As I am writing this, it is not November but early February. Some of my Sphere holiday issues got lost in piles on my desk and I didn’t find a few until now, so I need to catch up. This issue had such great ideas for Thanksgiving, but since it has passed, I decided to make a soup from a Perla Meyer article in this issue titled “Cold Weather Soups,” which is perfect for this snowy and cold February day. And I mean an arctic blast cold. The temperature with the wind chill this weekend is supposed to be about 20 below zero. The soups in the article consist of a broccoli soup with some smoked ham; a green vegetable soup with spinach, watercress, and sorrel; Tuscan dried mushroom soup; Viennese stuffed cabbage soup; Soup from Menton that has tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, basil paste, and broken pieces of spaghetti; Provencal Mussel Soup; White Bean-Oxtail Soup, Balkan Stuffed Pepper Soup; recipes for beef stock, fish stock, and chicken stock; and the soup I chose to make, Cream of Winter Vegetable Soup. I loved the name of it, but it also brought back memories of something my grandmother used to make for me as a snack to warm up when it was cold outside. She would sauté diced carrots, celery, and onions in butter, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot in a big bowl. I thought it was the best thing ever. I’m still not sure if my grandma knew she was making mirepoix, or it was just what vegetables she grew up with on her family farm in Iowa!
In addition to the carrots, onions, and celery, this delicious soup also has root vegetables of potatoes, parsnips, and turnips, all in a creamy soup where the vegetables are partly pureéd and with some cream added for richness. It’s not a fancy soup but filled with such goodness that I couldn’t get enough. My grandmother would have loved it. I hope you will too.
Here is what else you will find in this November 1978 issue, filled with dozens of tempting recipes for Thanksgiving. In a “Farmhouse Thanksgiving” the menu begins with a creamy pumpkin soup, buttermilk chive biscuits with an herb butter. The roast turkey with an herbed cornbread dressing is served alongside a cranberry-currant-walnut sauce, a green salad with a shallot vinaigrette, oven-braised parsnips and Brussels sprouts, and three kinds of tarts for dessert- Lemon, mincemeat, Victoria (chocolate) along with gingerbread.
For a special holiday buffet, the menu can begin with a delicious cranberry bog made with vermouth, club soda, and cranberry liqueur. The table is abundant with elegant fare such as Chicken Breasts in Chaudfroid, stuffed eggs with red salmon caviar, zucchini with lettuce-pecan filling, several kinds of salads, a tri-color fish terrine, roast prime rib of beef, and for dessert, a chocolate mousse torte, kiwi cookie tarts, a lemon Bavarian, and a Viennese Nut Roulade.
Bring a glow to wintry days with warm cups of spirited good cheer, such as a hot Bloody Mary, mint tea with crème de menthe, orange liqueur tea, hot buttered spiced brandy, Swedish Glogg, spicy Tom and Jerry’s, Russian coffee, and even a flaming drink with tawny port and brandy.
I love the article with cranberry ideas, sweet and savory: Sweet Potatoes with cranberries, cocktail meatballs with a sweet-sour glaze of jellied cranberry sauce, apricot preserves, and spices; a fabulous cranberry pie with a cream cheese layer, Cranberry Nut Pudding, Cranberry Cake, and Cranberry Clafouti.
Save these ideas for this year’s Thanksgiving but make the winter soup now and stay warm!
- 7 cups chicken broth (homemade preferred, or canned)
- 4 cups diced pared new potatoes
- 4 cups diced pared turnips
- 2 cups diced celery
- 1 cup diced pared carrots
- ½ cup sliced green onions with tops
- 1 large parsnip, diced pared
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- Heat chicken broth to boiling in a Dutch oven. Add vegetables and return to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove 2 cups of the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside. Place the remaining vegetables in a blender or food processor and pureé. Stir the pureéd vegetables back into the stock in pan; keep warm.
- In a small pan or skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Stir in a little of the stock to blend, then stir into pot and stir.
- Heat to boiling. Stir in cream and reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in reserved 2 cups of vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle minced parsley on each serving. Makes 8 servings.