In winter time in northern New England, local eating consists largely of root vegetables, cabbage, and squash. Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious ways to prepare them.
I get my winter vegetables from a farm stand in the next town over. It is the only one I know of that is open all winter. We also have several CSAs in the area that deliver a box of vegetables to their subscribers once a month during the winter. Another option is to buy vegetables in bulk from local farms in the fall and store them yourself. And of course, many people grow and store their own crops.
You can make a winter vegetable soup with any combination of storage vegetables that you like and have on hand. I have experimented with different combinations, and below I offer the favorite of all my experiments. I think it is the combination of celeriac and winter squash that creates a flavor I particularly enjoy.
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 t ground ginger
1 t turmeric
1/2 t cinnamon
1 small celeriac, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 medium potatoes, chopped
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
salt to taste
Saute the garlic and onions in a bit of oil until the onions are translucent. Add the spices and stir and saute for a few minutes more. Add the rest of the vegetables, the broth, and the canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until the vegetables are tender. Add water as needed, and salt to taste.
Turnips are also good in this soup. Kohlrabi would probably also work well, and sweet potatoes might make a good substitute for the squash. I think beets would completely change the nature of the soup. Have fun experimenting, and let us know how it turns out!
Local analysis for the soup I made this week:
Local – garlic (leftover from last fall’s CSA), onions, celeriac, carrots, potatoes, squash (from winter farm stand), vegetable broth (home made from vegetable scraps)
Non-local – spices, salt, canned tomatoes