>> Sunday, September 27, 2009
One of the many things I love about living in Europe is that there are different shops that cater to our different culinary needs. There are the markets for your general groceries needs, the butcher shop, the bakeries, the spice shops, the wine shop, and there are fruterias,(in English it's a green grocer and in French they are know as fruiterer). I love all these shops and often walk from shop to shop until I have all that I need for our meal. It has a romantic and nostalgic feeling of times past, and it's a pity that busy lives and schedules don't allow most people to enjoy such simple pleasures. Although I can get fruits and vegetables at the general market I always buy my fruits and vegetables from one or our many local fruterias, the quality and selection is always much better. Having befriended many of the shop attendants helps, they offer me the better quality items and let me know when new fruits or vegetables arrive.
The other day as I walking past my local fruteria I saw these strange looking white things. I quickly picked it up, felt the hard texture and smelled it, could it be a pumpkin or squash? Unsure of what it was I asked the attendant and he smiled and said "I don't know", we both laughed and he said he would let me know next time. Of course as soon as I came home I Googled it and I found that indeed it is a white squash. Having never tried this before I had to try it immediately. From my search I learned that many people use these in soups, and thought that with a couple of modifications my curried pumpkin soup recipe would work well with this squash.
1/2 a small white squash about 400 grams / .88 lbs.
1 large carrots
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tbsp. / 8 ml red curry paste (to your taste)
1/2 tsp. / 2.5 ml salt
1/2 tsp. /2.5 ml turmeric
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/3 cup / 100 ml coconut milk
1. Peel and chop the squash into chunks, peel and cut the carrots into 4 pieces, peel the garlic, then add them all to a pot and cover with enough water jut above the vegetables. Boil for about 15 minutes until the squash and carrots are tender. Drain but reserve the broth.
2. In a blender or mixer add the vegetables and bouillon and spices, blend until it becomes a smooth thick soup puree. You can add a bit of the reserved broth just to make it smoother, but not to watery.
3. Add your soup back to the pot and add the coconut milk, mix and stir until the puree is well combined. Under low heat let it sit covered for another 10 minutes to get all the flavours and spices combined. Taste for salt.
Serve warm with some crusty bread as a light meal or serve before a main course.