Butternut Squash & Curry SoupBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterI love soups for many reasons. They are generally easy to make, they feed your spirit, and soups place no limits on your creativity. This flavorful soup fills the house with the aroma of the curry and other spices that date back thousands of years. Curry powder is actually a spice blend, so different brands will have slightly different flavors. Any that appeal to you will work for this recipe. Creamy Mushroom SoupBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis soup recipe was inspired by my friend Julia who had told me of a fabulous creamy mushroom soup that she had in a restaurant in Houston. I've used a variety of mushrooms, but if your choices are limited, use any fresh mushrooms available. Dried Porcini however, along with their soaking liquid are essential to the flavor of this soup and are generally available at better grocery stores, and also online. The soup is decadently rich, and a small bowl is generally sufficient for a first course. The garnish of the balsamic reduction and crème fraiche add just that extra touch, to both the visual and the taste. It keeps several days in the refrigeratorBottaggio – Pork & Cabbage StewBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis dish comes from the Lombardia region of Italy, where my Father was born, and has been made for ages. If you go back in time when the farmers and villagers ate mostly what they grew or raised, you would find that they cooked with lard. There wasn't a huge production of olive oil in the region at that time, but they did raise pigs. This stew was traditionally made using the less tender parts of the pig, and it would contain the feet, nose, and ears and some of the rib bones. Nothing was wasted. However, in this day and age, we can use the more accessible cuts of pork, but I would encourage you to find fresh pork rind and use that. It adds a creamy richness to the broth, and a bit of a crunch in contrast to the soft, tender pork cubes.