Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup

 Okay, before talking about this beautiful soup, I need to talk about Twitter.  As you (should) know, I got a Twitter account a couple of days ago, and  I'm having mixed feelings about it.  On one hand, omg, I tweeted with Nigel Slater, he acknowledged my existence, I'm one step closer to becoming his apprentice.  On the other hand, I honestly don't have that many interesting things to tweet about.  Every now and then I eat or cook something interesting, but what else?  I feel like I'm just being a nuisance popping up on people's newsfeeds with my mundane daily activities and uninteresting opinions on trivial things.  I'm still getting the hang of it.  But other than having a conversation (yes I'm calling it a conversation) with Nigel (yes I'm going to assume we're on first name basis now), the other highlight of my twitter experience is my friend, Ahmed, tweeting about Happy Belly!  I'm still so surprised that some of my friends actually read Happy Belly.  I can see how many page views I have but I don't actually think people read this, which is why sometimes I get really personal and start spewing all my problems here.  If I have regular readers who are not my friends, it's kind of creepy, because they know a lot about me...

Anyway, Ahmed.  I went to middle school with Ahmed.  Other than being one of the most hilarious people I know and being just a nice guy and all, a thing worth noting about him is that he's got the softest hair.  I know it's a weird thing to mention when talking about someone, but I swear, he's got shampoo-commercial quality hair.  My thick, coarse, Chinese hair by comparison is just disheartening.  And I'm the girl.  He's told me about 5 different shampoos that he apparently uses, and I don't know, I've tried using those shampoos and it's not helping.  They don't shine in the sun and flow gently and neatly in the breeze.

So.  He's got lovely hair, and he's a lovely man.  Thank you so much for your tweet, it was so incredibly sweet of you.  I suddenly got a bunch of page views from Canada because of this guy.  I haven't seen him in.. years.  But next time I do, I'm making you dinner. 
 This is a recipe from Green Kitchen Stories.  I didn't top it off with the chevre yogurt because I didn't have any goat's cheese, but my goodness I bet that would've made the soup even better.  This soup was made for my dear friend Rachel, who's the sweetest girl and deserves all the best things in the world.  I can't provide her with all the best things in the world but I can try to give her some good food and I believe that food can always make people happy.  Or at least happier.  It's the most reliable thing there is in the world.  I'd like to think of this as a nice winter, heart-warming, feel-good soup.  It makes the winter a bit warmer, the skies a bit brighter, and you a bit happier.  I hope.  So make this when you're feeling a bit down. 

Or open up a twitter account and tweet to your idols and see if they reply.  It made my day.  Hell, it made my week, my semester! 

Recipe from Green Kitchen Stories 
Serves 3-4
1 butternut squash or hokkaido pumpkin
1 can (1 3/4 cup / 400 ml) coconut milk
1 cup (240 ml) boiling water
1 sprig fresh rosemary (save 1/2 for serving)
1/2 – 1 inch (1-2 cm) fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chévre yogurt (if vegan, substitute with soy yoghurt or simply omit)
150 g soft chévre cheese (goat’s cheese)
4 tbsp yogurt of choice

Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Divide the butternut in half with a sharp knife and remove the seeds with a spoon. Place both halves on a baking tray, cut side down. Bake in the oven for 25-40 minutes (depending on the size of the butternut). The halves are ready when the skin is bubbly and slightly browned. Prepare the chévre yogurt by whisking the ingredients together in a small bowl. Remove the butternut from the oven, let cool for a couple of minutes. Spoon out the flesh and place in a food processor or strong blender together with the rest of the ingredients, blend on high speed until completely smooth. Add extra water, if desired. Season to taste. Return the soup to a pot to keep warm, if necessary. Serve in bowls with a dollop of chévre yogurt and some freshly ground black pepper.

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