You know how when you just know that you’re going to trip, you do? Or when you think about NOT dropping something, it comes crashing down? Hanging out with a firefighter one learns that the majority of calls firefighters in Austin respond to, is that of folks leaving something on the stove. I’m not sure I’d ever done that before. But since learning this? Yea, twice. I left lentils boiling on the stove and then went upstairs and forgot about them until I’d ruined my pot and smoked up the house. And this week I left butternut squash roasting in the oven. Is it kismet? Putting it out into the universe? Ugh, it’s like running into someone you don’t want to see when you look your absolute worst, when you least expect it, and you’re totally spaced out until you almost run them over or hit their truck (yes, this also happened recently). Is that always the way it goes? You don’t want it to happen, and that’s when it does. Isn’t there an expression for that?
Point is, The Firefighter went out on call after call like this and my reaction was usually, “seriously, how do you leave your house and forget there’s something on the stove or in the oven?” Apparently, once I said that, it had to happen. Luckily, nothing burned down, no one was harmed, and I didn’t return home to find firefighters in my house. I did make a delightful soup with some smokey squash though.
I made this version vegetarian so my roommates could share with me (you can easily make this with chicken stock instead for a little more flavor and protein). I had made a ton of pesto (again) and had a bunch of goat cheese and the combination ended up being fantastic.
Smokey Butternut Squash Soup
serves 8 (approximately)
2 medium butternut squash
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth + 3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 400. Slice the squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil on a cookie sheet and place squash, cut-side down, on sheet. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt all over squash. Roast in the oven for (and I’m approximating here because I left it without paying attention) 45 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and drain and reserve any liquid that has collected. Flip the squash over, turn the heat up to broil, and return to the oven for another 5 minutes (or so). Let cool on the pan until cool enough to handle. The skin should peel off easily.
While the squash is roasting, saute the onion, carrots, and bay leaves in 1 tablespoon olive oil over low-medium heat in a soup pot. When the onion is just about translucent, add the garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes over low heat.
Add the peeled squash to the pot, the reserved juice, and 4 cups of broth/water. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and partially cover for about 15 minutes. The squash will start to fall apart. Remove the bay leaves, and add liquid if it starts to get a little dry (1/2 cup at a time).
Using a handheld blender or regular ol’ blender, blend all the ingredients. If it’s too thick, add water. Add salt and pepper to taste. The soup can be frozen for a couple of months or kept in the fridge for up to a week or 2. Each serving I heat up, I drop a dollop of cool goat cheese and pesto on top. Tasty stuff.
And what happens when a roommate leaves a dish towel in the oven before you turn on the broiler? Then who do you call??