Baby, It’s Cold Outside

With highs in the 20s and another snow/sleet storm under way, it’s comforting to see that global warming is a myth after all and we can just get back to our busy lives. Whew. So to celebrate the 57th storm of the season, a kind of random meal, that nonetheless insisted upon itself from the moment I first though of it sometime yesterday morning. When I see the food in my head, I pretty much have to make it or else the voices start. To keep them at bay, I actually drove about 20 miles looking for squid of all things, and found none. So I got mussels, which are delicious, and the squid will have to wait (as will the voices; I tried, dammit.)

First, a big red kuri squash, peeled and chopped, went in a pot with the chicken broth from the night before- I was wrong about the fridge soup- a bunch of peanuts, some spices, and half a can of coconut milk. It all simmered for an hour or so, maybe more, and then I stick-blended it smooth. I steamed the mussels in beer, garlic, thyme, and lemon juice. Had I found squid, the peanut soup would have made more sense, since I had a sympathetic thing planned, but together these two dishes did provide some elegant comfort. And an excuse to drink more beer, which we haven’t had in ages.

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  1. cookiecrumb
    February 13

    Peter, I had the most marvelous soup a few years ago where even the mussels were pureed.

  2. peter
    February 13

    If I had been more on the ball, I would have puréed some of the mussels with the steaming liquid, shelled the rest, and served them like that with crusty bread.

    But I wasn’t.

  3. Zoomie
    February 15

    Peter, I have some crab stock in the freezer – do you think that would make good soup with squash and would you also add seafood. I’m feeling timorous and yet it sounds good in my head. Any suggestions? I did find a big red kabocha-type squash.

  4. peter
    February 15

    Sure; steam or roast the squash and purée it in the broth. You could do like CC says and purée some steamed mussels in there, too, but that would be strictly optional. You could garnish it with spicy toasted squash seeds.

  5. Zoomie
    February 15

    ‘Kay, thanks. I might try some aromatics, too, like onion and celery and maybe some of those colorful heirloom carrots, as well as the squash. I’m thinking to add crabmeat at the end, rather than mussels. I’m just that kinda girl.

  6. peter
    February 15

    That all sounds perfect. Try a dry or off-dry riesling with it- a 2005 if you can find one.

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