Written by Claire McArthur
Don’t let the weather fool you: There are still farms in the region churning out delicious local produce and goods using hoop houses, greenhouses, and indoor grows. And thanks to grocery stores and markets committed to selling local all year round — Great Basin Community Food Co-op, Fallon Food Hub, and Reno’s only winter market, Riverside Farmers Market, to name a few — it’s easy to support farmers year round.
In my home, winter is also known as soup season, which I usually enjoy at dinner with a platter of aged-white-cheddar grilled cheese or a simply dressed salad of leafy greens.
Any soup aficionado worth their salt knows that the secret to a good soup is layering in flavors starting from the very base. Since 1979, Peri & Sons has been growing white, red, yellow, sweet, and organic onions — an essential for almost any soup — in Yerington. The Peri family keeps its customers inspired by providing onion-forward recipes inspired by cuisines from around the world. One of their latest dishes is Augadito de Pollo, a hearty Peruvian chicken-and-rice soup with many opportunities to utilize local produce — and perhaps some of that summer produce that you smartly stored away in your cellar or freezer.
Augatido de Pollos is a hearty Peruvian soup that you can make using locally sourced onions, carrots, chicken, and broth. Photo courtesy of Peri & Sons.
Augadito de Pollo
(courtesy of Peri & Sons in Yerington. Serves 8 to 10)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large poblano pepper, seeded, cored, and diced
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeded, cored, and minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken stock, divided
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
½ cup white or brown rice
½ cup peas
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Extra fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, and thinly sliced green onions, for garnish
Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced poblano pepper and white onion; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent. Stir in minced serrano/jalapeño pepper and garlic; cook 2 more minutes. Transfer entire mixture to a large blender, and set aside to cool.
Return stock pot to heat. Add 5 cups chicken stock, cooked chicken, potatoes, carrots, rice, peas, and cumin; stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low so that soup maintains low simmer. Cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender and the rice is cooked.
Add cilantro leaves, lime, and remaining 1 cup chicken stock to blender along with pepper mixture. Purée 1 to 2 minutes or until the mixture is completely smooth. Stir purée into soup, garnish with cilantro and green onions, and serve warm.
Seasonal Produce in Reno-Tahoe
Here’s what’s fresh and available from local farms right now:
Peri & Sons (Yerington)
Variety of onions
Ital Farms (Reno)
Assortment of microgreens
Dayton Valley Aquaponics (Dayton)
Lattin Farms (Fallon)
Avanzino Farms (Reno)
Prema Farm (Loyalton)
MaryAlice’s Sprouts Farm (Reno)
Kennedy Ranch (Lamoille)
Bare Ranch (Gerlach)
Palomino Valley Chicken and Eggs (Reno)