January 9th is National Cassoulet Day (boy, they’re really pushing it with these celebrations days). What is cassoulet you ask? Why, only one of the tastiest casserole dishes the French have ever thought up! A traditional dish from the south France; cassoulet is a mixture of beans and meats, typically including duck confit, mutton, and sausage, that is slow cooked in a vessel called a cassole. Think of it as the best baked bean dish you’ll ever have in your life.
While there are many vegetables that can be overwintered, or planted in the early spring, members of the allium family (such as leeks, scallions, and garlic) make a great addition to the soup pot. Add to them new potatoes, and you have one of my favourite soups: potato-leek soup. Potato leek soup is great either hot or cold, in rain or in sunshine. Leeks, after all, are the national vegetable of Wales- a country that is known for its rather drizzly, temperamental climate.