Gettin’ Soup’d Up
Every year, the radiant Northwest summer sun fades into clouds, those clouds bulk up with rain, and that rain falls on my head for the next 9 months, I say to myself, “dude, go buy an umbrella.” But anyone who is from here knows that we don’t do that. You can tell someone who is from here based on the fact that we don’t own umbrellas even though it rains enough to drown flying birds. We also do this thing where we still go out in the rain and we be like, “oh it’s just a little drizzle…who wants to go hiking!?” That’s just how we are. Personally, I don’t like to hike in the rain because it reminds me that I’m hiking….in the rain…but I can’t talk too much crap. I have watched little league softball in the rain, I have snowboarded in the rain, I have even BBQ’d in the rain. It almost becomes this badge of honor, man-against-nature thing where every activity in the rain becomes a giant middle finger to the elements. We can’t be stopped. We yearn to be outside and we don’t care if we soaked doing it. Every sporting event, every concert, every dog walk in the deluge becomes a point to prove as we cry out “Haha! F*ck you sideways rain! F*ck you wind! Watch me walk this big ass Labradoodle at my kid’s baseball game! I don’t care if me and my dog Mark come back looking like drowned rats!” (Side note: a lot of people I know give their dogs human names, so I’m sure somewhere out there a water dish has the name Mark on it.) We do all this while the California techie transplants think to themselves “Nope!”
Another thing all this rain makes me do is want to curl up with a nice hot cup of soup and a roasty toastie sandwich. It almost makes me wish for the cold days just to have an excuse to toss on some sweats and a hoody, pour a drink or three, then go make me a big pot of chili, some ramen, or a nice bisque and chill out in front of the TV while I watch “The Three Amigos” or “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”and laugh like I’ve never seen either before. It’s with all this in mind that I decided to cook up a Coconut Butternut Squash Soup and a $10 Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Go grab your hoody and sweats, ‘cause the sun ain’t coming back until June. Let’s ride, amigos!
Basically it’s a funky pumpkin
- 1 large butternut sqash cut in half and seeded
- ½ onion diced
- Salt to taste
- Course ground pepper
- 2 chicken breasts
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, cut in quarters and seeded
Get the oven preheated to 425°. When heated, place the squash (skin side down) and the apple on a cookie sheet and bake until soft. When you can put a fork through it easily, it’s ready. That took me about an hour and a half but it will depend based on the size of the squash you get. The apple will cook faster so take it out when it’s done, slice and set it aside.
While all that cooks you can get the soup stock ready. In a large pot add the chicken stock and breast and bring to a boil. When the stock starts to boil, reduce to medium-low and cover with a lid. Once the chicken is cooked remove from the pot and chop it up into small bits. You can put it back in the pot if you want, but I kept mine out and put it in a bowl just so it wouldn’t over cook so much. I added it in when the soup was almost done.
When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and allow to cool enough that you can peel the skin off the squash. I’m impatient so I used a pair of tongs and a fork to remove it. Kept my hands from getting all burned to sh*t. Once you have removed the skin, go over to the soup stock and ladle out a few scoops, placing it in a large blender or food processor, add in the peeled squash and sliced apple. Blend all of the contents until it becomes a smooth puree. I found it took a couple passes at this since the squash I bought was big as hell. Once you have it all blended, place it back into the stock pot, add in the heavy cream, coconut milk and salt/pepper to taste. I used green peppercorns that I picked up over at a local place called Savory Spice. I liked the fresher flavor than the traditional black pepper that I normally use. Plus it’s just cool to use a variation of an everyday culinary item. Like a short guy at a urinal, it keeps you on your toes.
- Sliced Sourdough Bread, get fancy!
- Sliced Pancetta
- Sliced Provolone Cheese
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Fontina Cheese, or any other fancy cheese you like (this is where you get to be creative)
This is grilled cheese with a $10 price tag due to the choices of bread, meat, and cheeses I used. I’m not going to bore you with the details of making a grilled cheese sandwich…butter, bread, cheese, meat, cheese, bread, cook until cheese is melted and bread is nice and golden brown.
It has been snowing like crazy the past 2 weeks (we legit saw a duck fall out of the sky in mid-flight) so when I made this for my wife and some of our friends after a long day of sledding, it felt like the perfect way to close out our snow-bound adventure. All right then my weebles, if you want to go forth and make this stuff, have fun with it and until next time, be cool.
So, you ask me, “Hey, where are we going today?” Well in keeping with last video’s theme we are going where Cousin Patrick suggested we go but this time we went over to Lulumahu falls. This spot is located near the Kaniakapupu Ruins, which was King Kamehameha III’s summer home. The hike is muddy and finding your way can be a bit of a challenge. But like all challenges, it was worth the effort and the little moments of asking “Hey, are we going the right way?” Afterward the wifey found a great spot called Goen Dining + Bar for drinks and food. This was our second hike in the same day so we felt we earned those beers!