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What better way to celebrate winter than with a hot bowl of delicious comforting soup to warm your bones.


From Babusya’s Kitchen, Recipes for Living & Eating Well in Ukraine

1 large beet (or two small ones), peeled and grated
1 chicken leg on bone
2 medium whole tomatoes
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 medium onion, chopped
2 T sunflower oil
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 or 2 green peppers, sliced
2-3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 handful dried white beans, pre-soaked overnight
1 bouillon cube, optional
1 spoonful tomato paste
3 C thinly sliced cabbage
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh dill
Sour cream (smetana), for serving Pampushkey, for serving (traditional Ukrainian garlic rolls)

If the beet is hard in the fall or winter, boil it for 45 minutes to one hour the evening before until it’s medium soft.

In large soup pot with 6-8 cups of cold water, place the chicken leg and bring water to boil.

Wash tomatoes and add to the boiling water, whole.

Boil for 15 minutes, remove the tomatoes and chicken.

When the tomatoes are cool, peel them and chop roughly.

Clean the chicken off the bone, don’t discard the bone, set both aside

Meanwhile, peel and grate softened beet.

In frying pan, heat oil and fry grated beets, carrot, and onion for 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, add sliced green pepper and sauté for 5 minutes more.

Add potatoes to chicken stock, along with bone, and handful of soaked white beans.

Simmer for 5 minutes, until potatoes are softened but keep their form.

Add the fried vegetable mixture, tomato paste, chopped boiled tomatoes, and chicken pieces to the pot.

Simmer for 15 more minutes, then add the sliced cabbage, parsley, and dill.

Simmer for 10 more minutes, and then remove the bone.

Serve with a holiday dollop of smetana (sour cream) and pampushkey.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

From Ellen Miller-Goins

“This is the best soup I’ve ever had,” my niece Helena exclaimed after dinner one night. She is a thoughtful dinner guest, but there is a reason I go back to this and other favorites from the original Moosewood Cookbook: It is full of delicious vegetarian recipes even a meat-eater can love. (I am not a vegetarian – I love a green chile cheeseburger as much as the next person – but Mollie Katzen could make a convert out of anyone. Seriously.)

The Moosewood Cookbook has since been revised to include low-fat versions of its recipes.
Whole milk, sour cream, cheese, butter… many of these recipes are far from low-fat. The “Rarebit” – an old-fashioned Welsh cheese sauce spiked with beer – is, perhaps quite literally, to die for. The “Cream of Spinach Soup” made a vegetable eater out of my vegetable-shy son, William. This one – “Cauliflower Cheese Soup” -is warm, delicious, and filling on a winter day. I have altered the original recipe to suit my tastes. Check out the Moosewood Cookbook for the unaltered version.

2-3 large potatoes, peeled, and diced
1 large cauliflower, stems removed and florets separated
(I’ll use frozen cauliflower in a pinch.)
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 C onion, chopped
1 1/2 t salt
4 C vegetable stock or water
1-1/2 to 2 C grated cheddar cheese (I like extra sharp)
3/4 C milk (try using unsweetened veggie milk, such as oat milk or almond milk)
1 t fresh dill (or 1/4 teaspoon dried dill)
1/4 t dry mustard
Black pepper

Place the cauliflower florets, potato, carrot, garlic, onion, salt and water into a pot. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.**

Puree with a high speed blender (like a DASH, VitaMix, Blendtec, etc.), or in batches in a regular blender.

Return the soup to the pot. Add cheddar cheese, milk, dill and mustard. Season to taste with black pepper and salt.

Optional: Serve with grated cheddar cheese or shredded parmesan cheese, diced chives and crusty bread.
*Once again, I want to tout the joys of cooking with an Instant Pot. With this useful tool for high-altitude cooking, the vegetables cook in a minimal amount of time. Mushroom Barley Soup This recipe was sent to us by Linda Friedman, who found the recipe on Epicurious.com. She said it was one of her family’s favorite soups. 1/2 ounce dried Polish mushrooms or dried porcini mushrooms

6 T unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery with leaves, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
1 T all-purpose flour
1 quart low-sodium beef broth*
3/4 C barley, rinsed
2 t kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

*Using a blend of fresh or dried mushrooms is also nice.

Try shiitake, cremini, or button.

Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover them with 2 cups of boiling water.

Allow them to soak for 1 hour.

Strain the mushrooms through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl. Reserve the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and set aside.

Melt butter in a large, heavy stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Add onions and sauté until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add garlic and sauté about 2 more minutes.

Add fresh mushrooms, celery, carrot, and half of the parsley, and sauté until the mushrooms are golden and the celery and carrots are beginning to soften, about 10 minutes.

Stir in flour until well blended.

If you use dried mushrooms, stir in mushroom soaking liquid, soaked mushrooms, beef broth, and 4 cups of water.

Stir in the barley, salt, and pepper to taste.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until the barley is tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.

If the soup is too thick, add a little more water.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with remaining parsley before serving.

*[Editor’s note: If you are vegetarian, try substituting a mix of soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s Aminos for the beef broth with a bit of nutritional yeast (do NOT cook with Brewer’s yeast, it isn’t tasty!)]

Vegetarian Green Chili Stew

From Ellen Miller-Goins

First, a caveat: I live at 8,750 feet (about 2,667 meters) above sea level, so I always use an instant pot. If you are cooking everything on a stovetop, your cooking times will vary.

4 Yukon Gold potatoes – thick chunks
4 carrots – thick chunks
3 medium stalks celery – chopped
2 medium onions – chopped
4 garlic cloves – diced
1 box (about 10 oz) cremini mushrooms
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1 – 2 T olive oil (or butter or water)
1 – 2 pounds roasted green chili peppers – chopped
2 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t dried sage
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (or use fresh tomatoes to taste)
Fresh-ground pepper to taste
Salt to taste (optional)

Optional additions:
2 large zucchini – whole
1 cauliflower, cut into large florets
2 C (or two cans) white beans
2-3 Chipotle Peppers (canned in adobo sauce)

Place potatoes, carrots, celery, onions and garlic in an Instant Pot, large saucepan, or stock pot with 4 cups vegetable stock. Cook until tender (I do 4 minutes on the “soup” setting of my Instant Pot).

Meanwhile, in a large pot sauté mushrooms in butter, oil (or water) for 5 minutes.

Add spices, sauté for a few minutes more, then add tomatoes and green chile and continue to sauté over low to medium heat until tender.

Add to vegetables in Instant Pot.

Continue to simmer until done.

(The longer it simmers, the more the flavors meld.)

Variation: My son, William hates squash and beans so I have taken to adding the squash whole (and sometimes the cauliflower, too) at the top of the instant pot then puréeing them (after cooking) with the white beans and two or three chipotle peppers (the kind that come canned in adobo sauce) with a high speed blender (like a DASH, VitaMix, Blendtec, etc.), or in batches in a regular blender, before adding to the stew. As a bonus, this adds a lovely, creamy texture to the stew.

Serving suggestions:
Choose from among the following: avocado slices, guacamole, thick, creamy yogurt, grated cheese, goat cheese, fresh tomatoes, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, salsa, tortillas (whole wheat or corn) or cornbread (I make it fresh using gluten-free flour).