Food Tips, Meals, Recipes

Autumn Soup

Summer is not even over, but I’m already looking forward to autumn soups and stews.  This recipe is one I concocted a few years ago from some of my favorite ingredients. It does contain chicken broth, cheese, cream and butter, but with a few tweaks, it can become a delicious vegetarian or vegan dish to warm your autumn evenings.


Autumn Soup


2 large sweet potatoes

1 carnival squash, or your favorite winter squash, about 1.5 c.

6 c. chicken stock

1 clove garlic

1.5 c. sharp cheddar


rainbow chard


salt, pepper, nutmeg


Boil the sweet potatoes and allow to cool before peeling.  Cut squash in half, remove the seeds and bake in a 350F oven 30 minutes or until done.  Cool and remove squash from the peel.

Puree the sweet potatoes and squash, along with the stock, in a food processor and add to your soup pot.

Heat the puree, adding minced garlic and grated cheese.

Wash, dry and chop the chard leaves then saute them in butter.

Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

Add the chard mixture to the soup and continue to heat through. Stir in cream to taste, heat and serve.

This soup lends itself to many condiments. You can add more cheese, sprinkle with chives or parsley or even top with a spicy Asian sauce.

Food Sensitivities

Another Piece of the Puzzle

I’ve been away for the last several weeks. visiting my daughter in England.  It was a real pleasure to enjoy wheat products without becoming ill during the trip. And, as a result of something that popped up for her after I came home, together we have solved another part of the family sulphur problem.

For several generations, the women in my family have not been able to take iron supplements.  When I became anemic during my pregnancy, my midwife suggested I try chelated iron which luckily worked.

It never dawned on me that the symptoms were very close to those of sulphur overload.

My daughter has discovered that regular iron supplements have a sulphur base. Voila, problem solved.

And due to my DNA tests and my daughter’s ancestry research, I’m pretty sure that I now know how the sensitivity entered my maternal line.

Sulphur sensitivity has been linked to having ancestors who lived along the Silk Road, a trade route between China and the West.  When my late brother finally had his DNA done, it turned up something that also had appeared in my maternal DNA.  Random Eastern European ancestry.  As reports have gotten more detailed, it looks like possibly Ukrainian ancestry, one of the endpoints for the Silk Road.

Also, after recently watching the first season of Marco Polo, I did more online research on the Mongolian DNA that turns up in Hungary as a result of Genghis Khan’s move west, even though I have no Asian DNA of any type that shows up on the current tests.

However, when I started digging through the Hungarian DNA research published on the internet, low and behold, both Mongolian and Romany ancestry is turning up to be widespread and my Dad’s haplo group turns up in the middle of the Mongolian DNA they have traced.

Boom! Silk Road ancestry confirmed.

How then, you ask, did it end up coming from my mother’s side of the family?

Several hundred years ago, an Elizabeth Sumner married into my mother’s family.

This also explains why my parents are listed as distant cousins when you check relationships on the ancestry website. My guess is that Elizabeth Sumner introduced the sulphur sensitivity into my maternal line.  The original Sumner in my paternal line did not pass it on.

Food sensitivities can be really weird and very interesting.

Oddly enough, today is my brother’s birthday.  He would have been 61.