Saturday, January 26, 2008

Message from Nancy

Welcome! Let me start by saying that I’m a long-time (I’m talking decades here!) cookbook author and food writer. I’ve actually been enthralled with reading cookbooks since I was about nine, and the idea that I’ve been able to spend my whole adult life creating them still boggles my mind. I get to play with food and words—my two great passions—every day! As a result, you’ll find a mix of (always tested) recipes, how-tos on cookbook and recipe writing, occasional personal stories, and even posts on publishing trends and spotlights on my own and other favorite cookbooks.

Special How-to Info on Writing a Cookbook
If you share my early dream of writing cookbooks (or you just love reading cookbooks), you’ll be especially interested in my how-to articles and insights to help aspiring authors along the way. And if you have any specific follow-up questions, ask them right in the comments section of my blog posts. I always try to answer promptly and provide useful info if I can. For a list of useful how-to stories on my site, see the Articles page. (For info on my writing and culinary background, see my Bio page.)

Enjoying and Using My Work
Everything on this site is copyright protected. Like most writers and food photographers, I spend a lot of time and money creating my work. I am happy to post material for viewers to come look at and enjoy, but please do not borrow any content without obtaining permission. If you wish to republish a recipe, by law, you need to rewrite the text and recipe instructions in your own words, credit the recipe to me, and link back to it on my site. Should you wish to contact me, open the Contact tab on the right side of the navigation bar across the top.
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Autumn Fruit and Vegetable Bisque

Featuring apples, several root vegetables including carrots and parsnips, and winter squash, this simple, healthful bisque really captures the spirit of the season. It is  fragrant, delicious and colorful, and makes a fine starter for Thanksgiving dinner or any festive cool weather meal. I often enjoy it for lunch, too.

Frankly, I was surprised at how tasty all these ingredients are together; I think you will be, too. You may even find that people keep asking for the recipe.

For another appealing autumn recipe, pumpkin bread pudding, click here.

1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups peeled and chopped sweet-tart apples (such as Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp)
1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped parsnips
1 peeled and coarsely chopped peeled Acorn, Hubbard or other winter squash
1 cup peeled and finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
About 4 cups reduced-sodium or regular chicken broth
Salt and black pepper to taste (optional)
Fine slices unpeeled apple for garnish

In a 4-quart saucepan or similar-size soup pot, combine onion and butter. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, 3 or 4 minutes, until onion softens and begins to brown.

Stir in the apples, parsnips, squash, carrot, coriander, ginger root, and thyme. Stir in 3 3/4 cups broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat; simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until parsnips and carrots are just tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.

In batches, puree until fairly smooth in a food processor or blender. Return pureed mixture to saucepan over medium heat. Thin the bisque to the desired consistency with more broth or water. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes until flavors are well blended. Taste and add salt and pepper, as desired. Serve in cups, bowls, or soup plates. Garnish servings with several fresh apple slices just before serving.
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.

In the mood for more soup--try my hearty lentil-rice-veggie soup here.
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