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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Scrabble and Butternut Curry Soup

   I'm writing this as I watch a steady pile of snow falling from the sky - you know, the kind that you need to be shoveling every couple of hours to keep up... I'm glad I'm inside and home from all my errands.

  Winter can be like that!  The other day I felt hemmed in; the snow certainly dictated our activities, or should I say, curtailed them.

  And yet, as I am determined to think in possibilities this year, I thought of what this invites me to?  The other day we had great fun making angels in the snow (well my husband did) and the grandsons were quite impressed.  But I also remembered the busyness of spring, the season that I love, and how we often long for what we do not yet have (more time).  Sometimes in the heat of summer, I fondly think of turtleneck sweaters and cozy fires and time for reading books... well all of that can be mine this week!!!

  I've enjoyed a lot of reading lately... I've taken a break from school, so this is enjoyable reading, leisurely, with a cup of tea and my new quilt wrapped around... (thanks, Mom!).  We've also taken to playing scrabble more often, and often spend a whole evening playing games and challenging each other.

  And it is always good to have a good pot of soup going!  I've had a few requests for this favourite soup of mine, so I'll share the recipe.  Soup is soul food, I think, full of nutrients, nourishing and warm; good for body and spirit.

  I've adapted this recipe over the years, and to me soup is never quite the same... you use what you have, and the results might vary from time to time.  That is just fine with me...

  So here is the basic recipe, to be adjusted to your taste and pantry!

  I start with an onion... and garlic.  Can't get more basic that that... and good for the immune.  Chop in big chunks and saute in a bit of olive oil at the bottom of your soup pot.  One medium onion;  I like sweet onions the best, and a large clove of garlic.  Peel and remove the seeds and pulp of one medium butternut squash (or two small)... Chop into chunks.. and add to the pot.  Depending on the volume of your squash, add 4-6 carrots, peeled and chopped.  Add 1 - 3 peppers (I prefer red), but whatever you have... also chopped in large chunks.

  After sauteing this mixture for a few minutes (until the onion is soft), add one to two teaspoons of curry powder.  I have been using a madras curry which is quite lovely.  The amount you add will directly relate to how hot you like it... and the type of curry you use.  Mix well with the vegetables and your kitchen will start to have a most lovely aroma!

  Add app. 8 cups of water (just to cover the vegetables).  Add a chicken bullion cube and a teaspoon of salt.  My latest choice is Himalayan salt (quite nice), sea salt is great too.  And my latest addition (which I love) is ginger.  I saw a cooking demo recently where they showed if you put fresh ginger in the freezer (I just peel it a little and stick it in a baggie), and then take it out as needed, it grates beautifully into whatever you are using.  So I have grated a little fresh ginger - 1 -2 tsp, and it adds such a lovely flavour.

  Let it all simmer for about 1/2 hour or until the vegetables are soft... let cool a little and then puree the works.  I use a hand immersion blender which works great for me.  Serve with a swirl of plain yogurt, and you have a fine meal.  Even better the next day.  My husband sprinkled a little dill on his yesterday (which I thought was weird), but he certainly seemed to like it.

  It freezes well too... so happy winter.  I pray for safe travels for all those who have to be out there, and happy soup making!

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