Mixed Vegetable Soup



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 leeks, white parts only, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 carrots, sliced
1⁄2 pound potatoes, peeled and coarsely cubed
2 zucchini, diced
1 quart chicken stock
1⁄2 pound spinach, washed and chopped
2 tablespoons basil
chiffonade for garnish (optional)

Yield: 4 servings


Warm 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot. Sweat the onion, add the leeks, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the carrots, potatoes, zucchini, chicken stock, and spinach. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender. Purée in a food mill and serve with a drizzle of remaining oil and the basil, if using. Note: In the summer, this soup can be served cold. Remove it from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving. Add a drizzle of lemon juice and replace the basil with fresh mint or cilantro.