Fresh Vegetable Soup
From the kitchen of Mary Lydon
Dunsany, Co. Meath, Ireland

2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Leek
1 Carrot
1 Potato
1 Onion
2 Celery Stalks
1 Tablespoon Frozen Peas
3 3/4 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Bouquet Garni*
Salt and Pepper to taste

Several of my soup recipes call for bouquet garni, which is a bundle of herbs tied with string that is removed before serving. I prefer to tie it up in cheesecloth trackingso I have no stray herbs in my finished product.

Wash, peel and chop vegetables. Heat butter and oil on medium heat. Add vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes (do not brown).

Add stock, seasonings and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes until vegetables are soft.

Remove bouquet garni and puree with blender or electric mixer. Serve in warmed soup bowls. Garnish with chopped chives or parsley if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

*Bouquet Garni:
1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs of thyme, 4 large sprigs of parsley (including stalks), one 4 inch piece of celery stalk with leaves, two 4 inch pieces of leek (green part) and 5 whole peppercorns.

Place the bay leaf, thyme, parsley and celery on one piece of green leek. Cover with remaining piece of green leek. Tie securely with fine string, leaving a length of string attached so that the bouquet garni can be easily retrieved.

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