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.