The View From the Bench & Winter Squash Bisque

thank you Rich Beebe for the wreath and photo

thank you Rich Beebe for the wreath and photo

It’s winter and the view from Will’s Bench could not be more beautiful. One would think the bench in the cold of winter would be a lonely place, but not by the look of all the footprints in the snow. It’s getting plenty of visitors and that sure warms my heart.

grateful for all these foot prints in the snow

grateful for all these foot prints in the snow

My friend, Rich who lost his own daughter just one year ago dug deep to find a way of honoring his Meghan by giving to others. He placed this wreath on Will’s bench during the advent season. Isn’t it beautiful? It just warms my heart.Will's Bench Tyler is one of Will’s best friends. We keep close. Recently, we were together to celebrate his college graduation and took time out to visit the bench. His mom says we have a “special connection” and that really does warm my heart. Even more heart-warming is the fact that Tyler proposed to the lovely Lauren at the bench. William was there in spirit and she said “yes”

thanks to Tyler's mom for this photo

thanks to Tyler’s mom for this photo

Now say “yes” to a steaming bowl of winter squash bisque. It’s just what the physician assistant ordered to chase those winter blues away and warm your heart. Made with butternut squash and coconut milk this soup is gluten-free, dairy free and packed with Asian flavors and vegetables.

Thai Curry Butternut Bisque

Thai Curry Butternut Bisque

Thai Curry Butternut Squash Bisque

1 large butternut squash, seeded, peeled, diced

2-tablespoons canola oil

1-tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon chopped lemon grass

2 teaspoons green curry paste or more or less to taste

1 large onion, chopped

¾ cup chopped celery

¼ cup seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper, plus additional for garnish

1 (14 oz) can chicken broth

1 (14 oz) can coconut milk

2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar

1 lime, halved

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven 400F. Line a large rimmed, baking sheet with foil. Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of oil and spread out in an even layer on prepared pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast about 30 minutes or until just tender. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil and butter in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add lemon grass, curry paste, onion, celery and jalapeno; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, sugar, juice from half the lime and ¾ of the roasted butternut squash. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. (Soup may also be pureed in batches in a regular blender). Taste and season with salt and pepper and balance out with additional sugar +/or lime juice. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with remaining roasted squash and minced jalapeno or chopped cilantro.

winter squash wonderland

winter squash wonderland

6 thoughts on “The View From the Bench & Winter Squash Bisque

  1. What a loving tribute to his dear friend for Tyler to “pop the question” at Will’s bench. William continues to give strength and clear minded thought to all who cared for him. My dad also asked for my mother’s hand in marriage at Lake Elise so it has always been a magical place for me.
    Your blog warms my heart during these cold months and I want to share another heart warming squash soup I recently enjoyed at the Charleston Grill….anecdotal recipe…you can figure it out.
    Delicato squash soup (pureed like yours with a hint of heat) with matchstick pieces of cooked apple and just a few thinly sliced citrusy (is that a word?) kumquats (penny size) presented with a dollop of creme fraiche. DeFREAKINGlishous

    • Awwww-I love the story of Helen & Bill getting engaged at Lake Elise….so glad she said “yes” because now I have YOU in my life. And yes, “citrusy” is a word and so is “DeFREAKINGlishous”….I will work on that delicate soup

  2. What a beautiful view! I am a military wife living in the South and while I don’t know where the picture was taken, it made me nostalgic for my parents home in Pennsylvania.

    • Thank you for commenting. Will’s memorial bench is in Middlebury, CT…Lake Elise was his favorite place to be as a child and whenever he was able to come home. I now live in PA. Where did your parents live?

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