December: Black Bean & Vegetable Stew

Recipes are everywhere you look – I found the recipe for this black bean and vegetable stew on back of a can of black beans. Since then, it has become a winter staple because it uses your favorite ingredients or whatever you have on hand. Seriously, I cannot emphasize how easy, delicious and versatile this soup is; it’s a great beginner recipe, and it will feed an army.

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June: Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Many classic Hungarian flavors appear in this creamy mushroom soup, such as paprika, onion, dill, sour cream and lemon. This recipe is a version of the traditional gombaleves, which predictably translates into “mushroom soup.” It’s similar to a cream of mushroom soup because it uses a flour roux stirred into the soup as a thickener, but it’s a far cry from the cans of Campbell’s mushroom soup that you would find on the grocery store shelves.

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May: Vegan Pho Broth

Outside of Vietnam, Seattle is one of the best places to find authentic pho noodle soup. In fact, the world’s largest bowl of pho can be found in the city’s International District! Dating back to the early 1900’s, pho is traditionally made with beef broth and rice noodles, and filled with a combination of vegetables, tofu, meat and garnishes. This savory veggie pho broth is filled with aromatic spices, and can be frozen to use as soup stock for any number of vegetarian recipes.

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January: Lentil Soup with Cumin and Lemon

I have a huge 3-ring binder filled with recipes that I collect: magazine pages from the doctor’s waiting room, labels torn from a can of beans, online articles and printed for inspiration or written down on scraps of paper. Some I have already tried and loved, but the rest I keep “just in case” of… what? The next time someone asks me, “Can you please bring this very specific dish that you’ve never made before?” That’s never going to happen. So in 2019, I’m going to dig through my binder and finally try all the recipes that I’ve been saving up.

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September: Barley Soup and Brussels Sprouts with Béchamel

It’s 11 AM on the morning of September 1, which means that the Hogwarts Express is leaving Kings Cross station right now, bringing eager young witches and wizards to another year of school. One of the ways J.K. Rowling is able to paint such a rich, detailed picture of this fictitious universe is by using food – Harry, who has never known an abundance of food, suddenly experiences sumptuous feasts, holiday treats and hearty meals. I love this cookbook because it emphasizes how intertwined food and literature are, and the best meals are made with love and shared with others.

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