Photo by Scott Clark
When you’re planning your holiday spread, you probably think about your budget, inventive flavor combinations, and maybe even what will look extra pretty next to your roast. But do you think about what’s in season? (Here’s a hint: If green beans are on your winter menu, the answer is no.)
Not to get up on a soapbox here (I’m more comfortable on top of a vegetable crate, thank you very much), but cooking with seasonal fare isn’t just tastier, healthier, and more affordable. It’s also so much better for the earth! I don’t know about you, but I think eating consciously—and sustainably—is a responsible (and delicious) gift we can all give to ourselves, and to the environment, this year. So who’s with me?
Need some inspiration for your shopping cart? Here’s a short list of 10 of my favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables to cook with this time of year:
- Brussells Sprouts
- Buttercup Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
And here’s an oldie but a goodie: carrot fennel orange soup. This recipe incorporates some of the best flavors of the season. It’s rich, warm, silky, and (you guessed it) sustainable.
Carrot Fennel Orange Soup
2 fennel bulbs, stalks removed, and bulb thinly sliced (reserve fronds for garnish)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 lbs. carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
salt to taste
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 orange, juiced and zested
1/3 cup plain yogurt
Heat a 6 qt. stock pot on medium high and add oil. Sautee fennel, carrots, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add stock, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove soup from the heat and add orange juice, orange zest, yogurt, and season with S & P to taste. Puree soup with an immersion blender until silky smooth! Reheat if necessary and serve warm. Garnish with fennel frond.