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Market-driven soups

Everyone should have three great soups in their repertoire. Three per season, that is.

Since our mild winter seems to be lingering, best to keep your soup pot at the ready. (During the winter months my tall, vintage Dansk soup pot is actually parked on the back burner of my stove.)

One delicious, hearty soup for vegetarians is a must. I can always count on this flavorful and filling Portuguese garlic soup to satisfy a crowd.

A reliable fish soup, that isn't too fussy, is also fantastic to have in your back pocket for a quick and casual dinner party with neighbors or friends. Because who has time to make a true bouillabaisse on a Friday night? This classic Basque tuna potato soup can also be made with squid. Use potatoes from Sun Sprout Farm and tuna and/or squid from Pura Vida Fishery. And remember to add your pieces of raw tuna at the very end so as not to overcook!

Every home cook also needs a solid chicken soup recipe. This Food52 recipe deviates from the standard "chicken noodle" format with the use of orzo pasta. But it pulls in the requisite celery, carrots and kale to make it a winter winner.

Not enough time to make your own this week? Make sure to pick up some soup from Spoon me Soups. Their featured soup this week is African peanut, roasted red pepper corn chowder. Yes, that is indeed one soup!

Of course, what turns any one of these simple soups into a meal worthy of guests is the addition of great earthy bread loaves from Bien Cuit Bakery or Wave Hill Breads and a tossed baby kale or spinach salad crowned with deliciously decorative watermelon radish. And any pie from Pie Lady & Son for dessert topped with a spoonful of cultured cream from McGrath Cheese Co. Or, offer up some of La Petite Occasion's caramels. Her flavor of the month is butter with fleur de sel.

See you at the market!

Pascale Le Draoulec

food writer/farmer's market director

author: "American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads" (HarpersCollins)

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