Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
I'm not stingy, but I literally counted out the pumpkin seeds for garnishing this soup.......in spite of the bagful of pumpkin seeds I had next to me. But then, they're not really mine to use freely, you see....this requires a bit of history.
In Feb this year, my dad rescued three baby squirrels from our farm. He brought them home when they were fur-less little babies and we brought them up for about two months. A glorious fun time when I went around looking like I lived in a cactus patch. They loved climbing humans, those three. Anyways, after a brief acclimatization, we released them in our terrace garden. They took off quickly enough, except for the smallest runt, the one we called 'Kutti', meaning 'little one'.
Kutti decided to make our terrace her home base. Soon, she found her way back into the house for short visits- she'd play, eat, sleep a bit and then take off. Nowadays, she comes mainly to eat. And everyday, invariably, she wants pumpkin seeds. Since we only cook pumpkins once in a while, we have to supplement our hoard. We do this in many ways, but mostly by stealth- every visit to any grocery shop, I scrape out the seeds from the cut pumpkins and slip them away. Kutti puts me up to it, I swear.
She has a lot of influence in this household. Since she runs away if startled, every time she shows up, we all become rigid and freeze. Necessary movement is carried out in ultra slow motion, Matrix style. People who want to enter the room hover near the door or behind the sofa till she's had her fill. But no one minds. The general attitude is that its a privilege to have her back for those few short minutes. Seriously, Kutti is like some visiting royal personage in our home.
Me: "Kutti came today."
Family: Oh! (Father chuckles, mom smiles, there are grins and nods all around)
Me: Yes, yes, she even climbed onto my hand.
Family: (Chorus of exclamations and sounds of delight)
Me: She drank water from her little pot too!
Family: Awww! Heh heh.
And this happens everyday. Every. Single. Day. I'm amazed animals haven't taken over the world. They're too cute and furry for us pathetic humans to resist. Those beady eyes, little button noses....It reminds me of that frame in Shrek 1 where Puss makes his eyes go all round, pupils at maximum dilation, the guards go all awwww and then thwack. I loved that scene because it was so real :D ....so that sums up the story, and the reason the pumpkin seeds are not mine :)
The soup is a simple one- roast peeled pumpkin pieces and cloves of garlic in the oven for 30 to 40 mins. Puree, season with salt, pepper and top with toasted pumpkin seeds. I added a bit of buttermilk to my soup coz I like it better that way.