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Harvest recipes from Vermont

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Delicious Vermont dishes

When you think of Vermont, do you think of thick sweet maple syrup pouring over fluffy pancakes or memorably sharp cheddar cheese making a bold statement in a sandwich or melted into a soup? Vermont is certainly known for its syrup and cheese, but this food-abundant state is actually a four-season mecca of fresh produce, farm-raised meats and dairy, and imaginative dishes that deliciously illustrate Vermont's rich culinary traditions. The cookbook Dishing Up Vermont: 145 Authentic Recipes from the Green Mountain State showcases the best of the impressive range of recipes from Vermont's chefs and food producers, including profiles of the people and places that make the state's food scene so vibrant. Here are three signature harvest recipes proving that Vermont's autumn offerings go well beyond syrup and cheese.

Creamy Braising Greens Soup

Serves 6 to 8

On the southern edge of the Northeast Kingdom in Craftsbury, Pete Johnson of Pete's Greens farm grows a wide variety of organic vegetables, specializing in baby greens, root vegetables, and heirloom tomatoes. Johnson uses greenhouses, root cellaring, and other season-extending techniques to offer the greatest vegetable diversity for as much of the year as possible. Madeiros was inspired by Pete's Greens to create this warm and nourishing soup.

1 slice thick-cut bacon, diced
1 large sweet onion, peeled, diced
1 large carrot, peeled, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled, minced
1/2 pound sausage, preferably linguica or chorizo
6 medium boiling potatoes, peeled, diced
7-1/2 cups chicken stock
2-1/2 cups mixed braising greens*, stems removed, cut into very fine strips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Saute bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserving drippings in the pot.

2. Add onion and carrot to the pot and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.

3. Add potatoes and stock, stir to combine, and bring to a boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Add greens and cream and continue to simmer until soup is heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with hot sauce if desired and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with reserved bacon. Serve at once.

*Choose a mix of braising greens such as kale, chard, mustard greens, and dandelion greens, preferably locally grown.

Next page: Cavendish Quail with Maple Onion Glaze

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