Kick-ass soup

We’re getting into rainy, wintery weather (and for Northern California, that means temperatures in the 40s and 50s), and we’re trying to live as frugally as we can. So that means…soup!

Here’s a soup we made on Saturday night. And it was so good, we decided to eat it again for dinner tonight. It’s even better on the second or third day.

* 2 cups dried soup assortment (lentils, beans, barley, grains, etc, whatever your local bulk bin sells as “7-bean” or “12-bean” soup mix)
* Several root vegetables, peeled/chopped. We used a small unpeeled yukon gold potato, a rutabaga, and a parsnip. Probably 3-4 cups total.
* 2 celery stalks, coarsely diced (including leafy tops)
* 1 large carrot, coined
* 1/2 yellow onion, diced
* 6 cups broth or stock (chicken, vegetable, or other – we use water mixed with a concentrated stock base)
* 2 seasoned chicken sausages, coined (optional)
* 2 cups chopped spinach

Soak dried soup mix overnight in cold water or for 2 hours in hot water. Rinse and drain.
Prepare vegetables. If using sausage, sautee over medium heat in the bottom of a large soup pot, then add all of the vegetables (except for the spinach), stir.
When vegetables start to smell like they are cooking, add the broth or stock. Add rinsed, drained soaked bean/legume/grain mix.
Put lid on soup pot and let it simmer for 1.5-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Leave the lid off the pot for the last half hour or so to allow steam to evaporate and concentrate the soup a bit more.
Just before serving, add chopped spinach. Serve with biscuits, crusty bread, or other appropriate soup accompaniment.

Makes many large servings!

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