Butternut Squash Soup with Curried Tofu and Peppers

Did you see the snow fall? Dropping like powdered sugar and melting atop the hot pot of earth? Did you think you’d ever battle with your senses to comprehend a white Halloween? Where did the black and orange go? Autumn reds and golds popping out between the scattered brilliance of white.

Of course it really isn’t like that. This hushed snow won’t last very long at all; it barely survives the journey down before mottled grass steams it back to the sky. But it is quite an enchantment to combine the spirits of Halloween with ghostly white. I’m actually not a huge fan of Halloween to be honest. It’s ridiculous the kind of spectacle it has become (and I won’t even bother discussing the vapid and barely-there costumes that are a cultural mainstay of our oh-so-brilliant society) but I do respect the history behind it, the whispers of people past that are remembered, and… well, a fun and haunting corn maze or two. Plus, it’s aaaaalllll about pumpkin for me. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin!!

But today is not about this most glorious orange fruit, but its cousin… the butternut squash.

I hardly venture to new fruits and veggies when I know the husband doesn’t take a particular liking to it—and butternut squash has never met kindly with his palate. However, I was simply craving soup! You see what kind of wintry gusts of winsome weather are rolling in now, how can one resist a decadent sumptuous and savory soup on a cold October evening??

Besides, I took it down a familiar route for the husband, making a beautiful curried medley of flavor. As far as my quick research revealed, the two primary directions with this kind of soup are the traditional pumpkin spice route (thus rendering it almost dessert-like in my opinion, oh I love pumpkin pie!) or a curry flavor. I had made coconut curry with butternut squash once, so I can see how those flavors do combine well. And with a soup, the entire thing is blended into a smooth creamy consistency, thus removing any discomfort one may have with this texture of the squash. Plus, I added my own touch because leaving it a simple creamy soup wasn’t enough—so what matches better than curried tofu and peppers? For us, nothing else would do. J

So I embarked! I tend not to use chicken broth these days by the way for two reasons: never know when a certain chicken flavor will be too strong for the husband to swallow (literally) and the bouillon cubes I buy, whether chicken or vegetable flavored, have added MSG which seems to bring about headaches in this household. So I simply used water, but for your sake be aware you can use a broth instead. Or make homemade broth even, if you have the time. Continue reading

Tofu Coconut Curry

tofu coconut curry

Ah me, where is the serenity, the unfathomable lightness, the sense of accomplishing and participating in the wild frenzied breath of the universe without pain, only bliss?

No clue.  All I know is sometimes you just have to pull together the shards and remnants of all prior existences, the amorphous blobs of unforetold dreams, and the strands of countless prayers, combine them into a large casserole dish and bake until you’ve come up with a savory significance completely your own and completely worthwhile.  No simple task, but your only other recourse is to throw in the towel and let life lead you.  I’ll have none of that, so I’m going to rally my determination and find a way to make the ingredients in my cabinet froth into something grand.  For my sake, for the husband’s sake.  Life is too precious to let stupid obstacles crush you. (I speak in riddles mayhaps, but I’m in an incoherent mood, so play along!) Continue reading

Butternut Squash & Green Bean Coconut Curry

Holiday weekend in the offing.  Sweet tooth raging off the charts.  Winter chill demanding comfort and warmth, for the body and for the taste buds.  And all I can think of is… squash?

Not to belittle the autumnal veg d’jour, but it never had a presence in my home, in my mama’s home, or in any of my friends’ home while I was around at least.  I refer to the butternut squash, the flamboyantly orange veg that screams “I JUST DARE YOU TO EAT ME!” to those waylaid wayfarers as yet unexposed to its rich and moist interior.  Perhaps a tad overdramatic, but I was always a little confuddled by it, until at some point in the past few years I actually sat down and sampled a bit… in ravioli form… in salad form… in mushy delectable form… (not in soup form just yet, but soon enough).  And when I found it on sale at the grocery store, my heart leapt at the chance and my fingers scrambled with the words Why not? dribbling down their wiggly tips.

Continue reading