I type with a limp: Or why cooking is sometimes best left to the professionals

I’ve had a renewed interest in culinary pursuits lately, partly due to my own frugal-ness and partly because the effects of the economy have limited the availability of friends to view restaurants as entertainment. Actually, I’m a pretty decent cook when I set my mind to it. I’m comfortable winging it in front of the stove or following a detailed recipe that takes all day.

Soup in all its forms is my preferred medium. From gazpachos to stews, I love nothing more than throwing together a satisfying melange of spices, liquids and watching it bubble (toil and trouble).

Butternut Squash

It was in that spirit that I lugged home a few remaining squash and leeks from the diminished Lincoln Square Farmer’s Market. I love everything about Butternut Squash Soup — the smooth texture, the slight sweetness, the virtually guilt-free satisfaction of bowl number two or three…or four. Everything about it is a joy, except for cutting up the squash.

When I asked the BF to do it, he grabbed my kitchen cleaver and happily obliged — the best kitchen “gadget” I could hope for! I threw the quartered pieces into the microwave to soften up, and when they were done he completed his knife work by removing the skins and chunking everything into the food processor.

Easy peasy. No problem.

Now, I don’t know how you like to cook, but I employ a “clean as you go” mindset in the kitchen. I don’t like to face a sink full of dishes at the end of a meal, and having lived alone for a number of years, I’m less fastidious about reusing tools. So when I saw the BF had left out the cleaver, I grabbed it to make short work of the leeks I for the soup. Cue the ominous music…

In my own defense, I did cut away as I sliced. I just forgot to leave myself more room than I normally would for my paring knife. I didn’t take off the tip of my finger, though I came pretty close. First aid tip: apply pressure and keep the wound elevated above the heart.

Anyway, the soup did get finished eventually and it was awesome. My finger? It will grow back. However, I think I’m going back to take-out menus and sit-down service for a while.

Golden Winter Soup

Enjoy this recipe for Golden Winter Soup from Cooking Light. My method was fairly close except I microwaved the squash instead dicing and braising it. I think baking it is best, but if you’re short on time or really hungry, microwaving works. I also substituted vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

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