Cooking in Season, Part One

Align your palette with nature’s cycles and select seasonal foods. A winter-warming recipe is awaiting!

This post comes from our blog intern, Emily.

Winter has finally taken over Philadelphia. What with this weekend’s blizzard, I think I’ve left the house four times in three days? Two feet of snow, unplowed roads and drifted-shut sidewalks made it difficult to go very far, so I opted instead to nest, stay warm and embrace the season…and seasonal eats.

There’s something about the seasons changing…drifting in, staying put for a while and then fading away to bring us something new. Exactly what happens with our produce! Do you ever think of a season or month and connect it to a particular food? For me, October equals pumpkin, cinnamon and sweet potatoes. Summer? Strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon.

The benefits of eating seasonally reaches beyond its gentler environmental impact and smaller carbon footprint — it’s one of the best ways to appreciate the seasons and really connect with nature.



Eating seasonally offers many benefits. When you align your palette with food that is currently grown/harvested, you are supporting local farming, and what’s better than that? Being able to support your community, to know where your food is coming from, who produces it, and how it’s produced feels good! The process that is choosing — and preparing — seasonal food is love. Pure nourishment, if you ask me.

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Here is a warm, nourishing soup recipe using the most bountiful produce currently available in the Northeast!

Parsnip, Leek and Mushroom Soup

1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cloves of garlic
2 large leeks, cleaned, tops removed and diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot
2-4 cups mushrooms
2 tbs coconut oil, olive oil or ghee
4 to 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup white beans
3 tbs nutritional yeast
3 tbs Thyme
2 Bay leaves
1 tbs Worcestershire
2 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos or Tamari (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse parsnips, leeks and celery. Clean mushrooms. Cut the parsnips and carrot into cubes and lay on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, turn parsnips over and bake another 10-15 minutes until they are tender and lightly browned. Mince garlic and thinly slice leeks and mushrooms.
Heat a pot with the oil, and cook leeks until soft and turning brown. Add celery and cook for one minute. Then add garlic and 3 cups of mushrooms, and cook for a few minutes.
Add the broth, parsnips, beans, nutritional yeast, Braggs, Worcestershire, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook on medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes.
Remove bay leaves, then puree soup. You can place into a blender in a few batches (be cautious as hot liquids can spray), or you can use a stick blender and puree it right in the pot. Blend until smooth. If it’s too thick, you can add more broth.
Add thyme. Once in the pan, keep covered and let simmer. Take remaining mushrooms and sauté in a small skillet until softened and season them with salt and pepper. You can stir some in the soup or just garnish on each bowl for texture and extra taste.


Serve hot and enjoy!

Look into joining a CSA in your area to assure you’re eating seasonally, supporting your community and, most importantly, your health.

These two resources will help you to learn what’s in season in your area:
Seasonal Food Guide
Eat Well Guide

+What are some of your favorite ways to use in-season produce?



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