Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Indonesian Squash and Spinach Soup

I started my current obsession with winter squash in the summer which is bad timing. But a roommate had a recipe for pumpkin gnocchi with sage butter, and my stomach developed an insatiable craving. An occasional pumpkin or squash here or there throughout the summer turned into a regular weekly visit to the pumpkin seller's stand at the Farmer's Market once fall rolled in. And when butternut squash went on sale at the Co-op for 49cents a pound AND there was an 11% sale, I stocked up on a cart-full. How long would it take my roommates to notice or object to the inclusion of squash every week on my cook night?

Menu for Tuesday, December 6th. Dinner for 8.
Indonesian Squash and Spinach Soup from Sundays at Moosewood
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad (with mint, mango and peanuts) from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook
Custard Tart (single large one because I was too harried to make individual little ones)
Sesame Balls filled with Red Bean Paste (Jin Dui)

No one has objected yet. And I have Nakona to thank for this blog's name; when I invited him over for dinner, he wrote back something about pepo passion, pepo being an indehiscent fleshy 1-celled or falsely 3-celled many-seeded berry (as a pumpkin, squash, melon, or cucumber) that has a hard rind and is the characteristic fruit of the gourd family.

So for my first blog post, one of my first and favorite squash recipes as I've adapted it from the book:
Split butternut squash in half, remove seeds and bake face down in roasting pan with inch of water at 400 or so until soft enough to scoop out chunks easily.
Grind equal amounts coriander seeds, cumin seeds and turmeric (1-2tsp each) with mortar and pestle, add some dried chile flakes and 1/2 cup ground nut of choice (almonds or walnuts are delicious).
Cook large diced onion with 6 crushed garlic cloves in a bit of oil, add a couple tablespoons finely minced ginger root and a bit of salt, cook until onions are translucent.
Add 3-4 cups vegetable stock and ground spices, cook for 5 minutes, then add in a can of coconut milk and cooked squash.
Simmer for 10 minutes or until hungry, add in a bunch of coarsely chopped spinach. When spinach is wilted, soup is ready to serve; lemon or lime juice can be added.

Dinner tonight did not involve squash, but was a delicious veggie stir-fry that Rick cooked. However, after dinner, I stayed up waiting for the Amish Friendship Bread to cook and spun this:

It's merino-tencel I dyed a few weeks ago. Tomorrow it will become yarn...

No comments: