Exploring the Farmers’ Market
Spring has arrived and families are finally free to break out of the house and experience a few warm days outside together. One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is visit my local farmer’s market. Many of the markets that I’ve attended usually sell more than farm-grown goodies. You can find handmade items, such as soap, lotion, aprons, or crocheted beanies. You can also see a show for free! Local artists and dance groups come out to entertain their neighbors, and you learn that the people in your town know how to put on quite the show.
Shop Local & Fresh
The farmer’s market isn’t just a nice shopping and social experience. I love the fact that I can shop local and support my community all while having a great time. Even better than that, I am thankful that I can find such fresh and good quality foods. My son is only 8 months old, but I hope to instill a love for fresh foods and a an inquisitiveness that encourages him to always try new foods at least once.
I grew up going to my grandparents’ home every summer, and we had a garden right in the back yard. I learned how to pick peas, shell them, and then I had to wait anxiously to devour them while my Granny cooked them. My Papa seemed to know how to grow everything! Some summers the garden contained corn, pinto beans, or greens! My green thumb isn’t flourishing yet, so our farmer’s market is the next best thing to my Papa’s garden.
An Easy Veggie Soup Recipe
To make this seasonal veggie soup, grab what’s available at your farmer’s market. There’s no right or wrong way to create it, but I’ll let you know what works for me. It is a lot of fun because it’s like creating your own basket on Food Network’s show “Chopped.” Not to mention, exploring the farmer’s market is always a blast! Moms with older kids can let them in on the fun by having them help shop for the veggies at the farmer’s market, prep the vegetables, and create the soup together.
I typically use the rule of 2 when it comes to measuring:
– Onion, 2 big pinches – diced (about 1/4 of a medium onion)
– Tomato, 2 medium sized – chopped (I’ve seen some recipes include up to 4 cups of tomatoes, so include however many you prefer)
– Potatoes, 2 cups – chopped
– Corn, 2 ears – kernels removed
– Green beans, 2 cups – chopped
– Carrots, 2 cups – chopped
– Lemon, 2 big squeezes (from ½ of a nice sized lemon)
– Olive oil
– Vegetable or Chicken stock, 2 quarts (6 cups)
Other ingredients you could include:
Okra, Leeks (white part only), Garlic (to sauté with onion), Celery, Zucchini, Peas, Beans (like Lima or garbanzo/chick peas), Green pepper, and Cabbage.
The ingredients are really only limited by what your local farmer’s have to offer. You can include so many different veggies and make a variation of this soup that your family will be sure to love.
What to do:
– Clean your vegetables very well. Peel your carrots prior to chopping them. Other vegetable skins don’t need to be peeled.
– Sauté/sweat the onion in olive oil until it is transparent. If you include garlic, put it in with the onion as it cooks.
– Add the “tough” veggies and sauté them for about 5 minutes. These veggies include the potatoes, green beans, and carrots. Other veggies that could be added at this stage include zucchini, green pepper, etc.
– Add the stock, and turn the heat to high.
– Once the stock is boiling, add in the softer vegetables: corn and tomatoes. Add a few dashes of black pepper at this stage, too.
– Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot once all of the vegetable are in the soup.
– Cook until the vegetables are tender and done – about 30 minutes.
– Remove soup from the heat source, and squeeze in you
r fresh lemon juice (be careful of the lemon seeds)
– Salt to taste
Serve it fresh from the pot and enjoy your “farm to table” style veggie soup. Refrigerate the remaining soup and reheat for up to 5 days!
Addie, wife to Josh and mother of Greyson, is a Sustainable Life + Style + Mommy blogger at Old World New and Old World New Baby. She provides easy sustainable living tips and thrifty fashion inspiration through her blogs and social media platforms. You can follow along at the Old World New and Old World New Baby Facebook pages, as well as on Instagram @oldworldnew and @oldworldnewbaby.