January 2021 Recipe of the Month

Winter Vegetable Soup

A simply wonderful soup! A nice way to start the new year after the indulgences of the holiday season. This recipe is from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, an excellent reference for everything from pie crust to vegetables to cuts of meat, how to make broth or cook an egg.
I have gifted a copy to both of my children and have continued to use mine for 20 years. –Carla J.


4 slices bacon, cut into 1 – inch pieces
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups finely diced leeks (white part and 1 inch green)
1 ½ cups finely diced celery
1 ½ teaspoons dried tarragon
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 cups chicken broth
2 ½ cups finely diced potatoes (4 potatoes)
1 pound tender spinach, well rinsed, stems discarded, cut into 1/8 – inch slivers
½ cup heavy or whipping cream

  1. In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over low heat, until fat is rendered, 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and discard.
  2. Add the butter to the pot. When it has melted, add the leeks, onions, and celery. Cook over low heat until wilted, 15 minutes. Season with the tarragon, thyme, and salt and pepper. Stir well.
  3. Add the stock and potatoes. Cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Add half the spinach. Simmer for 1 minute more.
  5. Remove soup from the heat. Puree half the amount in a blender or food processor and return the puree to the soup pot. This is where an immersion blender comes in handy!
  6. Place the pot over low heat and add the remaining spinach and the cream. Heat through, stirring well, but do not boil. Adjust the seasonings and serve.

6 portions