National Soup Month

January is National Soup Month. What better time than the cold days of winter to enjoy a steaming bowl of homemade soup? Serve soup for lunch or dinner with hearty bread and flavorful salad or as one of many courses in an elegant meal. Soup has few limitations. Vegetables - or not. Meat - or not. Pasta/rice - or not. Creamy, clear, chunky, smooth, spicy, mild, and so on and so on. Take your pick! Follow the recipes below or make alterations to create your own "favorite".

Vegetable Bean Soup
(in the Minestrone genre)

2 Tbl. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 stalks celery, diced

1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 14.5 oz. can sliced green beans, drained
1 15.5 oz. can cannelli beans
1 15.5 oz. can red kidney beans
2 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil over medium low heat in a large stock pot. Add onions, celery, and garlic. Sautee until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add stock, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Simmer over medium low for about 10 minutes.

3. Add remaining ingredients (tomatoes through pepper). Simmer over medium low heat, approximately 25 minutes.

Celery Leek Soup

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 tablespoons butter
1 bunch leeks, cut lengthwise and sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick

 1. Bring broth to a boil in a stock pot. Add potatoes and cook until

 2. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add leeks and celery. Cook
until tender, 8-10 minutes.

 3. Add celery/leeks to potatoes and broth. Stir in salt
and pepper. Add cinnamon stick. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

4. Remove cinnamon stick. Puree soup with hand blender or in very small batches in a blender; return to stock pot.

5. Stir in milk and nutmeg. Heat until hot, but do not boil.


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