First Advent Soup

First Advent Soup

First Advent Soup

When I was a child my mother had a special way of making soup. Being a gardener, my mother always served an abundance of home-grown vegetables at lunch and dinner. When the meal was over she placed the leftover vegetables in a 2-quart container and put them in the freezer. When the container was full, she made soup. She would add some diced potatoes, a ham bone or a few slices of smoked ham and a can of tomatoes. As I remember, that soup was as tasty as any I have eaten since. My mother’s soup was the inspiration for our First Advent Soup this year. After Thanksgiving I put away the turkey, and vegetables in a container. Cutting the turkey and green beans into bite size pieces before freezing them. I froze the stuffing, gravy and potato puree in separate containers. On the First Advent Sunday I started preparing the soup. I began with sautéed onions, added the turkey broth I had left over from braising our turkey. Then I added a bit of celery, some cubed potatoes, carrots, a cup of zucchini and a few dried Shiitake mushrooms to the pot along with the frozen Thanksgiving vegetables which I had set out to defrost. When the soup was done I added the potato puree and gravy to thicken to it. I served it with the left over stuffing which was eaten as a side dish or put into the soup. The soup was a big success. Everyone enjoyed it. The night was cold but the soup warmed our bellies and the table of friends warmed our hearts. Lighting the first candle of our Advent wreath we reflected on the joy of the Advent season and how lucky we are to have friends gathered around our table for soup.

The First Advent Soup


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup of zucchini, diced
  • 6 dried Shiitake mushrooms, hydrated and cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups (500 ml) of turkey broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 2 cup cooked turkey, cubed
  • Any left over vegetables from Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Enough water to cover vegetables
  • Potato puree and gravy to thicken
  • Salt and pepper


In a large soup kettle, saute onions in butter until lightly golden. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the puree potatoes and gravy. Add enough water to fill the kettle. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until potatoes are soft. Add potato puree and gravy to thicken soup. Adjust salt and pepper. Cook another 15 minutes. Serve hot with stuffing or a loaf of rustic whole grain bread.

Yields: 10 servings