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More Hearty Vegetarian Soup

Everyone I know is sick: my husband, my dogs, the kids at school. They have a merciless cold that won’t let go, and they keep breathing near me. We’ve reached the point in winter when the snow has gone from fluffy and cute to rock-hard and brown.

It’s time for soup!

I’ve been craving something rich, creamy, and comforting, something that will fill me up and ward away the cooties. I decided to take my basic any-vegetable soup recipe and make it decadent.

Potatoes pureed with broth give the soup a hearty base that is dairy-free and low-fat. Beans, carrots, parsnips, and kale offer a lively variety of texture and color. This is an adaptable recipe, and you could experiment with other root vegetables or leafy greens. The seasoning is mellow and warming, and even better the next day after the flavors have developed.

Curl up with your box of tissues and a mug of soup, and wait out the remainder of the winter.

Creamy Winter Vegetable Soup

2½ cups chopped potatoes

3 cups vegetable broth

1 onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

2 parsnips, sliced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

5 cups water

1 cup cooked, rinsed white beans

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon salt

lots of freshly ground black pepper

4 leaves kale roughly torn, about 4 cups

Bring the potatoes and broth to a boil in a soup pot. Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a fork. In a blender, puree the potatoes and broth.

Leave the potato puree in the blender while you lightly brown the onions and garlic in olive oil for 7-8 minutes.

Add the carrots, parsnips, oregano, and thyme, and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the water, potato puree, beans, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the kale. Let the soup simmer for 5 more minutes. Top with more ground pepper.

Serves 4.

Mary Lake is a writer, teacher, columnist for MF&L, and vegetarian blogger: Mitten Machen

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