© 2013 Can Caramelo

Butternut Squash Soup

Glowing orange, warm, creamy… I’ve made many, many different versions of butternut squash cream, but this one is not only one of the simplest, but also the best. A little beet gives it an intense dark orange color, sweet potato, an apple and an orange add sweetness and a little sour touch. During the weeks we use to come home late and then think that it isn’t worth to use the heating for the little while before going to bed. Even on the weekends, we first wrap into some layers of woolen clothes and a blanket, and most of the times, only when we’re still cold then, we consider using the heating. So something warm in the stomach helps to overcome the cold and to get warm from the inside.

butternut Squash Cream

This recipe makes a huge pot, I was considering freezing a part, but thinking of the possibility of having this soup for three days in a row sounded way more like a promise than a threat and we were actually sad when it was finished… and made more of it just two days after!

soup

A few weeks ago I heard a very interesting talk about cross-sensory perception. The extreme case would be synesthesia. People with synesthesia might perceive sounds like colors or shapes like smells for example. But in a minor measure we all have this kind of cross sensory perception sometimes. It has been shown for instance that a red drink is perceived as sweeter as a transparent beverage. Or look at these two shapes:

Kiki_Buba

Which one is called Buba and which is called Kiki? People from all over the world, speaking different languages, coming from different cultures coincide in which is which. We also associate little objects with a high frequency sound and large objects with deeper and louder sounds. In some of the cases it is easy to find an explanation: red in nature usually signals ripeness and, accordingly, sweetness. Small objects are more light weighted and if they fall produce less noise. People in food marketing then use this knowledge to find a packaging that matches the expectancy of the consumer, to catch attention, to suggest coldness, sweetness or whatever might make the customer buy a certain product.

collage

This knowledge is also used in experimental restaurants in which the guests might have the option to call a number on their cell phone to listen to one musical piece or another depending on whether they prefer to accentuate the sweet taste of their dark chocolate dessert or rather the bitterness. But coming back to the butternut cream, the dark orange rightly suggests a certain degree of sweetness and I’d say maybe warmth, like candlelight on one of these short days.

ingredients_pot

Ingredients

• 1 Butternut squash (1.5kg/ 53oz)
• 1 sweet potato
• 1 small onion
• 2 carrots
• 1 small beetroot
• 1 apple
• 1 orange
• 1 stalk of celery
• 10 dried unsulphured apricots
• 300 ml white wine
• 1 tsp salt
• 1.8 l of vegetable stock
• 0.5 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
• 10 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• a pinch of truffle salt (optional)

Put the oil in the largest pot you have. Cut all the fruits and vegetables in small pieces (if you have a food processor, let it help you slicing) and add everything to the pot when the oil is hot. Leave for 5min moving everything around once a minute. Add the white wine, the salt, the nutmeg and the water. Cook until the butternut squash (and everything else) is tender. Transfer into a blender (be careful, as it will be hot, the steam creates pressure when the lid is tightly closed) or use an immersion blender to blend everything finely. Easy, right? And so comforting on a dark and cold winter day.

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