Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

With regular snow dustings, we’re settling into soup season—a great time for farmers tailgate market meals. With just a few local ingredients, you can create something warm and nourishing to carry you through chilly afternoons. Add some crusty bread and a salad green mix to make a full family-sized meal.

 Heads up, due to facility needs for COVID-19 vaccinations, the ASAP Farmers Market is moving to a new location on the A-B Tech campus. Starting this Saturday, find the market on the east side of Victoria Rd. by the Bailey Student Services Center. Enter via Student Circle and follow market staff directions to park or queue inside your vehicle. Handicapped parking is available and there is a bus stop on the S4 route adjacent. 
Portugal’s simple-but-satisfying caldo verde really lets local ingredients like greens and sausage shine. It’s traditionally made with the Portuguese chouriço or linguiça sausage, but you can find local alternatives from Dry Ridge Farm, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, or Warren Wilson College Farm (all at ASAP Farmers Market). Look for something with smoked paprika, if possible. Caldo verde can be made with water, but homemade stock will make a richer soup. Hickory Nut Gap has chicken feet, perfect for making a golden broth.  
Next, grab a pound or so of dark leafy greens, like collards, kale, or turnip tops. You’ll find tons of greens available from Highgate Farm at River Arts District Farmers Market or Mighty Gnome Market Garden, Jake’s Farm, and Sleight Family Farm at ASAP Farmers Market. You can cut the greens in thin ribbons or chop finely for a greener soup. 
Potatoes haven’t been available at local markets this winter, so you will have to get these at the grocery store or try some creative substitutions. Russets, which will melt into the soup, are the traditional choice. A mix of russet and gold types will give you a bit more structure. You can also try using a mix of potatoes and kohlrabi (available from Ten Mile Farm at ASAP Farmers Market) or substitute turnips or sweet potatoes (from Sleight or Ten Mile).
To prepare the soup, sauté half-inch pieces of sausage in olive oil until browned, and transfer to a bowl. In the fat, sauté chopped onion and garlic until browned. Add chopped potatoes (or other veg) and 6 cups or so of liquid and simmer until very soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Mash some of the vegetables to thicken the soup. Add greens and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add sausage back to the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with hot sauce (pick up a fermented variety from Serotonin Ferments or Sweet Brine’d, both at ASAP Farmers Market and River Arts District Farmers Market). 
At farmers markets right now you’ll also find apples, snow peas, rice, mushrooms, cheese, eggs, fish, and much more. Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region, even in the winter. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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