Two of our first decisions as newlyweds involved homegrown food. The first: to become co-op members at our friends’ nearby farm, and second: to also plant a vegetable garden of our own.
Our dear friends had bonded over gardening at the start of their marriage, so I thought we would, too. But no. That’s their story. While Honey Dude has become Mr. Green Thumb, full of passion and consistency, I’ve become more of a spectator — and harvester, of course. (It’s the same thing at the farm: he took on all five of the work days while I just go and pick produce.)
I feel slightly bad. Only slightly. Because when I look at all the joy and gladness he gets from that garden, I feel so glad and happy for him! It’s his new thing. A hobby he enjoys and takes delight in. And because he is a part of me, I get to share in his joy, too. It’s quite a lovely arrangement, this marriage thing.
We started a variety of seeds in a little egg carton that we kept on our kitchen windowsill and anxiously accessed every day. When we finally got sprouts, it was so exciting that we celebrated. Then we spent a Sunday afternoon planting all the little starts we’d grown from seed. It was a joyful occasion. We were hopeful.
As the months went by, our garden flourished! Honey Dude was doing such a good job watering and weeding and tending to those precious plants. I would come out and pet them and encourage them and tell them they were pretty.
One could say that the best part of gardening is the harvesting. When you get to reap what you’ve sown. But I disagree. Take away all of that growing and maturing and fear of slugs and it would just be food in the end. It’s the entire journey that is joy-giving. Every little stage.
Of course, we do get to eat the fruit of our labor! And I tell you, this butternut squash was destined, from day one, for my favorite ever soup recipe: Chicken Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Bisque.
Yes. It’s a mouthful. And so delish! I found this recipe years ago through some foodie/homemaker magazine, only to lose it and develop my own version via memory. I hope you try it and love it. And if you think of any alterations, let me know!
Chicken Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Bisque
- 1 quart organic free-range chicken broth
- 2 cans lite coconut milk
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless free-range chicken breast
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 tbsp curry paste (A Taste of Thai)
- 1 medium butternut squash
- Boil chicken; shred and set aside
- Bake squash at 375-degrees, cut side down, for one hour
- In a large pot, saute onions, then garlic
- Reduce heat to medium-low, adding broth and one can of coconut milk
- In a separate pan, warm second can of coconut milk; whisk in curry paste until blended
- Add curry mixture and chicken to soup pot
- Remove squash from oven and let cool; skin should peel right off the flesh (if it doesn’t, return to oven until ready)
- Once skin is removed, cut squash into bite-sized chunks and add to soup
- Simmer for five minutes, stirring frequently, allowing squash to break apart in the soup for a wonderful bisque-like consistency
- Enjoy with friends and loved ones!