Curried Apple, Squash, Sweet Potato Soup

I have always enjoyed the cookbook, “Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home,” so when Susan and I were at the town library recently and she pointed out to me a new cookbook, “Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates,” I said we had the check this out. And we did and I made this delicious curried, apple, squash, sweet potato soup!

2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped butternut squash* (I oven-roasted this before adding to soup.)
2 cups peeled, cored and coarsely chopped apples
2 cups peeled and coarsely chopped sweet potatoes* (I oven-roasted this before adding to soup.)
4 cups water
* About 3 pounds of butternut squash and just less than 2 pounds of sweet potatoes will yield the right amount for this recipe.
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
10 ounces fresh spinach or mustard greens, rinsed and chopped
In a large nonreactive soup pot (it needs to be big), sauté the onions in the butter or oil until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.  In a small dry skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until aromatic and lightly browned.  Cool for a few minutes and grind to a powder (I used a coffee grinder). Add the ground spices, salt, squash, apples, sweet potato, and water to the onions.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, until all of the ingredients are thoroughly cooked and tender.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the garlic in the oil for about 1 minute on medium heat, stirring constantly, until soft and just golden. Add the greens and sauté on high heat until the water evaporates and the greens wilt.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
Purée the soup in small batches in a blender until smooth, adding about 1/4 cup of water if the soup is thicker than you’d like.  When ready to serve, gently reheat, ladle into shallow bowls, and top each serving with some of the sautéed greens.
I served the soup with this homemade bread with sage.

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Quiche–A Thanksgiving Tradition

Thanksgiving prepations for Susan and me begin a few weeks before the holiday.

We put our tree up early so our grandchildren can see it on Thanksgiving as we don’t see them on Christmas.

Here I am doing some menu-planning for the week.

And here is Sock Monkey guarding the grandchildren’s presents.

The grandchildren come over for breakfast, along with our daughter and son-and-law. We give them their Christmas gifts—clothes that they can wear on Christmas day. I have to give credit where credit is due; Susan buys all the Christmas gifts. She often consults with me about style and size.

Here’s Matthew opening his gift.

We watch the Macy’s Parade and the Westminster Dog show before they leave for dinner at Mike’s moms and we head to Connecticut for dinner at our niece and nephews home. This is the real tradition—all of this along with breakfast. Here’s the menu:

Here’s Emily wearing her new winter jacket; I love this photo.

Before I forget, I want to tell you about the gratitude pumpkin. That’s right—a gratitude pumpkin. Not a real pumpkin but a pumpkin made of 8 strips of orange paper. On each strip you write one thing you are grateful for. Susan and I made them in our 4th grade Bridges Together class. Then stable it together to form a pumpkin. Voila!

My writing (hand-writing that is) is not so good. This is what I wrote:

  • I am thankful for our grandchildren
  •  I am thankful for my wife, Susan
  •  I am thankful for my brother and sisters
  •  I am thankful for my friends
  •  I am thankful for my son & daughter
  •  I am thankful for our dog, Freddy
  •  I am thankful for our beautiful home
  •  I am thankful for my health (Not so sure if I am thankful for the kidney stones. After one operation I am drinking so much water I feel like the main character in John Irving’s “The Water-Method Man.” Who knows what 2020 has in store for me.)

So what about the quiche?

I hardly ever make a crust for my quiche. Why bother? And crustless means less calories for those like me who are working to lose weight! A goal for 2020 for sure.

You can add almost anything to this quiche: onion, bacon, sausage, spinach, peppers. In this quiche I added leek, mushrooms, and tomato.

Preheat oven to 375F


  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup half & half and 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash, oven-roasted at 400 for 30 minutes
  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • pinch of nutmeg or allspice
  • salt and pepper to taste


Grease a 10″ pie plate.

Roast butternut squash for about 30 minutes and then set aside to cool.

Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add half & half and heavy cream, salt and pepper, and nutmeg, and beat thoroughly. Then add your vegetables and cheese.  Mix well. Pour the mixture into your prepared pie plate. I added a few sliced mushroom to half of this because our grandson loves mushrooms. Who knew!

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35–45 minutes. Maybe 50 minutes if your prefer a crusty top!

Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

One last tradition. We always listen to Alice’s Restaurant on Thanksgiving Eve or Day!

So, what are some of our family traditions? Name at least three and I will send you a Christmas Card!

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West African Peanut Stew with Chicken

My wife saw this recipe in our local paper. “Bruce,” she said. “I think you should make this.” And I did. It was delicious.

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (I cut into smaller pieces.)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 2 1/2- to 3-inch piece peeled fresh ginger root, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • One 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 medium sweet potato (12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (I used Butternut Squash.)
  • 1/2 bunch collard greens (tough ribs discarded), leaves chopped (about 3 cups total) (I used a bag of frozen.)
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup natural-style peanut butter (smooth or chunky) (I used chunky.)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, for garnish

Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add half the chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until it loses its raw look and is lightly browned in spots, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with another tablespoon of the oil and the remaining chicken, transferring the meat to the plate as well.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot; reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Stir in the broth, tomatoes and their juices, the sweet potato, collard greens and red bell peppers; once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Return the chicken with any accumulated juices to the pot. Increase the heat to medium; once the mixture starts to boil, stir in the peanut butter until well incorporated; cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly done.

Serve warm, topped with the chopped peanuts.

Based on a recipe from nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

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