I like to make soup. It’s a dish I can eat now or freeze for later. It is relaxing to stand over the stove and breath in hot fumes of chicken broth, salt and vegetables. Doing so with a glass of wine in hand makes the experience all the more pleasant.
When I was walking through the Union Square market one day I noticed these beautiful squash. Having never cooked squash before I decided to buy a few and figure out what to do with them. By the time I was home I had settled on soup. This recipe has subsequently become a popular staple on the menus I serve to guests.
The last time I made squash soup though was actually for just one guest. There was no party, just a quiet dinner for two. I spent the entire day preparing the meal and put a lot of thought into the ingredients. I was cooking for my then girlfriend. She was a vegetarian and I wanted to make a meal that we would both enjoy. I have always cooked lots of meat courses and it was a challenge to come up with a menu that we could enjoy together. Squash soup was prominently featured as our first course.
Preparing the meal was an act of love. I always look forward to the reaction I get from guests when they try their first bites. There is no prouder moment for a cook than to see that first smile after she enjoys her first portion of something you have labored over. When you cook for someone you love, that first bite is all the more important. The meal can be an opportunity for you to share a meaningful experience and showcase your love.
Unfortunately the most successful recipes do not always lead to the most successful relationships. Despite my best efforts, culinary and otherwise, my guest left me one day never to return. Even after the girl is gone the soup is still here (frozen).
City Squash Soup
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 diced yellow onions
1 clove of diced garlic
2 pounds of squash cut into cubes (for thicker skinned squashes peel the skin off first)
3 cups of chicken broth
2 teaspoons of pepper
2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup of half and half
Heat the butter, oil, diced onions and garlic in a large soup pot. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the squash, chicken broth, pepper and salt. Cook for 30 minutes over low heat with the lid on.
Pour the mixture into a blender and puree. Pour the soup back into the pot and heat slowly. Add the half and half while stirring. Cook mixture until desired consistency is achieved. You can also add more black pepper to give it extra kick.