Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cardamom Butternut Squash Soup

January could be called the month of our resolutions. In the middle of nature sleeping, we are busy making plans for ourselves. Plans to become better mostly. On one hand it is our job as citizens of this great green earth to make things better. On the other hand, I think the standards and expectations we sometimes set up for ourselves can be pretty intimidating. So instead of resolving to change me this year, I am resolving to be more in my loving about me. My fears, my fails, my mean words, my tears, my wilted cauliflower and too much olive oil on the broccoli, my dingy whites and not folding the laundry quick enough, my sometimes I don't floss even though I know I should, my playing a song five times in a row on the ipod in the car, my occasional hopelessness, my inability to forgive just yet; all of it is going to get more loving than it did last year. The good and the bad are all getting more loving this year.

Because I did wilt the cauliflower tonight. I put it on the same cookie sheet as the potatoes and over-roasted it. And my christmas tree is still up, and my laundry is piled high, and I did not make my bed today. And I cried for about 2 hours. And my suitcase is still sitting by the front door where I left it a day ago. But at this moment,  I sit here and am beyond my housekeeping and grief knowing that I stayed in my loving by not judging myself for not getting it done.
I am especially in my loving about how I just turned 39 and not 40 in one of the most craptastic years in memory. Next year will be different though. Stay tuned. It should be good.

Well the day was not a complete wash.  I did make soup again today.  I roasted a butternut squash yesterday and made soup two days in a row with it.  It has been a bit cold here, so I  added cardamom along with cinnamon and a pinch of red pepper flakes to make a nice warm, cozy soup.  A small squeeze of lemon and maybe a bit more olive oil than I should have were added also. But if that is all I am having for dinner like last night, I go heavier on the monounsaturated fats for good luck. I put it all in the blender with some stock and was good to go.

A note about how I roast squash (all squash). I put it in the oven whole to roast it. I don't slice it, or split it or remove seeds. I am convinced I will cut my fingers off somehow and just put the whole thing (no matter the size) on a cookie sheet and bake it. After it is knife tender, I take it out of the oven, let it cool for a bit and then slice it in half, scoop out the seed and then scoop out the flesh for whatever I am making. It always works out well for me.

Cardamom Butternut Squash Soup
makes 4 servings

3 cups roasted butternut squash
2 cups stock (I used organic chicken stock)
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
pinch salt
1/2 tsp. powdered cardamom
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp heaping red pepper flakes
1 tsp. lemon juice

Blend all ingredients in blender for almost a minute,  then cook on simmer for 20 minutes.


Anonymous said...

this looks absolutely delish...but, beyond the recipe, the depth of this post is what is i enjoyed lapping up the most. jess, your transparency, grace, intelligence, heart, and sense of humor even in this 'craptastic' (is that what you called it?! lol!) time period are amazing. i am grateful for your posts and you.

Anonymous said...

I honestly could have written this post, apart from the fact that I am still indulging in too many saturated fat.. A lot of sh@#$ around here as well, and no one to blame but me. I love your gentler approach. I already grew up with enough people blaming me for everything, now that I am older and wiser, I at least should stop blaming myself. In the end, I do occasionally roast butternut squash, so I can't be that bad.

Becky said...

Oh my goodness, Jess! Your brilliance is showing again!

I think you are speaking on behalf of a whole bunch of us women who just read your post and let out a collective sigh and thanked God that we're not the only one with laundry piled up to here, ruined dishes, dusty shelves, unpacked suitcases, and unmade beds. Seriously, you just encouraged us all to cut ourselves just a little bit of slack. Thank you!!!

Here's to a new year and a new you. By the time you're 40 you'll have a new stride and everyone will no doubt be asking "how does she do that!?"

88 said...

I am having a lave affair with cardamom of late so this post alights on my interweb reader at the perfect time!

Thank you for your honesty and keep doing what you love -- the laundry will always be there and no one in their twilight years reminisces about how thoroughly and prefect they washed their clothes ;)

Jessica said...

Caffettiera..cheers to those of us who make it through the hard times and still can roast a squash!
88..thank you! you! you too..

Anonymous said...

a toast to you.
a toast to honesty.
a toast to loving all of ourselves!
i sure am loving you!

Seamstress & Gardener said...

I feel my heart lift to hear you write, you are poetic and skillful, and your honesty beams. Thank you for sharing that with us. I am motivated by your aspirations, and I hope that those Marin food buffs pick up on that quick before someone else discovers you, but then hell, maybe they will be from Venice or Paris. That wouldn't be so bad, eh?! Miss you!!xxoo

The Yazz said...

love it! beautiful! like your approach to life. :)

Jessica said...

Thank you Yazz! xo


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