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 Creamy Basque Vegetable Soup

4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
2 leeks, both white and pale green parts, cut into 4 or 5 pieces,
2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
1 bunch spinach
6 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
Croutons for garnish (optional)

1. In a large saucepan or stockpot, combine the potatoes, leeks,
carrots, and spinach with the water and bring the contents to a boil over high
Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, until the root
vegetables are fork-tender. Add the oil and season to taste with salt.
Cook for about 5 minutes longer so the flavors blend.

2. Puree the mixture in a blender, food processor, or food mill (you
may have to do this in batches). Return the puree to the pot and gently
reheat it. Ladle into shallow soup bowls and serve, garnished
with croutons, if you like.
Notes:  I also like this one garnished with thinly sliced fresh spinach or
diced fresh tomatoes.

Serves 6.


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