I made another soup tonight–Pumpkin Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Hazelnut.
I was at Whole Foods, and I wanted something warm, nutty, autumn-inspired for dinner tonight, so what better than pumpkin soup? The more I thought about soup, the more I craved for it. But since I’ve never made it before, I had no idea what else other than pumpkin I would put in it. I just knew that at the end, I’d be pureeing the soup with my favorite new gadget. I picked up canned pumpkin puree, nutmeg, shallots, frozen butternut squash–already not an ambitious attempt to make the soup with fresh ingredients.
After clicking through an assortment of pumpkin soup recipes online, I’ve decided to only loosely follow what has been simmered, and pave my own golden pumpkin road to another great soup. I sauteed onions, shallots, and garlic until softened. Then I added the butternut squash, some sweet corn, and seasoned it with sage, thyme, cumin, bay leaves, nutmeg, salt and pepper. After everything was softened, I poured in the pumpkin puree and chicken stock. I kept added herbs and spices until it tasted closer to what I imagine my soup should taste like. Still it lacked depth and sweetness. I got a little impatient with trying to figure out what was lacking in the soup, I just wanted to jump to the final step–the best part of making soup–busting out my immersion blender.
Realizing that my soup tonight wasn’t going to get any better than what it was, I tossed in the last ingredients of toasted hazelnuts, maple syrup, a little cream. Without even remembering to take out the bay leaves, I blended away. The blender is loud and it splatters hot soup on my arm, and I actually don’t even know if this cheap brand can withstand the heat of the hot soups I’ve been plunging it into, but I love the crushing process. Blades in hand, it makes me feel strong. Muahhhahhaha.
Oh, the soup. It was good, but not quite the flavor I wanted, so I won’t bother posting the recipe now. It needs deeper layers of flavor. But it was still quite a tasty and filling meal full of autumn lusciousness.
I’m not very tech savvy. I own a phone, a laptop, an iPod–no other gadgets. On our runs, I rely on Ivy and her mighty Timex stopwatch to judge my efforts. But with my Timer on a trip this week, I had to hold my phone in my hands on my runs (running with the phone in my shorts pocket almost pulled my shorts down)–a real drag.
I started wishing for my very own timer watch. All I need, I tell myself, is a simple sports watch. No fancy features needed. Simply googling ‘running watch,’ I was astonished by the plethora of sport watches available, each with a more advanced feature than the other models. Amazing what can be measured by a little wrist watch! I’ve been living under a rock (well, I suppose I do live on one.).
Sport watches these days not only tell time, they monitor heart rate, calories, pace, distance, location, temperature. It’s far from being just a watch as I know it; it can be a GPS, a barometer, a personal trainer. Certain models can calculate mile splits and even wirelessly transfer data to a computer to be reviewed and analyzed.
Of all the watches I researched on, the Polar RS800 has the coolest features, although the watch face is likely twice the size of my wrist. It is probably too fancy for a recreational runner like me. But a girl can, and should, always wish.
I did find a more modest model (modest in features, certainly not price)–the Garmin Forerunner 405. I wish they had an orange one to match my shoes, but the green one would be great too. Now the waiting game begins…for a sale, or a gift (wink, wink!)