When you're feeling a bit down, few things help more than a fresh pot of soup. I've had a butternut squash out on the counter for a couple of weeks, and today I decided that since it clearly is not going to look cute and decorative forever (as evidenced by a couple of brown spots on the peel), it was time to figure out what to do with it.
On the spur of the moment, I decided to make a soup out of it. The first recipe I found was for Cream of Any Vegetable Soup from the original Kosher Palette Cookbook that my sister-in-law gave me when I got married. Of course, since then, these cookbooks have become somewhat of an empire, with a new one every year or so, and increasingly long and obscure lists of ingredients. But what would life be without the occasional, elusive search for Panko bread crumbs, crimini mushrooms, or Chilean sea bass? I enjoy the variety, but I really do reach for that old standby, Spice and Spirit a.k.a. The Big Purple Cookbook, about 93% of the time.
I must say, butternut squash is absurdly difficult to peel with a knife, unless I was doing something totally wrong. But this recipe was relatively straightforward, and didn't take too long. I followed the instructions carefully for the roux, an interesting mixture of flour-margarine (I made it pareve). This recipe totally had a funky, Food-Network-vibe to it.
There should be a cooking show about cooking with small kids. "Yes, Andy, you can smell this next ingredient, too, but take my word for it, flour doesn't have much of a smell." "Ann, you can't pick those pieces up from the cutting board to put into the pot until the knife isn't moving!" "I have to go see why Little Rag is crying. Please stop touching the garbage!'
Anyway, I didn't know what to expect from this soup because whenever I'm at a wedding (though I think it's been a couple of years) and they ask if I want "cream of whatever" soup or another option, I ask for the other option. The stars aligned properly, and the soup came out well. It was exactly what I needed. It was similar to a carrot soup I've made, but smoother and milder. Since it's pureed, I sat the kids down with straws in their bowls, and they got to work.
This was one of those days when I had a bit of a sniffle, and was a little bummed out (maybe I'll post about that soon), and what really brought a smile to my face was one thought: "Soup's on!"