This is a really late, late night post. I need to pack and I haven't, it will have to wait till the morning in a rush just before I leave. I wish I were less of a procrastinator and a bit more organized, though this is honestly the first time that I will be packing a few hours before departure. I am ready for this vacation, I am ready to run away from the rain, I am ready to run away from the metro, I am ready for the Outer Banks!!! We are off to spend a week at the beach with several of our friends. Our friends Tyler and John, whom coincidentally we met more than two years ago at Rehoboth beach in Delaware (strange that we never ran into each other here in D.C. even though we all live here) have been organizing this trip for several months now. I will be posting less frequently this week and will probably end up with several of "non-recipe" posts that will probably be more about the beach than about cooking.
How did I get so behind ? Well, my haircut at SalonBlu 14th Street NW, which ended up taking a little longer than I expected not due the haircut but rather due to the usual D.C. traffic congestion that accompanies a late Friday afternoon. Sometimes, I need to pinch myself when I see how fast neighborhoods in D.C. are changing. The neighborhood at 14th Street NW is now so very completely different from what it was four years ago, for that matter the neighborhood around the Convention Center now is undergoing massive changes with the new Marriott hotel that is currently being built. A fancy new dog park is in the works as well which will be so much fun for Snoopy. I will miss him tons while I am away at the beach, though he will be at his favorite doggie day care at City Dogs located at the cusp of Dupont and Adams Morgan, its a bit funny to watch his excitement manifest as he tugs his leash when we drop him off there. In one whiff and he is gone, not a moment to turn back and look at us, as he gets completely preoccupied with thoughts of playing, playing and more playing. Dogs do have wonderful lives, especially Snoopy, I envy it. Eat, play and sleep all in all a hard day's work for him.
Before I leave for my trip to Corolla, NC, I need to use up all of the four big squashes from the C.S.A sitting on my kitchen counter. One acorn, one carnival, one butternut and one delicata. Since I had no time to fuss around with cooking them, mainly due to procrastination and overloading up my entire evening, I finally settled on slicing and de-seeding the squashes and sticking them in the oven to roast while I finished my yoga class. The rest of it after that was quick and easy and the final soup made me happy. After seasoning the soup with Adobo seasoning and a bit of fish sauce (this perhaps is my contribution to the Latin-Asian Fusion food market, though I still feel the soup is more Latin American inspired than Asian), I used left over salsa from our Labor day weekend barbecue to garnish the soup. Ready-made Adobo seasoning is my go-to-savior when I want to give a simple but delicious South American flavor to some of my dishes. Roasting and concentrating down the liquids in the squash intensified the sweetness and at the same time made the soup preparation much faster.
adobo seasoned mixed roasted squash soup
yield: 6-8 servings
6 cups of chopped squash (deseeded, of different varieties preferably)
1 acorn squash, halved and deseeded
1 delicatta squash,
1 butternut squash
1 carnival squash
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic finely minced
11/2 teaspoons of low-sodium Adobo seasoning
1 teaspoon hot sauce or cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Chinese fish sauce
4 cups of water
salt and pepper to seaso
Salsa to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the squash on a baking sheet lined with oil. Drizzle the olive oil on the squash and let them roast in the oven for at least 60 mins. Check on them occasionally to make sure they are cooking uniformly. Once cooked, remove the squash from the oven and cover the entire sheet with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then using a spoon or fork, tease the flesh off the skin and put it into a food processor. Puree the squash flesh till you get a smooth paste using the water.
2. At the same time, in a stockpot heat up one tablespoon of olive oil and add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes on a medium flame. Add the pureed squash to this garlic and oil followed by the Adobo seasoning, fish sauce and hot sauce.
3. Add the water to the soup and season with salt and pepper and let it simmer till it comes to a boil. You can adjust the consistency of the soup to your desire by playing around with the amount of water. Serve in individual soup dishes and garnish with salsa.