So in case you were wondering, I eat more than just muffins. I eat a lot of soup too, especially when it gets colder outside. In fact maybe my pseudonym should be the Soup Lady…but that conjures up an image of a large, brawny woman with a tight bun of hair and forearms the size of footballs schlopping out servings of dank watery broth in an Oliver Twistian sort of way. I don’t know if that’s really something to aspire to…
Anyway. Marrow squash soup.
I’ve been looking forward to cooler weather – cold, dark days are conducive to introspection. Pondering. Musing. Lollygagging. Sitting down on the sofa with a good book and a mug of steaming soup. Marrow squash soup, to be specific.
Soup recipes are a bit silly really – soups should never be exact. Making soup should be like the unhurried dance of an old couple swaying to a lilting version of Chopin’s Waltz in C Sharp Minor. At its most unromantic, soup is a way to clean out the bits and bobs hiding in the back of the fridge.
So put on a fuzzy sweater, and get ready to burrow with this.
some garlic (optional)
1 monstrous marrow squash
some sort of spices: fennel seeds, cloves, black mustard seeds, whatever tickles your fancy
Chicken/vegetable broth, or water and bouillon cubes
a handful of bulghur (or rice, perhaps? Whatever is in that unlabeled bag at the back of the pantry)
2 cups of cream (18% is good, though 35% is ALWAYS better)
A fistful of fresh parsley or mint
salt to taste
Number of servings: a lot
Pick up squash and run after your spouse/partner/children with it as if you are going to bosh them on the head. Laugh. They will too.
Return to kitchen.
Inspect marrow. If a gently pressed fingernail into the skin doesn’t leave an indent, then peel the skin off (otherwise it will probably be too tough to eat when cooked). Cut marrow up into little haphazard pieces. Tip into slow cooker. Throw in generous pinches of desired spices. I added a few too many cloves, but it was kind of nice, that warm burn. Pour over broth or water until you start to see it peeking up through the marrow pieces.
In a skillet or pan, heat up some olive oil. Toss in diced onion and garlic (if using). Cook over medium heat until translucent, then add to slow cooker. This step isn’t really necessary, but the idea of boiled onion (which is essentially what you would get if you put the onion directly into the slow cooker) doesn’t really get my goat.
Turn on slow cooker, and tuck into the couch. The fetal position is always good.
On the slow cooker’s “high” setting, the soup should cook in about 3-4 hours. About half an hour before you think it’ll be done, add the cream and bulghur. Right before eating, add the fresh herbs and salt.
Serve with heartfelt apologies to the loves ones you terrorized earlier during the Marrow Attack, or just to yourself, in delicious solitude.