perhaps has gained too much importance in their lives during Lent. Common Lenten sacrifices include giving up desserts, chocolate or alcohol; others might choose to quit gossiping.

Some Christians choose to take on a new spiritual practice as a form of penitence. Perhaps they wish to spend time each day reading the Bible or inspirational words or add an extra mile to their morning run. But even simple actions, such as being diligent in using reusable shopping bags, carpooling or recycling, can make a difference.

Almsgiving is also an important part of Lent. As a child I remember each year being issued a mite box, in which we collected coins earned by doing extra chores around the house. The boxes were collected at the end of Lent and the proceeds donated to a charity.

For some, donating money that they would ordinarily spend on coffee, lunches or movie tickets to worthy causes is a Lenten sacrifice.

A true Lent lies in following Jesus into your personal wilderness place, going somewhere were you have never gone before, to look at yourself clearly. In doing so Christians hope they will find renewal and inspiration and be filled with God’s spirit.

Our friends at West Linn Lutheran Church are honoring Lent with a series of community soup suppers. They have been participants of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors project for several years and recently supplied 25 West Linn families with Souper Bowl soup dinners on Super Bowl Sunday. I know they find this ministry as satisfying and fun as the recipients find it delicious. Now they are inviting you to join them during Lent for a Soup Supper each Wednesday, beginning Feb. 20.

They plan to begin with a worship service at 5:30 p.m. which will include songs and meditation, fellowship and teaching, and then share a soup dinner. I was told there has been quite a bit of practice and taste testing going on; and I know the soups and events are going to be wonderful.

Dinners are planned for Feb. 20 and 27, March 6, 13, 20 and 27 at the church, located at 20390 Willamette Drive. The soup suppers are open to the public and all are welcome, free of charge. You might want to let them know you are coming by calling 503-545-0110.

Kristen Wyatt, one of the talented soup chefs, shares this recipe today for Tortellini Soup. You can make it yourself or show up on Wednesday.

Bon Appetite! Eat something wonderful!

Tortellini Soup

Makes 6 servings

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini or tortellini of your choice

3 cups chopped fresh spinach

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

In a Dutch oven, sauté onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tortellini; cook for 7-9 minutes or until tender. Stir in the spinach, vinegar and pepper. Cook and stir until heated through and spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with cheese.

Submitted by Kristen Wyatt, soup chef with West Linn Lutheran Church

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281, ext. 101 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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