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.

 

 

Roasted Winter Squash Soup with Apple

Roasted Winter Squash Soup with Apple

I cook because I love to. The ritual of preparing food is steeped in memory and tradition. Food nourishes, it brings people together and it’s the finest way to share. It’s elemental and indulgent. I like to make sure it’s delicious.

Winter Squash Soup

Serves 8-10 bowls

Notes:

Roasting the squash deepens the flavor and caramelizes the natural sugars. it’s a step I wouldn’t skip.

Kabocha, Red Kuri and Honeynut do not require peeling are delicious and deep in color.

if you reduce the finished soup until it’s very thick, it’s wonderful spread on toast. Get creative with the accompaniments.  

I do not cook with garlic. Please feel free to add peeled cloves to the roasting pan with the squash or sauté chopped with the mirepoix.

Ingredients-

2 lbs butternut or other seasonal squash or pumpkin, seeds removed, cubed and peeled if needed.

4 Tbs olive oil

½ cup cider vinegar

1 Tbs sugar

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

2 apples, core removed and rough chopped

3 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp five spice powder

¼ tsp (scant) ground nutmeg

2-32 0z containers vegetable stock, or homemade

(kosher) Sea Salt

Fresh ground pepper

Crusty Bread- toasted for serving

Method-

1- Preheat oven to 425F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.

2- Combine cider vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt in a small sauce pan and simmer until reduced by half. Set aside.

3- Toss cubed squash with 2 Tbs olive oil, spread on the prepared baking sheets, season with salt and pepper and roast until edges are caramelized, about 30 minutes.

4- While squash is roasting, preheat a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Adjust to medium low and add 2 Tbsolive oil and onion. Sauté and allow onion to “melt” over low heat, about 5-8minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add spices and stir to coat. Add carrot and celery, raise heat to medium and sauté untilsweating, then add apple and cook until fragrant and slightly tender.

5- Add squash to pot, stir to combine and add vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer.

6- Working in batches, purée mixture in a high performance blender until creamy and smooth. Be careful while blending hot ingredients. I remove the lid plug and replace it with a clean dish towel to allow steam to safely escape and avoid splattering while blending.

7- Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer. Add cider vinegar reduction, stir to combine.  Adjust salt and pepper to suit taste.

Serve and enjoy!

Shiitake Bacon Egg and Cheese on a Roll and a Cold Breakfast Sandwich for On-the-Go

Shiitake Bacon Egg and Cheese on a Roll and a Cold Breakfast Sandwich for On-the-Go