Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Do you "soup"?


After my column about shopping at Ashfield Hardware Store and supporting the many great, locally owned businesses in our community ran, I bumped into Recorder editor Tim Blagg at an event. He asked, “Do you know what’s the oldest business in Greenfield?”

I didn’t. Tim told me it’s The Recorder, in business since 1792. Wow! A good source of local news has been important for a very long time!

I said to Tim, “You’re a good cook, will you send me a recipe for my column?” He said “Sure!” Tim sent a recipe (see below) for soup that is great for cold winter days and varies, depending on the vegetables you use.

Last week, I “souped” the carcass of a Diemand Farm turkey I cooked for Thanksgiving (having stored the carcass in the freezer). I first heard “soup” used as a verb on Dan Botkin’s Facebook page several Thanksgivings ago when he encouraged everyone to “soup your carcass” instead of throwing it out.

Along with multiple quarts of stock for the freezer, I made a turkey/potato/onion soup with vegetables from the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market.

The next Greenfield Winter Farmers Market is Saturday, Feb. 1, the start of the Franklin County Week of Winter Fare events. The Food Page on Jan. 29 will include information about Winter Fare and extra recipes featuring food available at the Farmers Market.

Please send me YOUR recipes for “souping” items available at the Winter Farmers Market. Or “casseroling.” Or however you “insert your verb here” goodies from the market!

Greenfield Winter Farmers Market, Greenfield High School, 1 Lenox Ave., Saturdays, Feb. 1 and March 1, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fresh vegetables, squash and root veggies, apples, cheese, canned preserves and pickles, meat, eggs, bread, baked goods and more. For more information, contact: Market Manager Katia Williford at or visit

This week we’re eating ...

Winter Umami-Strong Vegetable Soup

by Tim Blagg, Greenfield

This recipe emphasizes the “fifth flavor” ... umami ... to add depth to a quick vegetable soup to warm us when it’s snow and slush time. The vegetables for this soup can be mixed and matched, using whatever is available. For my latest batch, I used diced celery, carrots and some cauliflower, plus frozen peas and corn. I was out of potatoes, but normally would have used some.

1½ medium onions, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3-4 C. of diced vegetables (see note)

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 large handful spinach or kale

1½ quarts chicken, vegetable or beef broth

1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 packet of Knorr Homestyle chicken, vegetable or beef base (match your stock)

2 Hillshire Farm hot links sausages, diced (optional)

1 T. paprika

salt, pepper

Tabasco (optional... to taste)

In large pot, preferably cast iron or with a thick bottom, slowly saute half the onions in some olive oil, stirring to avoid sticking, until onions are brown, but not burned. This takes some care and patience. If onions begin to stick, add a bit of water. These caramelized onions provide one element of the umami. Add a little broth and scrape bottom of pot with wooden spoon, then add rest of the onions for a second layer of onion taste. Put in vegetables, garlic and sausage (if using) and saute briefly before adding rest of the broth and diced tomatoes.

Bring to a simmer and then add Knorr base packet, tomato paste, paprika, Tabasco, if using, and a little salt and pepper. The tomato paste is the second umami ingredient.

Simmer until vegetables are done, correct seasoning (careful... not too much salt!), and add spinach or kale.

Continuing simmering until you’re unable to stand the delicious odor and just have to serve.

Home-baked bread or biscuits would complete the picture perfectly.

Like most wholesome soups, this is improved by refrigerating and reheating.

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