A vegetable soup thick with greens, potatoes, carrots and squash is a great recipe for the winter holidays and, really, any time of year.
Makes 2½ quarts
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 cup onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, cut ¼ inch on the diagonal
4 carrots, peeled, sliced ¼ inch crosswise
1½ pound butternut squash, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 pound sweet potato, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 pound white potato, diced diced into 1-inch cubes
1 cup red or yellow peppers, seeded and diced
3 quarts vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium zucchini, sliced crosswise
2 medium yellow squash, sliced crosswise
2 cups baby spinach leaves, optional
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, minced
1) Heat oil on medium heat; add onion and celery, sauté until just tender. Add carrots, squash, potatoes, peppers and mix well. Add stock or water and bring to a simmer; cover and cook just until vegetables are fork tender. Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper and stir in zucchini and yellow squash slices. Cook 5 minutes. Don’t overcook vegetables if freezing.
2) Taste and adjust seasoning, add a bit of thyme or other favorite herb. Stir in baby spinach if using, garnish with parsley and serve.
Note: Freeze 2 cups soup in a 1 quart zip-top bag. Press out air bubbles; lay flat in the freezer to stack several together.
Joan Kekst lives and cooks in Cleveland.