Photo: Tim Sackton (Flickr)
Happy New Year everyone! How are you holding down those resolutions? I can report that I am on track with what I determined to do, and that was to set aside more time for myself.
It Was A Good Day
Yesterday I had one of those perfect mornings, you know the kind when everything just seems to be going your way.
It started off with fresh hot coffee and jazz, followed by a hot bowl of hearty five grain cereal with diced dried mango and ginger. I got in my car to head to the Cedar Park Farms To Market and the first song to play on the radio was Jimmy Cliff’s “I Can See Clearly Now.” Alright, I can dig this.
The day was glorious. Bright sunny skies, a slight crisp chill in the air, a perfect day to make soup. So, I set out for fresh ingredients. I picked up some assorted mushrooms from Kitchen Pride and an assortment of winter vegetables and herbs, including a nice variety of cilantro known as confetti from Johnson’s Backyard Garden.
The Zen Of Soup
This year it’s all about having more balance in my life. In order to achieve that, I have to plan more wisely — and part of that is meal planning. Zipping home from work, taking the dogs out and then hitting the cutting board can be a bit much every day of the week.
Mind you, I am trying to find room to get a little exercise in the mix. Hopefully I get more use out of my yoga pants than just wearing them as lounge ware. Being on point can be a bit of a task — but not so, if you plan ahead.
What’s the saying — “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” Well, yeah that could be. So, I have decided to dedicate my Saturday mornings to making soup. I love the comfort of a freshly made soup or chowder. And what better way to spend my morning off than by making delicious, nutritious seasonal soups.
First soup up is a spicy bisque of winter squash with Thai curry and coconut.
Thai Curry Winter Squash Soup
- 2 cups roasted winter squash (Hubbard, butternut or red kuri)
- 1 medium parsnip, chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped (both the white and pale green parts)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon Thai yellow curry paste
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes, lightly toasted (save a little extra for garnish)
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
- 2 limes, one half for juice, the rest cut into wedges for garnish
- In a soup pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add the parsnip and scallion. Cook until scallions become slightly tender, which is about 4 minutes.
- Add the curry paste and continue to cook for another 4 minutes. Add in the stock and cooked squash. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Allow to cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before blending.
- Once the soup has been blended into a puree, add in the coconut milk and the juice of half a lime.
- Adjust seasoning if needed. Finish by stirring in the coconut flakes. Garnish soup with more coconut and chopped cilantro.