Saturday, July 28, 2012

Creamy Squash Carrot and Longanisa Soup

Sometimes we get so lost in our own doldrums that we miss out on all the goodness that is around us, just waiting to be noticed.  The worse is when we get so entangled in small problems that they soon feel like mountains (which once were molehills).  Life is too short for fretting over molehills.  Heck, life is too short for fretting over mountains either.  There is much too be thankful for and much to embrace.  Start now.  This very second.

When I received the sad news about Barbara’s passing I sat shocked in my seat.  A little intake of breath, a soft ‘no’, and a heavy heart.  I had never met Barbara in person but she will always have a special place in my heart as one of the first ‘friends’ I made through blogging.  She was always such a positive force, a classy lady, an inspiration.  We shared a love for Donna Hay, and she created a blogging event centered on her recipes… an event in which I religiously participated.  She was bright and sunny and clever.  She sent me lovely white cloth napkins (I've used them in the photo above) just because.  And she was fighting cancer.

I don’t know what to say that has not already been said…but if you’ve never ‘met’ Barbara, go over to her blog.  Her words will show her strength, bravery, and joy much better than anything I could tell you.  She lived life to the fullest.  An attitude I greatly admire and always try my darnedest to adopt.

Even in the midst of all she was going through, she took the time to create a food blogging event called a Taste of Yellow to raise cancer awareness, which she coincided with LiveStrong Day.  Bloggers around the world would participate with yellow dishes and shared their own stories of cancer.  As a tribute to this wonderful, courageous woman, Meeta’s Monthly Mingle, hosted by Jeanne, is celebrating a Taste ofYellow one more time.

I wish I could share this warming soup with you my friend…

Creamy Squash Carrot Longanisa Soup
  • Olive oil
  • 1 white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 100-150 grams longanisa
  • 400-450 gram wedge of squash, peeled and chopped
  • 400 grams carrots (about 2-3 depending on size), peeled and chopped
  • 100 grams longanisa, extra
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 4-5 cups water
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste 
- Take all the longanisa out of its skins and chop the meat, or simply break apart with your fingers.  Separate the 100 grams from the rest – this will be your topping.
- Heat a pot over medium high flame.  Add a couple of generous swirls of oil.  When the oil is hot add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add the ground up longanisa (except what you have set aside for topping!) to the pan and sauté until just cooked.
- Add squash and carrots and stir, turning to coat everything in the fragrant oil.  Add the water (start with 4 cups), cover, and bring the heat down to low.  Cook this, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender.  At some point in the cooking, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- When everything is soft, take the pot off the heat and leave to cool.  When cool, blitz with a stick blender until everything is smooth.  Alternately, you can pour the cool soup in a blender and blend.
- While your soup is cooking, or while it is cooling, sauté the rest of your ground up longanisa in a pan until cooked and a bit crisp.  Set aside.
- Place the now smooth soup back on the heat and add the cream.  Cook over very low heat, stirring, until all the cream is mixed in well.  Taste and re-season.  If the soup looks to thick for your tastes, add some water.  If it is too thin, cook for a while longer.
- Ladle the hot soup into bowls and top with a good ration of fried longanisa.

When I was making a batch of squash soup a while back (one of my favorite soups), I added some carrots that needed using up, and was rooting around the pantry and fridge for something to give it another layer of flavor.  I spied two pieces of longanisa (a spiced Filipino sausage) in the freezer.  And that, as they say, was that.  The longanisa lends the soup a delicious new dimension that I really like.  There are many types of longanisa available and each will give its own special stamp to your soup, so use your favorites and experiment.  I've tried it with the hamonado type (pictured above) and the more garlicky types, and both a delicious.  I am sure this would also be fantastic with chorizo as well.

Thank you Barbara for the inspiration and grace you always showed me, and the many others whose lives you touched.

Life is indeed too short to waste even one second moping over spilled milk.  We should instead be grateful that we are alive and fit and able to wipe that milk up and go out and get another carton.


Ling said...

Hugs, Joey. I hear you.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A lovely post and great soup! I am so sad that Barbara passed away...



ChichaJo said...

Thanks Ling!

Hi Rosa, I know, so sad indeed...she was a wonderful person.

Bom said...

I too have lost a blogger friend and the sadness that comes with the knowledge is surprising given how tenuously our relationships are built.

Your friend Barbara must be in a better place now and cooking up a storm.

Shanna said...

I like carrot and soup looks nice

chicaescocesa said...

i have just discovered your blog, and not only are your recipes mouthwatering...but your writing is interesting and personal.

this is a beautiful blog post, I felt very touched by it.

I may use this/or an other recipe in my online magazine if that would be ok? x

Junglefrog said...

What a beautiful post for Barbara! If I had know she also had a Donna Hay event I might have gotten in touch with her sooner but I had heard of Barbara but just never visited her blog before...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Bom -- I am sure she is, thanks for your words. It is indeed incredible (and wonderful) how the internet has allowed us to have such real connections where otherwise space and time would have not allowed!

Thanks Shanna :)

Hi Chicaescocesa -- thank you :) If you's like to use any of my recipes please email me first at eighty_breakfasts (AT) yahoo (DOT) com :)

Hi Simone -- she started Hay Hay it's Donna Day, the first Donna Hay event :)

Unknown said...

Got your comment in our blog about the squash soup coincidence! Funny indeed! Just wanted to say hi! :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi there! I am assuming you are one of the fabulous bunch that makes up :) Yes, funny know what they say about great minds ;)

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings said...

I heard about Barbara...I didn't know her, but from what I can gather, she is a well-respected blogger.

Your soup is genius! And yes! bring on the longganisa crumble topping! Ooh yeah! Sarap!

Not Your Ordinary Agent said...

I am just in total awe of your blog. The colors are so soothing. Love your header.

Back to the soup, holy moly. Please come share at Foodtastic Friday

ChichaJo said...

Hi Jen -- she was truly an awesome woman :) I really like the flavor the longanisa adds to squash soup!

Hi Not Your Ordinary Agent! Thanks :) Will check it out :)

Jeanne said...

A beautiful tribute - and such true sentiments! We a;ways waste time complaining about the silliest things and when something like this happens, we realise we have nothing to complain about at all. A beautiful and vibrant recipe - thanks for joining the Mingle this month to pay tribute to Barbara!

Paz said...

It's nice you were able to include the napkins Barbara sent you in the post. Delicious-looking soup.

ChichaJo said...

Thank you Jeanne for organizing this event...Barbara definitely touched a lot of lives and that legacy won't be forgotten!

Hi Paz -- thank you! Yes, she was so thoughtful and sweet, even to think of these generous gestures to someone she never met in person...

catsmovingkitchen said...

Hi Jo,

I love squash soup! I usually make it vegetarian with an added malunggay leaves for color (which I posted in my blog).

Thanks for yet another inspiration.


ChichaJo said...

Hi Cath! I never though of adding malunggay! I will try that next time :) Thanks for the tip!

JB said...

Great post and recipe. Beautifully written, honest and personal.