Gros Souper is the traditional Provencal family meal held before midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The seven meatless courses are meant to symbolise Mary’s labor pains. The dishes are to be prepared ahead of time or made with a minimum of effort on Christmas Eve, so the family can relax and spend time together. As more families adopt modern customs, the classic Grrs Souper menu changes. These recipes are a mix of both the old and new. Bon Appetit and Joyeux Noel!
In other parts of France, Christmas... Eve is generally known as the Reveillon and the dinner on this night would be significantly different to the one here and would most certainly include meat.
01 of 07Salt cod is a large part of the light Christmas Eve dinner. Sometimes is it served plain, but most often it is offered up as part of a light dish like brandade canapes or served alone with simple accompaniments, like bread and vegetables.
02 of 07
White Bean Puree Recipe
White bean puree is a wonderful dish to serve with raw vegetables on Christmas Eve. It takes less than five minutes to prepare and the herbes de Provence accent the silky white beans with understated elegance. Use as a dip with fresh vegetable pieces.
03 of 07
This is the ultimate make-ahead dish, perfect for Christmas Eve! The brilliance of making your own marinated olives is that you alone can customise the flavor of the dish. Take out an ingredient here and add one there… you have your own special blend!
04 of 07
Chestnut Soup with Creme Fraiche Recipe
Most Gros Souper menus include a light vegetable soup, usually made from a light broth or vegetable puree. Here, we’ve livened it up a bit by including a creative, yet very fitting, chestnut soup enriched with cream.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07This traditional vegetable stew originated as a poor man’s dish in Nice. This version lightly caramelizes the onions and peppers before adding them to the rest of the dish, giving it a fantastic complex flavor without much additional effort. It is a perfect addition to the holiday table.
06 of 07Braised halibut is an easy dish that features the bright flavors of Provence: garlic, shallots, fennel, tomatoes, olives, and fresh sage. Serve it, along with a healthy serving of the pan sauce, over couscous or rice.
07 of 07Creamy and comforting, this cauliflower gratin recipe features a classic Béchamel sauce punched up by just a little bit of fresh thyme. This gratin is a classic at Provencal tables, and is often served for the traditional meatless Christmas Eve dinner, gros souper.