Yesterday was the first big, real snowstorm of this winter, and here in Bangor, Maine, we got hit pretty hard. Hard enough that I wasn’t able to make it to work — which was fine, because from what I hear, the customers were few and far between anyway. It was a rare, lazy day at home with Ian and the cats.
I forget every year how much Tiberius loves to look out the window at the snow. I like to think he’s amazed that everything in the world is, for however brief a time until it gets dingy with road dirt and stomped through by folks in their winter boots, smooth and soft and white just like him. He’s a simple, sweet, strange cat. Kaylee and Cricket are grateful for any excuse to hang out on the couch with their Mama, curled up as close to me as they can manage without cuddling one another; Kaylee would love to cuddle Cricket, but Cricket is not as fond of the notion. Adorably grumpy Jasper isn’t quite sure what to make of both Ian and I home at once, but he knows it doubles the chances that someone is going to pick him up, so he can protest loudly even though he’s purring.
We spent the morning drinking our coffee mixed with packets of flavored hot cocoa, and for lunch we grazed on leftover dips that I had made the night before for Fia’s Maine Kitchen. Supper, however, had to be soup. If there was ever such a thing as soup weather, it was soup weather yesterday. Ian is not a fan of squash soups, due to his past experiences with them being overly-sweet, dessert-like soups, so I took this opportunity to win him over with a rich, savory, spicy soup to fill you up and warm you from the inside. You can make this with your favorite squash (ours is usually a variety of kabocha or acorn squash) but I had a butternut squash on-hand from the holidays. You could even use a can of squash puree for an even faster soup, like Maine’s own One Pie squash.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Shrimp
- 1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/3 cup curry powder
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 1-2 tablespoon sriracha
- 1/4 cup maple sugar (or syrup)
- 1 lb. cocktail shrimp, tails removed
- salt, pepper, olive oil (to roast squash)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle butternut squash halves with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place face-down on a cookie sheet. Roast 30-40 minutes or until fork-tender. Allow to cool enough to pull the skin away with your fingers, and put the flesh into a pot. Mash with a potato masher, and add coconut milk and stock, stirring until smooth. Heat over medium heat, stirring in garlic, ginger, curry powder, maple and sriracha, until warmed through. Puree with an immersion blender if desired/necessary. Top with shrimp as you serve.