Sometimes, you need a different perspective to shake you up a little. You need someone else to come in, through some curry spice into the mix and bring your standard squash life to a different level - a level where things can change and things can happen and it's okay because your young and not trapped even though you perhaps feel as much - and then you love them and then you look up and you have two new members of the family, helping with dinner and bringing home ice cream for dessert and playing banjo and ukelele on the porch.
Soon, it will be John and George's turn to feed me. Laila and I will be joining them in the desert, where water, refrigeration, and fresh foods are few and far between.
Until then, I'll keep cooking soup.
1 large butternut squash, or similar sweet fleshed winter squash such as a sugar pumpkin or kobacha squash
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp (or more) curry paste or powder
chili flakes (optional)
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, more to thin
white pepper (optional)
honey or agave (optional)
creme fraiche or plain yogurt (optional)
chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)
1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel and cube the squash into approximate 1 inch cubes. Spread the squash on on a large cookie sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Roast till pierced easily with a fork, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
2) Meanwhile, fry the onion over medium heat in a glug of olive oil for a few minutes till soft and translucent. Turn the heat down, and cook at the lowest temperature possible that still allows the onions to slightly sizzle. Stir every ten minutes or so to prevent from burning.
3) Add garlic (and more olive oil if necessary) and turn up the heat to medium. When fragrant, add the curry powder and chili flakes. Stir frequently for a minute or two until very fragrant, then add the white wine (if not using wine, skip to next step). Let the wine cook off for a minute or two.
4) Add the broth and the squash, and bring to a boil. Simmer until the squash begins to fall apart. Taste for curry spice, and salt. Add some white pepper, if you like. Add a blob of honey, if you like.
5) At this point, you can decide if you want to blend the soup or to leave it with texture. I prefer a soup with varied textures, so I cook the soup until the cubes of squash are almost completely broken down, but not uniform. Or, for a smoother texture, you can blend part or all of the soup with an immersion blender.
6) Finally, if you need to thin the soup, add a bit more broth till the soup reaches a consistency of your liking, and bring back to a simmer.
7) Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of herbs.