I love going to the farmers market, and as luck would have it, my office is right across the street from the Daley Center. Every Thursday I do my customary walk around the market to see what’s there, which is kind of pointless because since I go every week I know the vendors and where everything is. But I still do it anyway.
River Valley Ranch is one of the vendors I go to every week for amazing mushrooms. They also are at the Thursday night farmers market in Lincoln Square, just down the street from our Lincoln Square location.
And every week I buy too many. I can’t help myself!
Farmers Market Soup with Easy Mushroom Broth
For the broth:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 2 quarts chicken broth (you can use veggie broth too)
- 1 pound of assorted mushrooms
For the soup:
- The strained broth from above
- Corn cut off two cobs of corn (uncooked)
- ¾ pound red potatoes, sliced into quarters and seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the mushrooms and garlic. Cook, just until the mushrooms start to brown.
Reduce the heat to low, add the chicken broth and peppercorns, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain the broth into a clean pot. Finely chop half of the mushrooms and add to the strained broth.
Add the corn, red potatoes and cayenne pepper and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Add cilantro and season with salt to taste.
This is simple and complex at the same time! Because of the mushrooms, it has a meaty, earthy taste, I love the kick of the cayenne pepper, and this can be used pretty much with any veggie you find at your farmers market.
The Chopping Block has a Farmer’s Market Tour and Cooking Class coming up next month. You’ll walk down the block with our chef and pick out ingredients to make for dinner – it’s so much fun! Check out that class at Lincoln Square on August 22 from 6pm–9:30pm. For this particular class, we're donating 10% of the class proceeds to The Chicago Help Initiative to help fight hunger in our area.
And if you happen to work downtown, check out The Merchandise Mart for classes you may be interested in – our stop by our Happy Hour from 4:45pm-5:45pm Tuesdays on the following dates: August 13, August 20 and August 27. The staff there is so attentive and they also have an amazing shop for every possible kitchen tool you will ever need.