There are few things that I crave more on a cold, overcast February afternoon than a hearty bowl of vegetable soup. The process of gathering the ingredients gives me a much-needed taste of spring, the preparation helps shorten the drawn-out evenings, and that first taste of piping hot soup... well, it makes those dreary days seem far brighter.
Buying Seasonal Food
Many of the ingredients that I like to mix into my soup are seasonal vegetables. It's what makes a winter soup so special, and I think that's true of any season's produce and the subsequent recipes. They taste better and require fewer preservatives to keep them fresh, and buying food in season is, at its bottom line, cost effective too. Grocery stores and produce markets stock up on seasonal foods because they are so plentiful, which in turn lowers your own food bill. The global marketplace that we have access to makes it not only possible, but easy to buy food grown anywhere in the world at any time of year, but why not try a healthier and more sustainable option and buy food in season?
You may think that finding fresh food in February is nothing more than an alliteration, but in fact there are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are seasonal right now in the United States, including:
Arugula, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cilantro, cucumbers, dill, grapefruit, kale, lemons, lettuce, leeks, oranges, onions, parsnips, pears, rhubarb, shallots, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, and turnips greens.
Winter Vegetable Soup Recipe
This is a great recipe that combines seasonal ingredients for a tasty winter weather treat. With spring around the corner you have far more options coming your way, but for now, enjoy the beauty of winter produce: