Sunday, November 23, 2008

curried squash soup that won't let you down

I almost bought a pair of super fancy rhinestoned glasses at the Valu-Thrift yesterday. They would have been perfect for the character of my mother, had they been a wee bit cheaper. Instead I bought a Minnesota Woolen sweater for Jacob ($2.99). It's 15°F in Minneapolis for cryin' out loud. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACOB, I love you love you love you.) I also scored a red and olive wool wrap for Seasons ($3.99) and a skein of super bulky lion bouclĂ©, color: snow cone (69¢). Isn't that awesome? Now I must crochet a hat (69¢).

In other news, I've been up to my anejo in homework and work work, and spending all my movie-watching time chatting people up on Facebook. Damn, it's a time suck, but the banter — I just can't quit the banter.

Jeff, here's the curried squash soup recipe you crave. It won't let you down. Drop by my place if you need any of those spices — I have a few barrels in my spice rack. Oh yeah, and the Publix near Rob's house (on Wickham and Lake Washington Rd.) is selling gigantic Cinderella pumpkins for $3.50. It's the deal of the century (I'm making curried PUMPKIN soup for Thanksgiving with half of mine).


curried squash soup that won't let you down

a big winter squash (like butternut, hubbard, or the generic calabeza that I used)
salt and pepper
5 or 6 cloves of garlic, totally massacred
2 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
stock to fill the pot (veg or chicken, or water if you ain't got none)
more salt and pepper
1/2 can of coconut milk (not cream)
3 or 4 sliced green onions
a handful of barely chopped cilantro

Don't waste your time peeling that squash — cut it into quarters, grind some salt and pepper on top, and roast it uncovered on a flat pan at 350° for 40 minutes to an hour, until the edges are a little bit brown and it's soft all the way through. No, don't put butter on it. No olive oil, either.

Take the pan out of the oven and while the squash cools somewhere near the sink (don't put it in the soup yet, dig?), heat the oil in a big pot. Add the garlic and spices and sauté until the mustard seeds pop (the best part). Add a couple of cups of stock to keep the spices from burning, then scoop the squash out of its skin with a spoon and stir it into the pot. Cover with stock (if you have a squash the size of a baby's head, you should probably use enough stock to fill a few cereal bowls), add salt and pepper to taste, and heat it up.

Remove from heat and add the coconut milk. Give it a good go with the stick blender if you really must have smooth soup (I do, because I'm neurotic, despite my aversion to measuring devices). Float the onions and cilantro on top.

Yeah, baby.
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