Now if you know me, you know how much I love farmers’ markets – fresh produce, baking, pickles and samples galore. I gladly dive head first into the mosh-pit of eager and sometimes aggressive shoppers, bent on getting my hands on so many delightful goodies. Also, if you know me, you know I don’t drive, so when it comes to places to go, walking distance makes a big difference in my life. But when I moved to St. Albert, little did I know that the town is home to western Canada’s largest outdoor market. (John did realize this!) And how lucky am I that this magical, gigantic farmers’ market is only a 15 minute walk from my front door? Pretty lucky indeed!
Produce is key to any farmers’ market, and this market boasts a wide variety. From Kuhnlman’s, to White’s (who have the best tomatoes at the market) to Steve and Dan’s gigantic BC fruit stand (I can’t help but stand and ogle the smorgasbord of beautiful fresh fruit at this one), there are dozens of produce vendors often with piles and piles of produce to sell. This market runs Saturdays from mid-June through Thanksgiving weekend, and I really like to take advantage of the ability to buy fresh produce in the summer and fall months, as I am not granted this luxury year round. Of course, It’s not as cheap as the grocery store, but it’s so nice to get fresh vegetables and fruits from a local trusted grower. The fruit is really pricey, so I usually treat myself to only one type of fruit each visit (last week was Reinier cherries) but I admit, I tend to go pretty crazy on the vegetables. Beets, kohlrabi, carrots, onions, fresh dill, green beans, kale and of course tomatoes are some of the regulars to make it into my bag.
John found this wonderful little pull-cart for me at Save-On Foods. It looks like a small golf bag and allows me to buy as much as I want at the market without the use of a car or a guy named John to carry vegetables back for me. John has never turned me down when I ask for his help, but with my new cart, I can head down by myself and load up my cart with vegetables from the market and haul it back home! Pictured below is my last vegetable haul from the farmer’s market.
I look forward to the farmers’ market every weekend, and never fail to enjoy myself. Whether I am there with friends, family, John or by myself, I always have a wonderful time.
So in the spirit of vegetables, I have decided to make Borcht my recipe of the week. With beets, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, fresh dill and any other vegetable you would like to add, a trip to the farmer’s market is a great way to acquire all necessary ingredients for this Ukrainian soup. My Nana makes such fantastic borscht, so I got the recipe and method from her. This classic Ukrainian soup is so simple and takes no time at all to make.
– Remember to use the beet greens in your soup
– If you buy fresh beets (like the ones at the farmers’ market) there is no need to peel them as the skin is nice and tender
– This soup freezes very well, providing you don’t add the potatoes.
– Serve with a dollop of sour cream
Ingredient I can’t live without:
Soups, perogies, tacos, chilis and cakes – the perfect moistener for so many things. My Ukrainian soul embraces this ingredient that is critical to life itself.
So try to get out to the farmers’ market this year if you haven’t already, and treat yourself to some fresh local produce before the weather turns on all of us!
Click here to view printable Word version of the recipe:
Vary the quantities of vegetables depending on how much soup you want to make.
Beets – use leafs and stems as well
Try using 4 medium beets, more if desired
Any combination of the following:
Potatoes – if you are not freezing
2 – 3 chopped cloves garlic
Salt to taste
White vinegar or pickle juice
- Fry onions in oil so they are cooked, even a little.
- Add all other vegetables to the pot.
- Add water to cover the vegetables and then about one inch more.
- Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
- Add white vinegar to taste – start with 1 tbsp and then keep adding if desired. You can try adding pickle juice as well.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream
Freezes very well (providing you don’t add potatoes)