There it sits, in all its glory — an 18 pound turkey. Stuffed to bursting and full of flavors that you think about the rest of the year.
But what if some of your holiday guests will not eat anything that is so unquestionably delicious?
With two vegetarian sons, that was a question that needed to be answered. It was time to add another dish to our holiday table that was simple, satisfying and welcomed by all.
I looked around and decided that a squash and leek soup was the way to go. To be honest, we — that means everyone in our immediate family — have all turned toward more of a plant-centered diet. And I am always searching the internet for interesting veggie recipes.
But this recipe comes from an old standby, “The Joy of Cooking,” a culinary classic that I’ve use as a basic reference for nearly 40 years. It’s an easy recipe with a big payoff. There are various subtle tastes in here that combine to please the palate of anyone at your table, regardless of whether or not they they’ll be eating the turkey.
We serve it at the beginning of the meal. Not too much, about three-quarters of a cup per person does the trick. Then you move on to the rest of the feast.
Generally, our squash soup is a little thicker but you can adjust the vegetable and broth ratios to your own taste. Also, we use a stick blender for that portion of the cooking process.
We use vegetable stock but chicken broth is also an option. Vegetable oil can be used instead of butter. We prefer butter. If you like, you can add more butter than what’s listed in the recipe. Believe me, no one will complain.
This story first appeared in the Chronicle’s annual Holiday Guide in the Dec. 1 print edition.