My sister just renovated her home, and she has a huge new kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances. While she enjoys entertaining, she confessed she had never learned the fundamentals of fine cooking. When a recent recipe called for a pasty blender, she knew about “pastry” and “blenders,” but she had no idea what this handy little accessory looked like.

As we begin a new year, I’m going to devote one week each month to host “Organic Cooking 101.” Each class, which will appear in this blog, will focus on seasonal organic foods, preparation techniques and helpful tips that will raise your culinary IQ. We’ll take one specific recipe and break it down into parts so you can master organic cuisine and incorporate our lessons into your everyday kitchen routine.

Class will be in session next week, Monday through Friday, with the goal of readying you to shop and prepare a special organic dish over the weekend. Our first week’s recipe is a Latin tomato and mushroom soup made from scratch—and perfect for a chilly winter evening. If you’ve never made homemade organic soup, I’ll demystify the process so you’ll have everything you need to succeed.

If you have questions along the way, post them here or email me at organic@journalist.com.

January’s Organic Authority Cooking School

When You Can’t Find Organic Ingredients…
Homemade Organic Tortilla Strips
Cooking with Organic Dried Beans
Hot Trend: Organic Chili Peppers
The Recipe: Latin Tomato and Huitlacoche Soup