Jill Fergus

I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.



Kabocha Squash Soup with Ginger and Sesame

Kabocha Squash Soup with Ginger and Sesame

Kabocha is my favorite winter squash. It’s chestnut-like fluffy texture and deep, sweet flavor shines through no matter how it’s prepared. It’s flesh is a deep orange and it’s skin (which is edible, no peeling!) is either dark green or red (bright and deep orange). Steamed, roasted... it’s hard to go wrong! When puréed, it develops a divine velvety texture that makes it ideal for a comforting soup. This version has the subtle tones of a Japanese flavor profile, and roasted (with all its caramelized goodness) squash which gives  this pumpkin incredible depth of flavor an allows it to be the star! If you haven’t yet tried this wonder, please do!



A Red Kabocha’s deep orange flesh is signature. Here is a “red” version. 


Kabocha Squash Soup with Ginger and Sesame.  



2 lb Kabocha Squash, cubed  

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced 

2 stalks celery, diced 

1 large carrot, diced

2” Fresh ginger, minced 

1-2 cloves garlic, minced 

3 cups low sodium vegetable stock

2 tsp mirin

1/2 tsp sesame oil  

splash of rice vinegar  

flaky sea salt

fresh ground pepper

small handful shiitake mushrooms, sautéed until edges are crispy  


1- preheat oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment  

2- toss squash with about 1/2 the olive oil and season with salt and pepper and roast for 25, minutes, tossing midway, until edges are caramelized.  

3- in a large heavy bottomed pot, sautéed onion in remaining olive oil until translucent, add celery, carrot and garlic and continue until all are sweaty. Season with salt and pepper. Add ginger.  

4- add all ingredients to pot and simmer until all are tender. Turn off heat and allow temperature to drop.

6- carefully transfer all to a high speed blender and purée until a velvety texture is achieved. To avoid hot liquid splashing, remove center of blender lid and cover with a folded dish towel (hold down edges) to allow steam to escape while blender is on  

7- return soup to pot and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning to taste.  

8- garnish with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, sesame seeds, gomasio and a drizzle of sesame oil or cream (shown here). A drizzle of tahini is delicious here, too! A few hot pepper flakes will not disappoint.




Parchment keeps food from sticking and avoids burnt edges common to tin foil and allows for easy clean up.  

Parchment keeps food from sticking and avoids burnt edges common to tin foil and allows for easy clean up.  


classic mirepoix with fresh ginger


High speed blenders do yield superior results. 


Hope you love this as much as I do! 

Apple Buckwheat Galette with Halva and Maple Tahini (gluten free)

Apple Buckwheat Galette with Halva and Maple Tahini (gluten free)

Apple Ricotta Cake with Miso Caramel

Apple Ricotta Cake with Miso Caramel