Market shopping for minestrone soup

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It’s hard to think of winter without soup. Even along the Central Coast, the nights get just cool enough to want to curl up with a steaming bowl of broth and hearty meat or veggies. Fortunately, the produce grown in Santa Barbara is bountiful regardless of the season, and can easily be turned into delicious soup.

Edible Santa Barbara editor Krista Harris makes soup year-round. Her favorite fall version is minestrone.

“You start with certain ingredients, and then you can riff off of those, improvise and come up with just about anything,” she said.

KCRW went down to the Santa Barbara Farmers Market this week to find out what she’s throwing in her soup pot.

Krista Harris picks out fresh herbs at Earthtrine Farms. (Kathryn Barnes/KCRW)
Mama’s, a farm in Arroyo Grande, sells over a dozen varieties of beans at the Tuesday and Saturday Santa Barbara Farmers Market. (Kathryn Barnes/KCRW)

The categories of Minestrone Soup:

  • Bean: you can pick based on what color would look pretty in your soup, or ask the vendor what they’d suggest.
  • Mirepoix: typically that’s a mixture of onion, carrots and celery, but you can change it up by grabbing leeks, parsnips and fennel instead.
  • Hearty veggie: this could be potatoes or some interesting variety of squash like Kabocha.
  • Broth: use any type you’d like, or even water since the soup will be full of flavor anyway.
  • Leafy green: kale, swiss chard or rainbow chard are all good options. If you choose spinach, put it in near the end.
  • Herbs: lots of Italian parsley and a bit of oregano, thyme and rosemary should do the trick.
  • Hard cheese: Top it off by grating some Parmesan or something similar.

You can find a recipe for Krista’s Minestrone Soup here.


To check out all our past farmers market segments, head to