Easy Veggie Soup…and Why It’s a Tough Time to be a Locavore

Finished Vegetable SoupI haven’t been posting many recipes lately.  It’s a tough time of year to be a locavore in my part of the world.  There is still snow on my lawn, and just last week the temperature dipped as low as -18 C with the wind chill (not average for this time of year, but definitely within the range of normal).  The first stalks of asparagus haven’t yet been harvested and greenhouse tomatoes are still a ways away.  I just used the last jar of tomatoes I canned in the fall and the salsa is almost at its end as well.  I can only subsist on maple syrup, freezer burnt pesto and stockpiled soups and chilis for so long, so I have been buying out of season produce more often.  It would be logical to assume the dead of winter is the toughest time to be a locavore, but in reality I find this time of year the worst!

Add to that, I think I’m coming down with a Spring cold (the change in weather always gets to me!)  Conveniently, along with the cold came a craving for vegetable soup, and I happened to have a plethora of sad looking root vegetables in my fridge.   The fresh cilantro and chili flakes gave it a slight Mexican twist that was a nice change from monotonous root veg!  Corn would have been delicious here if I’d had some.

Ingredients:

olive oil
2 cups vegetable ends/peels/trimmings (I save these in my fridge specifically for making broths, but you can also chop up the sorriest looking veg from the bottom of your fridge!)
peppercorns
sea salt
dried herbs – I used a bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and chili flakes
4 carrots
3 parsnips
3 stalks celery
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
3 red potatoes
1/4 cup white wine
fresh parsley and cilantro

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a pot on medium.  Add vegetable trimmings and saute 5-10 minutes.

2. Fill pot with water.  Add peppercorns, salt and dried herbs. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, chop vegetables.

3. Strain broth and discard solids.  Add vegetables and wine and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.  Add fresh herbs and serve.

Serves 4-6.

Vegetables for Soup Veg Soup Cooking Finished Vegetable Soup

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14 thoughts on “Easy Veggie Soup…and Why It’s a Tough Time to be a Locavore

  1. Really enjoyed reading your thoughts about the locavore commitment. Being homesteader types, we share the same commitment, although we grow our own instead of using a CSA. During Winter we rely on our pantry foods and since we grow our own meats, our pantry is lined with canned meat sauces, canned chicken, pork, beef, etc. Thankfully, we also have a freezer so we have foods put away there, too.
    In the dead of Winter, I often reflect on the hard times our ancestors had and I understand how root crops, foraging, and that “spring tonic” was so necessary. If we didn’t have foods that were put away for Winter use, we would be walking miles to forage, I fear.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog; just began following you. Your take on the ‘5 minute breadmaking’ was great. I have that book and yes, the ‘intro’ is anything but! 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment! I hope to grow my garden and my pantry this year, and eventually wean myself off of the CSA. The plan down the road is to buy land and produce our own food as much as possible. You have such great info on your blog, I’ll definitely be checking back to read more. Cheers!

  2. I agree, the end of winter is pretty much the worst time to try to eat locally, at least in the more Northern latitudes. The storage vegetables are running out (plus you’re tired of them) and the new spring vegetables have yet to arrive. This year, we’ve had such bad weather for so long that our CSA just informed us that all the crops are 6-8 weeks behind!

    • Ah, how disheartening! Last year was a really tough year for local food in my area because we were hit with extreme heat and drought for much of the spring and summer. This year seems to be better so far, hopefully things will balance out for both of us!

  3. Dang! I applaud you. I’m NOT disciplined enough to do what you do and I love ALL food way too much. lol Can locavores eat meat? I know that’s probably a silly questions but until your blog, I’d never even heard of a locavore! lol

    • I don’t eat completely local, I just do what I can. There are lots of non-local things I could never give up like chocolate, tea, avocados, lemons…I could go on! It’s a constant work in progress. And yes, locavores can definitely eat meat! In fact, I only eat meat that is locally and ethically raised. It’s so much tastier and healthier too 🙂

      • Oh I bet it is more tasty than meat you buy in the grocery store! I wish I had access to meat like that.

        You sound like a realistic locavore 🙂 LOVE the idea and maybe I COULD do what you’re doing if I could bend the rules a little. I do buy local as much as possible during the spring and summer but there aren’t any green houses that I know of around here.

        • Of course! Bend the rules as much as you need to 🙂 The winters are much tougher, for sure. We have a CSA that goes through the winter, so they grow in greenhouses and store root vegetables. We also started canning some stuff last year and will hopefully do more of that this year.

          • I LOVE to can! Did you know that you can reuse factory sealed jars and lids… like a pickle jar? They’ll reseal if you place them in a canner or hot water bath. Maybe that’s old news but you know how expensive it is to keep buying mason jars and lids and seals! I was SO excited when I learned this and it worked! You should try it if you haven’t already 🙂

          • Actually I just recently discovered that! I haven’t been keeping the lids because I’m leery about reusing them, but the first time a label fell off a jar of pasta sauce and I saw the word “Mason” down the side, I was pretty excited 🙂

          • I have used the lids over, just to try and see if it really did work. I wouldn’t allow my daughter to eat the salsa I’d canned using that lid but I did and I didn’t get sick even with my terrible digestive system! lol Neither did my husband. You can actually hear the lids reseal, just like a brand new mason lid and seal. I sure wouldn’t do this with anything other than a factory lid (not a mason lid or seal). I’ve actually read other articles where professionals talk about how these lids really do reseal. It’s worth a try!

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