Molly's Winter Squash Soup

I don’t know Molly.  But I feel like I do.Molly is the author of A Homemade Life and has a blog called Orangette.  Molly tells me things about her life and talks to me on her lovely blog, which is probably why she has so very many “friends”.  And funny enough, this isn’t actually Molly’s soup that I am writing about because Molly got it from another blogging “friend” named Lisa, whom she has never met.  And as Lisa tells us on her thought-provoking blog called Coffee In The Woodshed, she adapted it from a recipe she read in Better Homes and Gardens.  So when I went to find correct credit for my blog post, I found a trail of inspiration for the soup that started for me as Molly's soup.

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There is something about my newfound world of blogging that has, well, opened my world. Molly and Lisa don’t know me, and I don’t know them, except for reading their occassional missives on life, but somehow I know them better than some of my neighbors.  They have opened their hearts and lives to readers from all over.  They allow us to peek into their blog and get to know them from afar.  And they inspire me.  I suppose inspiration is the reason we all write our blogs.  I write to inspire myself, but I hope in the process, that I also inspire others.

No surprise I'm sure that I am particularly drawn to food memoir blogs, of which there are endless choices.  Some of my favorite people I don’t know inlude Ashley (notwithoutsalt), Maureen (Rose Water & Orange Blossoms) Molly and Lisa.  And of course I am also inspired by blogging friends that I actually know like the authors of Eat-Drink-Garden, The Silver Pen, The Maili Files and Pamela Says.

Sometimes it is the recipe that inspires me to get up and get cooking.  Or sometimes a story or recipe reminds me of something in my life.  There are so many little memories stuck in my brain somewhere.  And someone else’s story can bring one out of the depths and dust it off.  Often, it takes a lot of dusting and my mom gets a call with me saying “do you remember when ....?”  How lucky I am to have my mother’s memory to help me with my dusting!

But this time, Molly inspired me with her recipe.  It sounds so delicious, with the sweet squash and fragrant curry and notes of coconut and onion all finished with a hit of spice.  But it tastes even better.  Thank you Molly and my blogging “friends” for the endless inspiration.

“We learn something from everyone who passes through our lives.. Some lessons are painful, some are painless.. but, all are priceless.” - Unknown 

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Molly’s Winter Squash Soup

1 winter squash (butternut or Kabocha or other) about 2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 medium onion, chopped 1-4 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon curry powder 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth 1 14-oz can unsweetened coconut milk 1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce (like Sriracha) (optional)

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, cover, and cook on low 4-5 hours or high 2-3 hours. When the squash is soft, use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it’s smooth and velvety.  You can also puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender – be careful!  Or you can use a potato masher; the soup won’t be quite as smooth but will still taste delicious.  Ladle the soup into big bowls, top with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream or a squeeze of lime juice, and serve with lots of bread!

Variation: For a nice protein boost, add a cup of dry lentils at the beginning — very tasty!

This soup also comes together beautifully on the stovetop. It requires more tending but cooks up in about an hour. Saute the onion and garlic in some coconut oil or olive oil until soft, and then add the curry powder and continue to saute for about a minute, until nice and fragrant. Then add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until the squash is soft. Then use your immersion blender to proceed as above.

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