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February 26


Saint of the day:
St. Isabelle of France

Patron Saint of the sick

The Story of Saint Isabelle of France

Sister of St. Louis and daughter of King Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, she refused offers of marriage from several noble suitors to continue her life of virginity consecrated to God. She ministered to the sick and the poor, and after the death of her mother, founded the Franciscan Monastery of the Humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Longchamps in Paris. She lived there in austerity but never became a nun and refused to become abbess. She died there on February 23, and her cult was approved in 1521.









Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois

2 Pl. du Louvre, 75001 Paris, France





Tourin Soup

This traditional southwestern French garlic soup consists of large amounts of garlic, onions, roux, and stock or water. Egg whites and yolks are often added to tourin to thicken it. As garlic is both delicious and believed to have serious health benefits, this dish has understandably gained in popularity in recent times.

There is even a tourin cook-off each February in the town of Villeréal in the Lot-et-Garonne region, celebrating the expertise of local chefs in preparing this flavorful soup. In southern France, it is a tradition to serve the dish to newlyweds. 


  • 4 bulbs garlic

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 leeks, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • ⅓ cup dry sherry

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

  • salt to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Cut off top 1/4 inch of each garlic head. Place in a small, shallow baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until golden, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Press individual garlic cloves between thumb and finger to release. Chop garlic.

  2. Melt butter or margarine in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, leeks, and onion; saute until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add flour and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in hot broth and sherry. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

  3. Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor.

  4. Return soup to saucepan, and add cream. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and white pepper. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with chives. Serve the soup with crusty toasted bread.

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