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Vintage Recipes and Recollections


When I was growing up I was convinced there was another “special day” in January aside from New Year’s Day.  In our home the first Monday after the holidays was commonly known as New Diet Day. I was never sure if every household observed it or not but without fail on the morning of New Diet Day, Mom would be at the kitchen counter in deep concentration cutting out magazine or newspaper recipes extolling the virtues of healthy eating for the new year.  And like the recipe here they often came with helpful “at home” exercise tips that would be adhered to religiously – for at least a week or two.

New Diet Day wasn’t particularly the happiest day on the calendar for a young man who had yet to discover the delights of vegetables.  I knew with a resigned certainty that meals for the following weeks would highlight all manner of unfamiliar veggie matter in new versions of soups, stews and salads, before, in my opinion, we returned to a more balanced food routine.  I look back at some of those meals today with a new fondness and appreciation – they gave me a literal taste of how vegetables could be combined in new, interesting and really tasty ways.

Whether you use this recipe (that appears to have come from a grocery store handout and originally from one of the Best of Bridge books) to celebrate New Diet Day or not, it makes a terrific soup.  I’ve adjusted it’s proportions both increasing and decreasing ingredients without affecting it’s always tasty and satisfying result.

Enjoy – and Happy New Diet Day!

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