A ramble and Oven-baked Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup With Caraway Seeds
I have been thinking a lot about grief lately, about how it changes us, about the difficulty if not even the impossibility of sharing your grief with someone else, about how it suddenly can hit you unexpectedly. One year ago a very dear friend of mine died, she left a huge whole in my life, a hole similar to those sinkholes that sometimes appears all of a sudden but then most deaths of people close to us are like huge sinkholes that you risk to fall into without any light. Grief is after all defined as ‘deep sorrow’ in dictionaries. Grief changes you, I know that the deaths of my father and mother have changed me a lot, it is as if I once upon a time had a certain carelessness that has gone and I know that for every death around me, it is chased further and further away from where I am. The grief fades but I don’t think it ever goes away, it takes less space but it can also suddenly knock you down with a fast uppercut, leaving you dazed and confused but you know that you have to get up and go on, move forwards, get going and beat that insidious ratfink because no one deserves that – not you, not those who are gone. Get up, make a soup.
It is very easy to make this Oven-baked Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup With Caraway Seeds, you need a little more time as usual maybe but the extra flavour that the time in the oven gives is definitely worth it. Take around 500 g/1.1 pound peeled carrots and the same amount of trimmed/cleaned/ peeled butternut squash and cut it into medium sized chunks. Put the vegetables and a quartered onion in an oven-proof form, sprinkle salt and about one half a tablespoon of caraway seeds over and follow up with a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and have got a bit of colour. Meanwhile you heat up 700 ml/3 cups vegetable stock or water in which you dump the carrot and butternut squash and as many of the caraway seeds as possible when ready. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes and then blend the soup until creamy in a mixer/blender. Serve with a dollop of thick yoghurt and a quick squeeze of lemon if you like that. I do.