Sunshine pink soup

Sunshine pink soup

Sunshine pink soup

It’s the second anniversary of The Ordinary!! Huzzah huzzah!! Flips and possets and toddies for all my friends! It’s a dark, pouring-down-rain day, and I sit here contemplating The Ordinary and the world at large. Everything feels a little chaotic and out of control, with government shutdowns and debt ceilings and changing climates and wars and near-wars everywhere you look. I’m still reading Zola’s Germinal (I know, I know, I’m slow). Striking miners are banding together, thousands of them, frantic and desperate after months of hunger and deprivation, they’re storming across the countryside, they’re destroying machinery. They’re shouting, “Bread, bread, we want bread!” They don’t want much: they want a home of their own to keep clean and warm; they want enough food to eat; they want some special days of celebration, with fancier meals and more beer; they want to be paid a fair amount for the work that they do; they want some sense of safety and security. They’re not shutting everything down to keep people from something essential, something they need, like access to a doctor when they’re sick. (Oh, how I’d love to have health insurance!) They’re not acting out of pettiness and spite to hurt people who don’t have much, they’re acting out of need, to ask for just enough. It’s a very Ordinary theme. We’d like to write demands for a new Bon Vivantery. Rules whereby every person can live well; not extravagantly, not lazily, but assured of enough. Assured of a chance to be healthy, a chance to know what’s really happening in the world around them and farther afield, a chance to work at what they love, a chance to have food and ideas and energy and materials to create something good every day, and to work towards something better as each day goes by, a chance to feel really alive, to glow amidst the pouring-down-rain and deluge of confusion and nonsense all around us.

Isaac named this sunshine pink soup. And he really loved it! He ate several helpings. In reality, it’s all of the vegetables left from the farm at the end of the week, roasted together and pureed till smooth. The vegetables were very autumnal, winter squash, sweet potatoes and beets, so the soup has a sweet, warm flavor and color. I added ginger, rosemary and lime, for some contrasting bite and zing. I made some nice soft rolls to go with it, and that was that!!

Here’s Art Blakey’s Moanin, live and full of style, grace, beauty and joy.

2 or 3 small beets, peeled and chopped in 1/3 inch dice
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1/3 inch dice
olive oil to coat
1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and de-seeded
1 red pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 T butter or olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t rosemary, chopped
1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced or 1 t red pepper flakes
1 t powdered ginger or 1/2 inch cube fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup white wine
broth, lentil cooking water or plain water, to cover the vegetables
2 T butter
juice of one lime
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425. Toss the beets and sweet potatoes with olive oil and spread them in a single layer on a sheet. You can cook them together. Lightly brush the squash with olive oil and place it face down on a small baking sheet. I roasted the pepper in the toaster oven, separately, but you could do it on your burner if you have a gas stove, or you could just put it in the oven with everything else. Roast the beets and sweet potatoes until they’re soft inside and crispy and browning outside. They’ll probably be done before the squash, and you can just take them out and let them sit. The squash is done when you can easily push through the skin with a spoon of dull knife, and the flesh is meltingly soft.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the butter or olive oil. Add the shallots, stir and cook for a minute or two. Add the garlic, rosemary, jalapeno and fresh ginger, if using. Stir and cook for a minute or two. Add the beets, red pepper, and sweet potatoes, stir and cook. Scoop in the squash flesh, and stir to combine it with everything else. Add the white wine and ginger, and cook until the wine is reduced.

Add enough broth to cover the vegetables by an inch or two. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until everything is hot and the vegetables are soft, about ten minutes.

Add the butter, lime, and salt and pepper, and puree in small batches (carefully, it’s hot!) until completely smooth.


6 thoughts on “Sunshine pink soup

  1. Ah, Germinal – have you got to the key scene involving the shop keeper yet?! One of the most powerful things that I have ever read… and yes, thank you for your lovely posts…from a very wet New Zealand trying to enter Spring!
    Laura x

    • I think I’m just there now!! (The scene with the shopkeeper). My goodness!! It’s taking me a long time to read Germinal. I seem to be in a pattern of picking one long long classic novel that takes me years to read, because I only read for a short time each day. I love it, though!!

      And I’m jealous that you’re entering spring, even if it’s rainy. Although today is lovely and warm and autumnal, so I shouldn’t complain!!

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