I’ll get to it – Roasted squash soup and NY resolutions
It doesn’t take long to catch onto food trends. As a magazine editor, I’m always scanning the headlines and newsstands, and it gets pretty easy to spot what’s hot just by standing a distance away and seeing the pattern emerge, as though a crop sign shaped like a macaron or whoopie pie were formed from the juxtaposed covers (though technically whoopie pies and macarons a have very similar silhouette — so let me take that example back). Off the shelves and away from the media, food trends can be spotted by what people are bringing for lunch at work, or what recipes people are seeking out. A couple months ago, soup was the subject. It must have been the combination of the flu season, sweater weather, and plentiful harvest of all the different types of squash, and every other person seemed to be having soup at work. “Gabby, that smells amazing,” I said, eyeing her creamy asparagus soup. “How did you make it?” She went on to explain what probably everyone is already aware of — how easy it is to make soup. Cut up your vegetable, boil or roast them, throw them in a food processor with some broth and spin a tight lid on the jar when the soup’s pureed to perfection. I had always wanted to make a soup like this. But my issue was that the only hardware in my apartment close to a food processor was my Magic Bullet. Great for summer smoothies. Maybe not so durable to transform a pumpkin into a carriage of soup. While Gabby was sweet enough to offer to buy me the industrial blender she swears by, I hesitated. That’s a huge appliance to carry to and from, work and home! Much like how an ice-cream maker is crucial to getting the right consistency of ice-cream, you can’t fake a good soup by boiling and mashing it down in a pot. As long as no food processor there be, so soup without I was. But now, I’m happy to say that I finally made the soup — persistence worked four batches through that itty-bitty-but-mighty Magic Bullet, we have roasted squash soup! Recipe coming up … All this got me thinking though. Roasted squash soup was something I said, “Meh, maybe later I’ll do it.” Enjoying my second serving tonight, I can’t help but wonder what else I toss that remark to. With Christmas nearly here, I’m already thinking about New Years. A friend tweeted on December 8 “Is it too early to think about NYE?” I replied: “Are we talking about parties or year-end regrets? B/c in the latter case, yes.” A NYE tradition I had with a friend who has since moved out west was to time-capsule all our thoughts and hopes on the year passing, and then write our dreams and hopes for the one to come. We made a deal not to open the letter until NYE of the following year, and then see how much had come true. Let me tell you — whatever resolutions I had for the new year were no doubt shadowed by the year passing. Then I wondered, am I scared to make resolutions because I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed? I’ll get to it. Like the soup, I’ll get to forming those resolutions. But for someone who values sincerity, I’m not going to make any resolutions without taking stock of the help around me. Even if it’s itty-bitty like the Magic Bullet, it might just work out okay with the persistence of many batch attempts. Roasted squash soup recipe (adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine and Food Network)
- 1 winter squash, like buttercup or butternut
- 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 1/3 cup vegetable stock, and reserve 1/3 cup
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, and line a baking pan with aluminum foil for the squash. Set another another casserole dish aside.
- Prepare the complimentary roasted vegetables: toss the celery and carrots in olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the first 1/3 cup of stock.
- Prepare the squash: Keeping the skin on, slice in quarters. Dissolve the honey into 1/4 cup water, and rub onto the sides of the squash. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Place the flesh side down so that the surface can caramelize
- Roast the squash and other vegetables for 40-45 minutes.
- Test the doneness by prodding the squash — if soft to touch, cut away the skin and dice squash into large sections. Let it cool completely, along with the other vegetables before the final step.
- Puree the roasted squash, other vegetables, parsley, and remaining vegetable stock until desired consistency is achieved.
- The soup can now be kept in the fridge for several days, or frozen for up to 1 month. Add water to thin out the soup if you find that it is too thick when re-heated.