While I am certainly not a religious Jew, there is something about Saturdays that make me want to be involved less in doing and more in just being. Most days I am so up and at’em, but on Saturdays, I tend to prefer to breathe, relax and veg a bit.
This morning has been a rather lazy one – went to meet some friends for a weekly breakfast, and studying anatomy.
Yesterday, however, was busy to the point of over scheduled, so it was a delightful relief at the end of the day to have a beautiful meal with a wonderful friend.
We invited my dear friend Juliana came over for dinner. She is one of those people who is so vibrant, alive and conscious that she inspires all around her to be the same. She does headstands in the middle of courses to encourage her apana (downward flowing energy) to move around. She is just that awesome. We also had a fabulous talk about this very blog, which I will share more about in the next post.
Since it was such a busy day, Ant and I decided to do a combo of cooking and buying for dinner. En route home from Whole Foods, I got into a Central Park traffic jam:
It’s such fun to see the tourists out and about on a beautiful autumn day, and realize that their vacation is my daily commute. How cool is that?
We have a beautiful apartment, but a tiny NYC kitchen. So, to make a full meal definitely takes some coordination and compromise.
We were making butternut squash soup, so I set myself up outside the kitchen in our hallway with a squash, bowl and peeler while Anthony chopped the onion and veggies.
Such fun. Jules came over and showed us her fabulous purple gloves – how cool are these?
Our dinner menu involved:
- Vegetarian sushi from Whole Foods
- Homemade butternut squash and chestnut soup
- WF roasted brussels sprouts and roasted sweet potatoes with onions and cranberries, with homemade peanut-soy marinated tofu
- Strawberries and whipped cream
It was such a wonderful evening – what started as just having sushi on the floor turned into a four hour picnic with stellar wine, great music and amazing conversation. I feel so blessed to have such amazing friends and loved ones in my life.
Now, for the soup…
The original recipe (my dad’s, who got it from somewhere else) calls for 2 sticks of butter(!!) for 12-18 servings. (We like to make a lot and freeze it for future lunches!) We replaced it with 3 tablespoons, and it tastes exactly the same. It’s a great lesson – if a recipe looks unhealthy because of all the fat, usually you can eliminate a great deal of it with little consequence. This of course, does not apply to baking, which requires replacements.
Butternut Squash and Chestnut Soup
- 2 very large onion, chopped
- 2 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
- 10 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch pieces
- 2 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 large carrot, sliced
- 1 pound dried chestnuts
- 3 tablespoons salt
In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the butter over moderate heatuntil they are soft, about five minutes.
Add the rest of the vegetables, thechestnuts and the salt. Add water to cover by 1 inch above the vegetables.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook one hour.
Puree the soup in a food processor, or use a hand blender directly in the pan.
Taste for salt and pepper.
Put cinnamon on top before serving.
Serves 12 to 18.
Be brave, free and truthful.