I prepped my garden for winter last week and shed a tear for my fresh fruit and veggie supply. Then I remembered that just because my apples have fallen, my peas have withered, and my corn is no more, it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy fresh veggies! There are plenty of in season vegetables that you can enjoy throughout the winter that will give you a dose of needed vitamins and minerals without relying on hothouse items from far away.
In Season Vegetables and How to Prepare Them: Winter
Winter Veggie 01: Beets
This vegetable will always remind me of my father. He grew up eating them pickled and the accompanied everything Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. As a child, I never liked them much. As an adult, they’ve definitely got a place on my table. This soup is creamy, slightly sweet, and so beautiful to look at! All you need to make life easier is an immersion blender like this one.
Creamy Beet Soup with Caraway
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
- 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
- 1 leek white and pale-green parts only
- 2 lbs. red beets scrubbed, halved
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 c. buttermilk divide, plus more for serving
- Start by heating your oven to 425° and lining a baking sheet with tin foil. Then toss the beets with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper before placing them on the baking sheet and adding about ¼ cup of water over the top along with the seasonings. Then cover the pan with tin foil and seal tightly so that the beets can steam. Roast the beets until a knife slips easily through their flesh, about 60-75 minutes. When the beets are done, remove from the oven and allow to cool before rubbing the skins off with paper towels.
- Next, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat before adding caraway seeds. Then cook until the seeds begin to pop and dance around in the pan. As soon as the seeds begin to pop, add the onion, leek, and a little bit of water. Then season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
- When the onion is soft, add the beats and 2 1/2 cups water to the pan and season again with salt and pepper. Bring the whole mixture to a boil before reducing to a simmer and allow everything to simmer together for about 15-20 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool before using an immersion blender to puree the vegetables. Add 1/2 cup of buttermilk, allow to heat, then add the remaining buttermilk to your desired consistency. Drizzle with a little more buttermilk and garnish with herbs if desired before serving. Enjoy!
Winter Veggie 02: Turnips
Turnips are a root vegetable that don’t get a lot of love. But add a little bacon, and that’s going to change your tune. These mashed turnips are full of flavor and full of nutrients! Grab a masher like this to make life easier.
Mashed Turnips with Bacon and Chives
- 8 C. turnips peeled and diced
- bone broth or water for boiling
- ½ lb. bacon
- 2 Tbsp. bacon fat
- 2 Tbsp. butter melted
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. chives freshly chopped
- Start by placing the diced turnips in a large pot and fill it with water or bone broth until the turnips are covered. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes. The longer you simmer, the less bitter the turnips will be.
- While the turnips are doing their thing, cook the bacon (skillet or oven method both work). Make sure to keep 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease, then get rid of the rest. When the bacon is done, crumble it and set aside.
- When the turnips are done, drain well. Then add all the remaining ingredients except for the bacon and chives. Give them a good mash until you have your preferred consistency before folding in the bacon and topping with fresh chives. Serve and enjoy!
Winter Veggie 03: Sweet Potatoes
Okay, I get it. It doesn’t seem like a veggie because it’s sweet. And how do you really know whether you’re buying a sweet potato or a yam? I have no idea. What I do know is that they are similar enough it doesn’t make much difference to me. I also know that they have tons of beta-carotene which is good for vision and lots of fiber which is good for digestion. Plus, I like that they are naturally sweet! You can totally do wedges, or you can grab this nifty tool and make professional fries.
Sweet Potato Fries
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- Start by combing the seasonings together in a small bowl, then by preheating your oven to 400°F. Next, peel and cut the potatoes into wedges or sticks. Toss the sweet potatoes into a bowl with the oil and spices and mix until evenly coated.
- Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the sweet potatoes in a single layer. Bake until the edges are crisp and cooked, about 30 minutes. Serve with ketchup, fry sauce, or your preferred dipping sauce!
Winter Veggie 04: Carrots
Okay, so I get that you probably eat this often. But hear me out, because this veggie deserves more love. It makes FABULOUS soup.
- 1 ½ lbs. carrots peeled, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 large yellow onion sliced thinly
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and whole
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp. salt divided
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz. cans)
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- ½ c. plain Greek yogurt
- Begin by roasting your veggies. Heat your oven to 400°F and coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss the carrots, onions, and garlic with olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, cumin, and pepper until evenly coated. Then spread the veggies in an even layer on the baking sheets and roast for 25-30 minutes, turning the veggies twice and rotating pans once, until the veggies are browned. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes.
- While the veggies are cooling, drain the juice from the tomatoes and set aside. You can either put the veggies through a food processor in two different batches, or you can put the roasted veggies and tomatoes together and use an immersion blender to puree. Place the mixture into a heavy-bottomed pot, stir in the tomato juices, basil, yogurt, and salt. Bring the mixture to a soft simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until fully heated. Serve with fresh basil and enjoy!
And there you have it! Hopefully, these recipes with in season vegetables will help you get out of your rut and into some hearty home cooked foods. Happy cooking!