Updated: Oct 3, 2019
Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
Huckleberry Gold Potatoes
Blue Cheese Dip
Chance Farm - Four Corners
Root to Rise Gardens - Wilsall
Root Cellar Foods - Belgrade
Moss Farm - Rollins (WMGC)
Kimms Organic Potatoes - Manhattan
Renee's Gourmet Sauces - Bozeman
If it's unfamiliar, mirepoix is simply a combination of diced onion, carrot and celery. It's used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces. The word has French origins, but the Spanish have a version called sofrito, Italians have soffritto, and Cajun dishes use the "holy trinity." While some of the ingredients vary between these, the basic idea is the same. Cooked slowly in oil, butter, or fat until soft, they build a flavor base for your dish.
This is one of my go-to soup recipes because it's quick, easy, and filling. With some mirepoix on hand, it's even faster. Serves 2-4.
What you'll need:
2 tsp olive oil or bacon grease - see recipe
1 1/2 C mirepoix (or 1/2 C ea. diced carrot, onion, and celery)
4 C diced potatoes, washed well, skins left on, ~1 inch dice
4 C chicken or vegetable broth (I use Better than Bouillon concentrate + water straight into the soup pot)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper for just a touch of heat
Salt and pepper to taste
Topping options: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, sliced scallions, chopped chives, hot sauce, diced hot peppers, pickled peppers, etc.
If cooking bacon for a topping, cook 4-5 strips and set aside. If you want, cook the bacon in the same pot or dutch oven you want to make the soup in, and simply leave 2 tsp of bacon grease in the pan for the mirepoix, omitting the need for olive oil. Otherwise...heat the olive oil in a 4-6 quart pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the mirepoix to the pan and stir to coat. Allow to cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and soft. If the veggies start browning early on, turn down the heat. A little browning towards the end of cooking is fine, but you don't want to burn them.
Add potatoes, broth, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until the thickest potato pieces are easily pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until it's mostly smooth. [OR use a regular blender, covering the lid with a kitchen towel and holding it down while you blend so you aren't scalded by flying hot soup. Work in batches to avoid overfilling it. OR just use a potato masher. It will be chunkier, but nonetheless delicious. OR don't mash it all and continue simmering to help further break down the potatoes, then give it a few vigorous stirs to release some starch to thicken the broth. You could add some chopped kale or chard leaves to this version to fill it out a bit. So many options! Find the one that works best for you.]
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your choice of toppings. I tend to go baked-potato- style with shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, and chopped scallions. I'm sure you'll find whatever you like.
Quick Pickled Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
These peppers are medium-moderate in heat, similar to a jalapeno but with a slightly sweet tang. They're large enough to be stuffed with cheese, or would be good roasted, added to soups, stews, or chili, or just raw. A quick pickle, though, will preserve them in the fridge for a few months, and you can add them to soups, salads, sandwiches, etc., or just snack on them. If you don't like hot peppers at all, a jar of pickled peppers makes a great gift!
What you'll need:
~1/4 lb peppers (3-5 depending on size), washed, stems cut off, and sliced crosswise into rings
1 clove garlic, peeled
3/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/4 tsp mustard seeds, or a pinch of ground mustard
1/2 C water
1/4 C white vinegar - white wine vinegar works, too
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Put the pepper slices, garlic, peppercorns, and mustard seeds in a clean glass pint jar with a lid - they may also fit packed into an 8-oz jar, if you want to try that. In a small saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, and salt to a boil and stir until the salt dissolves. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and pour into the jar. If the liquid doesn't cover the peppers, add a little more until they're fully submerged. Put the lid on tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 days for best flavor.