My fiancé is generally polite about what I produce in the kitchen. If she likes it, she’ll say “you can make that again”. If it’s something truly offensive (like the ultra-sour vinaigrette I made a few weeks ago. Big mistake: not tasting the stuff before I served it. It could have been fixed) she’ll ask “do I have to eat this?”. Between those two extremes, she’ll eat and express gratitude that I made dinner.
Last night, I got a rare “you can make that again” on a dish that was wholly improvisational, a soup made with baked butternut squash.
She’s right, I should make that again.
Well, crap. How do I make that again?
I need to start writing stuff down. If I want to reproduce something, or improve on it, I need to know what I did. There’s nothing earth-shattering here, this basically follows the accepted template of a creamy vegetable soup. It’s still worth keeping track of.
So, consider this a proto-recipe.
- 1 whole butternut squash, cut in half, baked until… Mushy. Scoop the squash mush into a bowl and discard the skin
- 1 whole onion, chopped
- 2 carrots
- olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter or substitute
- milk (2 cups?)
- white wine (1 half cup?)
- balsamic vinegar to taste
- powdered ginger to taste
- Chinese five-spice to taste
- coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil, and put over medium-low heat
- when the oil is hot, throw in the onion and carrots. Stir often.
- when the onions are translucent, add the wine
- let the wine cook down a bit, continuing to stir
- add the squash mush, keep stirring
- add the milk, and increase the heat. Keep stirring
- add the butter
- taste, and add ginger, five-spice, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper as you see fit. To my best recollection, I used maybe 1-2 tsp of salt, a few grinds of pepper, a few shakes of the ginger powder, a small pinch of the five-spice, and two or three splashes of the vinegar
Here are some improvements I think I’ll try next time:
- blend it, after the milk is incorporated. That was actually my intention, until I saw how nicely everything came together with just stirring. In the bowl, it turned out not quite as smooth as it looked. Blending should improve the texture.
- I would have included chopped celery with the onion and carrots (a proper mirepoix) if I had celery on hand
- use fresh or dried ginger, instead of the powdered stuff
- it seems like maybe this should have garlic.