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Hey, Harper! What's Cooking?

Do you feel the change in the air? I do! Though I always get into trouble in late February looking for spring to arrive so much faster then it does in Cape Breton. In fact, Spring is the one season I feel doesn't fully bloom here. Winter retreats and returns over and over from late February to May, and then licks of summer start to tease before BAM! Summer.

It doesn't help that I once read poetry describing the first colour of spring to be red; the rouging of the brush, the buds of early trees, and I see red everywhere right now! This seasonal confusion finds it way into the kitchen and what I long to cook. As snow flies I might still feel drawn to the comforting touch of a stew, but all around me, especially online via England, bright green dishes full of spring flavour create cravings that are lighter and fresher. Peas! Asparagus! Lemon and lamb. Mmmmm.

Somewhere in the in-between I settle very often on soup, and how soups can masquerade as many seasons at once. Todays soup is a perfect example. A Sweet Potato & Squash Soup that use the last of the winter store vegetables, warmed with cold weather spices; cinnamon and nutmeg, livened up for brighter days with a lemon cream. It will chase the damp coolness of a grey day away, but definitely cheers me up with the light, bright joy of fresh lemon.

To make a simple lemon cream for topping soup: Whip 1/4 cup heavy cream with the zest of 1/2 lemon and a pinch of salt to a stiff peak. Top soup, swirl in and enjoy!

What I know for sure: Roasting the squash and sweet potato removes excess water, concentrates the flavour (yum), and caramelizes the veggies, making for a super soup.

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