Farmers' Markets

Stop and Shop: Denver’s Farmers' Market Season Finale

Carrots from Brown Dog Farm are a fall must-have.
Carrots from Brown Dog Farm are a fall must-have. Michael Kimball
As apple cider stands and Cinderella pumpkins replace the last of summer’s precious Palisade peaches and oversized zucchini, it's understandable to feel an acute sense of urgency. The end of farmers' market season is nigh, and there are still so many local fruits and vegetables to buy. To help prepare us all for the inevitable end to what has been a beautiful and bounteous season, here is everything you need to make the most of the last few weeks of market shopping, including must-visit vendors and ideas for what to do with all of that autumnal produce — and yes, one of them is soup.

But first, here are the markets that are still setting up shop into fall:

Denver Farmers' Market End Dates

October 9-10:
Highlands Farmers Market
Louisville Farmers Market

October 30:
Cherry Creek Saturday
City Park Farmers Market
Parker Farmers Market
Domingos en Westwood
Coperta Farmstand

November 14:
South Pearl Street Farmers Market
Union Station Farmers Market

November 20:
Boulder Farmers Market Saturday
Longmont Farmers Market

For more information, check out our list of all the 2021 Denver farmers markets.
click to enlarge MICHAEL KIMBALL
Michael Kimball
Fall Farmers' Market Finds

All of these were spotted at the South Pearl Street Farmers Market in late September and offer seasonal flavors that should be part of your fall culinary adventures.

High Country Apple Cider and Honeycrisp apples
Wag’s World Orchards Crisp

So refreshing and super apple-y, you should buy this cider in bulk. It’s that good. If you have enough discipline to not chug it all on the car ride home, try making mulled apple cider or homemade apple cider donuts with it. The Honeycrisp apples deliver on their name and look good doing it.

Sweet turnips and carrots
Brown Dog Farm

These pristine, cream-colored beauties are eye-catchers. With flavor like a sweet, velvety, mild radish, they can be added raw to a salad or crudite spread, or try them in a roasted root vegetable medley. The carrots would be right at home in either preparation as well, but no one will blame you for eating them all Bugs Bunny-style.

Cinnamon ghee
Ayurveda Mama

Ghee is a traditional Indian cooking oil made from butter, and Ayurveda Mama makes its with wellness in mind. Ayurveda means “science of life” in Sanskrit and is an ancient practice of promoting wellness through natural lifestyle changes, including diet. This ghee is called Adapt and Revive and is infused with cinnamon and ashwagandha for a calming effect. It’s delicious on its own and would be perfect in an autumn Alfredo sauce.

Radish Mix Microgreens
Tall Guy Tiny Greens

First of all, what a clever name for a microgreens business — it should be noted that owner Eric Beck is, indeed, a tall guy and these radish greens are, indeed tiny, delicious and add gorgeous color and fresh flavor to soups, salads and bruschetta.
click to enlarge Not sure which squash to pick? Ask the vendors. - MICHAEL KIMBALL
Not sure which squash to pick? Ask the vendors.
Michael Kimball
Tips for Taking Advantage of the Season

Chat it up with the vendors
Want to try something new but not sure how you would use it? Overwhelmed by how many different kinds of mushrooms exist? Don’t forget to ask the vendors for recommendations and their favorite ways to use their products. They’re experts!

Try your hand at preserving your produce
The markets might be ending soon, but that doesn’t mean your December has to be void of locally grown delights. Pickled cherry tomatoes, dried cinnamon apple chips and blackberry basil jam could be yours all winter long thanks to the magic of canning, food dehydration and freezers.

Bake the house down
Fall sets the mood for baking. The smell, the warmth, the measuring? Count us in. Plus garden-fresh zucchini, and all the apples and those sugar pumpkins are all perfect ingredients for baked goodies. Better get your oven preheating.

Make this honeynut cider soup recipe
As promised, here is your steaming hot soup content. This recipe uses several of the farmers market finds mentioned above for a smooth, sweet and creamy concoction that brings the cozy you crave with every spoonful. Easy and endlessly customizable, swap in whatever looks good and get your soup on.
click to enlarge This fall soup is so good, it should be added to your regular rotation. - MICHAEL KIMBALL
This fall soup is so good, it should be added to your regular rotation.
Michael Kimball
Honeynut Cider Soup

Ingredients

½ cup unsalted butter or ghee
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced honeynut or butternut squash
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced tart apples
1 cup diced turnips
4 cups apple cider
½ cup maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup heavy cream, plus more to garnish
Salt & pepper, to taste
Optional garnish: chili flakes, crackers, microgreens, Parmesan cheese, sweet peppers

Directions
In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add diced fruit and vegetables and coat in butter, cooking and stirring for 10 to 15 min. until reduced in volume by a third. Add apple cider, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Stir and bring to a simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until carrots are tender. Add heavy cream and transfer mixture to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend soup to a smooth, creamy consistency. Add salt & pepper to taste. Drizzle each serving with a little heavy cream and top with any additional garnish.
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Michael is a local recipe developer, food stylist, and cookbook collector. When he isn't cooking up something himself, he enjoys eating food other people make.
Contact: Michael Kimball