Monday, May 11, 2009

An American teaches English and makes soup

Argentina me is somehow slipping back into NYC me. It's a familiar routine that goes a little something like this: work, work, gym, quick dinner, bed. Luckily, I don't expect it to last long. I'm substitute teaching English classes around the city and it has been exhausting, especially on top of my work-from-home job, but surprisingly fun. I never would have thought of myself as a teacher, given that I hate speaking in front of crowds (including classroom-sized), but it turns to to be something I really enjoy. I spend my free time planning out lessons and crafting worksheets. For the conversation classes, I play podcasts and episodes of The Office and follow these with lively discussion. It's totally fun!

2 things motivated me to take this temporary work - the need to make friends with locals and the need to take regularly scheduled Spanish classes. I'm actually trading English for Spanish! So, while my 5-days-a-week teaching schedule will only last another 2 weeks, I decided to take on a permanent class of my own. I know, I know, I've turned in to an ex-pat English teacher cliche. Oh well, at least I get to direct the Socratic Method at someone other than Guille.

The downside to this current routine, obviously, is that I'm so drained at the end of the day I lack the motivation to cook, one of my favorite things, and then blog about it. A canceled class this evening has given me the chance to tell you that I woke up Saturday morning and realized it was fall. So I baked a peach pie and figured out a perfectly autumnal soup.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 medium butternut squash (calabaza)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 T butter
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into small cubes
  • 1 carrot, cut into small cubes
  • 3 cups veg stock
  • cinnamon, s & p to taste
Melt 2 T butter and use to coat bottom of 9X13" glass casserole dish. Add olive oil if it isn't enough butter to coat the pan. Halve squash and spoon out the seeds. Cut onion into 4 chunks and peel garlic. Place squash, cut side down, in baking dish along with onion and garlic. Drizzle onion with extra olive oil. Roast at 190C (375F) for 45 minutes or until squash is cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool.

Melt the other 2 T butter in a sauce pan and saute celery and carrot until soft. Add cinnamon (I used about 1/2 t.) and a good sprinkle of s & p. Add stock and simmer a few moments while you spoon out the roasted squash. Add vegetables to soup, bring to a boil and drop to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Either transfer soup to food processor and puree or use hand blender. I used hand blender and it left it a little chunky. It would be delicious to add a little cream after blending but I couldn't justify it along with all of the butter. It was still incredibly yummy.

UPDATE: I made this again but sauted the onion instead of roasting it. It blended easier and made for a more tasty soup, I thought. Oh, and the dollop of Casan crem added a little something extra.


Katie said...

Peach pie and butternut squash soup? I'm so there!

Good luck with the teaching gig. How's your castellano coming along?

Julia (Color Me Green) said...

so funny that it's fall there when summer is just beginning here. glad you're having fun teaching!