Christmas Eve Soup

2 onions
4-5 stalks celery
5-6 carrots
Half head of a small cabbage – sliced thin
1 large cans sauerkraut
1 small can diced tomatoes OR
Ryan’s leftover tomato sauce
2-3 ounces porcini dried mushrooms
2 boxes chicken stock
Water to fill pot

1. Soak mushrooms in cool water overnight
2. Drain, rinse and dice mushrooms; set aside
3. Sauté diced vegetables in 1Tablespoon oil until softened.
4. Drain sauerkraut and chop into small pieces
5. Place vegetables, mushrooms, sauerkraut and tomatoes in large stockpot.
6. Add chicken stock and fill with water.
7. Bring to a boil and simmer at least 4 hours
8. Make roux; = parts of flour and butter to thicken the soup.

This is the soup my mother used to make and my sisters and I continue to make every Christmas Eve. Mom used to add prunes and white beans. I don’t.

Mom did not remember making it this year; but when we discussed how she and dad used to pick the wild mushrooms and then dry them in the cellar, some of her memories came back. We discussed Uncle John’s sheep’s head mushroom and how she and dad used to recognize the good mushrooms in the fields. If the bugs ate them they were good enough for us. -(If not leave them alone)

2008 was the best soup ever.
I did not have a can of diced tomatoes to add to the soup this year because Ryan used them all to make his great tomato sauce. The left over pasta sauce went into the soup. -It was great. It was so full of vegetables that I did not add the roux.

Mom always made a dark roux to thicken the soup. Depending on how you like soup – (I like it brothy) and how much soup you’ve made – the amounts of flour and butter will vary. I start with 3 Tablespoons each. Melt the butter, and then add the flour, stirring constantly. Let it cook awhile to cook out the flour taste. Then add to the soup. Bring the soup back to a boil to thicken. If not thick enough – repeat the process.

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