Yesterday I endeavored to recreate the glorious soup that was served at Sherry and Jodil’s wedding. It was butternut squash with, as well as I could determine, subtle additions of curry and maple syrup.
The result wasn’t exact, but it was a pretty good first try. I think next time I’d bump up the curry to two teaspoons (and potentially move up from there), and possibly a bit more maple syrup. I don’t think it needs 1/3 of a cup, but maybe a couple more tablespoons than 1/4 of a cup.
Anyway, since it’s soup season, here you go:
1 large butternut squash
2 medium cloves garlic
1 medium onion
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup (dark is better, don’t even think about using fake crap)
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
To roast the squash, cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and pulp. Brush with olive oil and roast cut side down on a cookie sheet at about 375F for an hour (or until there’s no resistance anywhere if you stab it with a fork). Remove it from the oven and let it cool.
In a large pot (I have a stock pot that’s either 12 or 20 quarts, can never remember) add the stock and turn heat on fairly low (like about 4).
Sauté the onions with a drop of olive oil either in a separate pan or in the bottom of the stock pot on higher heat before you add the stock. Once the onions are tender and starting to brown slightly, add them to the stock pot and turn down the heat.
Scoop the flesh from the squash (I discovered a gelato paddle works fabulously well for this — don’t ask me why my parents have a gelato paddle…) and add it to the stock pot. Finely mince the garlic, add it to the pot. Pour the maple syrup into the pot, too.
Add the spices — curry powder, a shake of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. (There would have been maybe 1/8 tsp of cinnamon and nutmeg — they’re strong, and you don’t want them to be dominant flavours here.)
Stir the soup well until everything’s mixed in, and then leave it to simmer, stirring occasionally. I turned the heat off after an hour and a half or two hours, then added the milk (cow or soy, doesn’t matter, can use cream if you want to make it richer).
Then I used a stick blender to puree the soup til it was smooth. If the soup gets too thick, just add water very slowly and stir after you’ve pureed the soup. You want it to be thick and to coat a spoon well if you dip it. You can do the pureeing in a food processor in batches, too. Just be careful you don’t splash yourself.
Serve it with a nice, hearty bread, and you can garnish it with a dollop of sour cream or a swirl of olive or truffle oil if you like, but no garnish is necessary.
In other news, I finally found a friend for my niece:
My SIL has been wanting to get her one, but apparently all the Cabbage Patch Kids now are “specialized” and fairly lame. So I went through the downstairs closet at my parents’ place and found mine. She looks not too bad for 20+ years old. The elastic in her track pants is pretty weak now, and her hair is a bit discoloured from the fire.
Her name is Genevieve Louella, and once upon a time, she had socks. (My niece doesn’t like socks, either.) Her hair also wasn’t in braided pigtails, but I did that so long ago that the elastics had rotted so I had to put in new ones.
I found my original Care Bear Cousins raccoon, too. Wikipedia tells me:
Bright Heart Raccoon: The smartest of the Cousins, Bright Heart Raccoon is a walking supercomputer who can solve problems thinking logically, and helps his friends on their toughest dilemmas. He is purple and his symbol is a yellow heart-shaped light bulb. Bright Heart Raccoon is a fan favorite.
Yes, even my toys were nerds. 🙂
On a similar note, a message on behalf of my original Fisher Price castle:
Fuck Disney Princesses. 🙂
And finally, important lessons from a toddler:
Life is more fun without pants.
Two puppies are better than one.
Food tastes better when you eat with your fingers. 🙂
(Also: my baby is cuter than your baby. Nyer!)