Posts Tagged ‘Squash Bisque’

Squash “Bisque” & Baked Beet Borscht

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
On our recent trip to Florida to catch a little sun, we ate at a wonderful outdoor restaurant called the Lido Bayside Grill, part of The Standard Spa Miami Beach Hotel. (Website link:
Our waiter David was terrific and when I asked him to ask the chef what were the ingredients in the soup, he said only Kabocha Squash and coconut milk. Since the definition of bisque in The New Food Lover’s Companion defines bisque as a thick, rich soup usually consisting of pureed seafood (and sometimes fowl or vegetables) and cream, I put quotation marks around bisque, since this is a true vegan version.
Squash “Bisque

Utensils: Saucepan, blender, soup pot
Prep. Time: About 20 minutes (if using peeled & pre-cut squash)
Cooking Time: 10 minutes to warm up the soup
Categories: Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free


one cup cooked and chopped butternut squash
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
pinch of fresh ginger


1. Cook squash in enough water to cover until you can pierce it with a fork. (Since you are blending it, it does not have to be super soft.)

2. Drain the squash and puree with coconut milk and ginger, in two batches, if necessary. (If too thick, add some of the cooking water. The soup does tend to thicken overnight, so save the cooking water in case you need it the next day.)

3. Heat the soup on a low flame until ready to serve. Garnish with cinnamon or nutmeg. (Optional)

Serves 2 to 4, depending if soup is the main part of the meal or just a side dish.

Baked Beet Borscht

Borscht is defined in my Food Lover’s Companion, where it is also spelled borsch, as a soup made with beets. Can be used with an assortment of vegetables (Or meat and meat stock), or with a combination of both. Can be served hot or cold, garnished with sour cream.

Since my version is vegan, not all of the above apply.

Utensils: Soup pot, baking pan, blender
Prep. Time: 30-40peel  minutes
Cooking Time: Once veggies are cooked & pureed, heat the soup on a low flame until ready to serve.
Categories: Vegan, gluten free, sugar free (Beets are naturally rich in their own sugar)


2 baked beets, scrubbed and cut into halves or quarters
up to 4-5 cups water or soup stock
one carrot, scrubbed and cut in half or thirds
one parsnip, scrubbed and cut into halves or thirds
1/4 onion, coarsely chopped
1- 2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Directions (Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

1. Place the scrubbed and cut beets on a baking tray and bake until just about tender. (20-25 minutes)
2. While the beets are baking, cook the scrubbed and cut carrot, parsnip, onion and garlic in 4 cups of water or veggie soup stock. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. While the veggies are cooling slightly, remove the beets and when you can handle them, peel and place in the blender or food processor. Add veggies and cooking water. (If food processor or blender head is too full, puree in two batches.) Puree til smooth, adding salt & pepper to taste. If too thick, add more water or stock. The soup thickens overnight, so you may need more the next day.
4. Heat until warm enough to serve. garnish with some grated carrot. (Optional)

Serves 2 to 4, depending if soup is the main part of the meal or just a side dish.

Women’s History Month: March 2013

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

There is a lot going on in March, but for me, the most important celebration is the one for Women’s History Month. I want to stretch the definition of history a bit, and because this is a blog-turned-website on food and health for women, this month may include personal history, medical history, family history, etc.

The picture above has a “mystery history.”  It is an artistic rendition of a woman done by Mary Kay Weeks, who was one of my youngest daughter’s art teacher in grammar school. I have been unable to find Mary Kay, but still want to give her credit for this outrageous-looking woman.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, I am planning my second luncheon for International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8th. I will report back after the event. I plan to present information from Half the Sky, an incredible book about the oppression of women, mostly in Third World Countries and what we can do. Here is the cover of that book, which was also a documentary last fall and can be found on the Internet. (




March, of course, is St. Patrick’s Day, and since green is not only the color for St. Pat’s but also for Spring, there should be a lot of green foods that I can promote for this holiday and Spring, as well.

The photo left also reflects my sentiments for this holiday.






I just finished reading What You Must Know About Bioidentical HormoneReplacement Therapy by Lee Hawkins, Pharm D.It is a wonderful guide for women in midlife who are looking for answers about peri-menopause and menopause. It fits in with my theme of personal medical history as an extension of Women’s History Month.

When we were in Florida last month I enjoyed a delicious bowl of what the menu called Squash Bisque.

The waiter asked the chef for the ingredients. Believe it or not, there are just two: squash and coconut milk. The simple recipe will appear later this month, since March is still a good month for soups.

(Also, another easy one left over from February will be with this recipe. I ran out of days,especially since February is a short month.

At the end of February, I posted my review of The Scoop on Breasts by Dr. Ted and Joyce Eisenberg. (Click here to read the review if you missed it: They went to Hollywood, right before the Oscars, to promote their book. What I didn’t say in the review is that Joyce is a local writer/friend who lives only minutes from my condo, so I decided to knit a ruffled scarf for her to wear to this event. Her dress was navy, and her earrings turquoise, so she picked this multicolored scarf to wear and sent me her picture with the caption “Your scarf in Hollywood.”  Thank you, Joyce!

My scarf in Hollywood!

(Note: I sell these scarves. For more info, just email at my new address: You choose your colors.)

Also, this month marks my 7th anniversary* of posting on Menupause. I can’t believe how quickly the years have flown by. It reminds me of a funny saying I saw on a T-shirt: Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana! I am hoping to do more free-lance writing and send you to other websites that have articles I have written. Since  the end of December, Women’s Voices for Change has posted four of my articles, which is very exciting.

Just in! A woman from South Jersey who has an art gallery in her home emailed me and then called me today to frame some of my Italian laundry photos for her gallery. She read the article in The Philadelphia Inquirer, which was reprinted from Women’s Voices for Change. I will have 18 photos hanging in her gallery from the end of May to end of June. More on this when I can think straight!!!  She also loves laundry and plans to have some of her laundry hanging in her yard when we have the reception. I will post the photos we pick in the new Photo Gallery category. Here is one that may be framed.

I took this photo on the Island of Burano, near Venice. I call it Blue on Blue.

*What a great anniversary present, to have my photos in an art gallery!