All I crave in winter are soups and stews. Over the last two weeks, I've made a couple of mostly local soups for my Eat Local Challenge. I was very happy to see that my year-round farmers' market still has a nice selection of produce in January. I had some leftover celery from a previous trip to the market, and I picked up some onions and this beautiful bunch of carrots to add to a lentil soup. I used the potatoes for a separate soup. And the cheese was just a special treat for me!
Lentils (An exception that I listed in my original post; I wanted to reserve the right to use beans and legumes in my Challenge meals)
Celery (farmers' market)
Carrots (farmers' market--such a sweet and pure taste! I wish I could grow carrots myself)
Onion (farmers' market)
Oil, salt, pepper (all given exceptions under the Challenge rules)
I followed the cooking directions on the bag of lentils. I added water instead of vegetable or chicken broth to try to keep this as SOLE as possible. I actually make this soup regularly throughout the year, and it's very nutritious and leftovers are perfect to bring to lunch at work.
The other mostly local soup I made was a potato celery soup. I used this recipe as a guide but made many modifications. I excluded wine to keep this as locally-sourced as possible (and I wasn't about to use my tasty local white wine on this soup). I also used more potatoes and less celery than the recipe called for, based on the ingredients I had available.
Potato Celery Soup:
Potatoes (farmers' market)
Celery (farmers' market, leftovers from a previous trip)
Onion (farmers' market)
Chicken broth (exception; I know I could have made my own but I wanted this soup right now!)
Thyme (my garden)
Olive oil, salt, and pepper (Oil and seasonings are always exceptions in this challenge)
Interestingly, the recipe didn't call for cream, so the soup wasn't thick, but it wasn't watery either. The consistency was just right, and the soup was the perfect meal on a freezing January afternoon.
Here's the best part about making these two soups:
I had tons of leftovers! In addition to the bowl of lentil soup that I ate, I packaged up four containers to freeze and/or take to lunch. My husband and I each had a bowl of potato soup, and then I stored enough for two more meals each (so four more potato soup servings). My freezer is stocked and my belly is happy.