Thursday, December 18, 2008

An arctic blast and the soup that nobody ate

Remember the fresh herbs of last week? They've been hidden under a blanket of snow for the past five days. No more bahn mi until summer most likely.

We get just enough snow for it to be amazing each time, for us to gawk like tourists at snowflakes—snowflakes! Actually falling! From the sky!

But after slip sliding out of my driveway, blatantly disregarding the "chains required" signs, desperate to make it to my final on Monday, I can see how it could get old. Honestly, what's the point of snow if you don't get a snow day? Frozen pipes, a yard coated in ice, snowplowed slush run through with mud—I'm glad we only get this a couple times a year.

As it is, snowy days are the perfect excuse to make cookies, break our cocktails-on-weekends-only rule, and indulge in soup and sandwiches after work. If only my family liked the soup as much as I did...

My husband hates smooth soup. (He also hates parsley, spaghetti, anything with celery in it. I say that's the weirdest thing I've ever heard. He says that because I hate shrimp and lobster, my opinion is completely invalid.)

I can see the soup thing, sort of. I don't like to eat pureed foods as a main dish. No smoothies for breakfast, puddings for snacks. But as the side to a crunchy grilled ham and cheese sandwich, I think a bit of roasted butternut squash soup and cilantro pesto is perfect.

Too bad I'm outnumbered. Tonight's tally was bowls of soup served, 3; empty bowls at the end of dinner, 1. Sigh.

W. says that if it was chunky, it would be great; I say that all that chopping would make the endeavor just not worth it. The whole point of the soup is that it's easy. He says that anything that produces smooth soup is pointless anyway. And I say something unprintable.

I'll let you judge for yourself.

Butternut squash soup

1 butternut, cut into large chunks (like into quarters)
1 apple, cored and quartered
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled

Toss the veggies (EDITED TO ADD: and apple) with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in a 375-degree oven until dark, dark, brown on the tips. Remove peel from squash. Coarsely process veggies in the food processor. (This can be done ahead and kept in the refrigerator. This is what I did so I had an easy, quick weeknight meal on tap.)

Put puree in saucepan with equal parts chicken broth and water, enough to thin the puree to your desired consistency. Bring to a boil and simmer gently about 10 minutes to blend flavors.

I like this soup with a dab of cilantro pesto made with cilantro (stems and all), walnuts, cotija cheese, a small splash of apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil—all blended in the food processor until smooth. It's also good with bacon, croutons, and fried sage or a bit of curry powder.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I love, love, love this soup. Next time you make it, make sure I'm around and I will eat enough to make up for your picky family members!