The saga of Ronny's unemployment continues. We received a notice from the unemployment office on Friday saying that they couldn't pay him his benefits because his company doesn't exist and he isn't a resident of this city. It doesn't matter that the rest of his colleagues have already received their first installments and that he has been paying taxes all this time. It's called Spanish bureaucracy.
I'm a bit worried because although he's registered as a resident, his name hasn't been 'inscribed in the city hall' (empadronamiento) and I feel they may use this against him. Whatever it is - they're making a guy who isn't going to get paid much in benefits use more money just trying to get to the small stash of money that will pay for his food bills. Isn't life grand?
Anyhow today I have a pretty uninspired photograph of a pretty nice tasting soup. In case you're wondering, I wasn't trying to draw anyone's face with the basil.
I made this soup with a winter squash that had been sitting in my refrigerator for some time. It was sitting there because I bought it and then fell ill and it sat there getting cold while I had a cold.
Granted that spices themselves aren't exactly cheap - a squash doesn't cost much and has many health benefits so you might consider making this if you don't hate spices or winter squash and are feeling the weight of the credit crunch in some way.
1/2 Winter Squash (remove the seeds and pulp and cube them)
1/2 Leek (finely chopped)
1 Clove Garlic (finely chopped)
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Milk (more or less)
3 Tsp Cumin Powder (add more if necessary later on)
1 Tsp Paprika Powder
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Cinnamon
Chili (as much as you dare)
Black Pepper (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
1 Chicken Bouillon
Step 1: Heat the extra virgin olive oil in your soup pot and then throw in the garlic and leeks and braise them until they are nice and soft. Throw in all the spices and let them release their flavors.
Step 2: Add the winter squash and braise them a bit until they are all evenly covered in oil.
Step 3: Add enough water to cover the squash, add the chicken bouillon and bring it all to a boil and then simmer the soup for 30 minutes. The squash should be nice and soft at this point.
Step 4: Put the mixture through a blender until smooth and put it back in the pot and then add the milk.
Step 5: Heat it up again, and make some more adjustments if necessary. The seasonings you might consider adding would be salt, black pepper, cumin and chili. Don't add anymore of the other spices as they can be overpowering and ruin your soup.
Step 6: When you think the soup tastes just right serve it with a generous amount of chopped fresh basil on top.