Butternut Coconut Bisque

This soup is packed with nutrition and flavor. It’s versatile enough to be served as a supper entree or in a mug as a snack after school or after a walk on a chilly day. And with a little advance prep, peeling and chopping the vegetables and also assembling the other ingredients the day before or the morning before you make it will go together quickly…


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1-2 inch ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped coarsely
  • 4# butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1-2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups light coconut milk

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or heavy soup pot. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add onions and ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes more.

Add carrots, butternut squash, apples and cinnamon to the pot. Pour broth over the vegetables, adding more if necessary to generously cover them. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and soft.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Think with more broth if you want. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the coconut milk and blend into the soup.

I like this garnished with chopped cilantro leaves, toasted almond slices or chopped scallions… Leftovers can be stored in mason jars for snacks or lunches.



Spiced Poached Fruit

Poached-Pears in PotOn a trip to the Isle of Capri I enjoyed many wonderful meals but I tried not to sample too many of the sweets that Italy has to offer. One night after dinner, the server came to us not with a sample of sweets but with a large tray of poached seasonal fruit. We could point out which fruits we wanted and she would plate them and serve us. This recipe is a close as I have come to duplicating that beautiful dessert and savoring the memories of that trip.

  • 4 Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 12 dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon zest or 1 tsp dried lemon peel or 1 drop of lemon essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice or cardamom
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3/4 cup white dessert wine or white grape juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil over medum high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the fruit is fork-tender (20-30 minutes depending on the ripeness of the fruit). Serve warm or chilled

Zucchini Rollups

Zucchini Rollups


This recipe is great anytime of year but it’s especially wonderful with fresh zucchini from the garden or farmers’ market. It can be made earlier in the day and served as an appetizer but it’s best when served warm from the grill or at room temperature.



2 zucchini (6-8”)

Boursin or Alouette Cheese, herb and garlic flavored

10 basil leaves

40 baby spinach leaves (approx. 1 cup)

Olive oil

  • Slice each zucchini into 5 slices approx. ¼ inch thick, cutting off the rounded edges on either side to yield flat slices
  • Heat a stove top grill or outdoor grill to medium high. Brush the slices with olive oil on one side and place them on the grill oil side down. Brush the second side with olive oil and cook on each side for several minutes until the slices are pliable but not too soft.
  • Take each slice and on the narrow end put ½ tsp of cheese, 1 basil leaf and about 4 baby spinach leaves. Roll up and place on a serving dish. They will disappear quickly!

Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine


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