Last weekend I went to an audition for a cooking show called Masterchef. It’s not my favorite cooking show by far (too much drama, not enough good cooking), but I’ve been watching it for a while and I felt like I could out-cook almost everyone that I had seen. One night while I was watching the show I filled out an application and was called for an audition. I drove up to L.A. on Saturday morning, waited in a holding room for a few hours and presented a dish to some judges. I felt really confident in my knowledge of food and the dish that I was presenting. I tried not to let it show but I was definitely nervous and probably talked too much.
I didn’t end up making the cut. I haven’t felt rejection like that in while and I was actually pretty bummed. I pretty much ran out of the audition and though the Hollywood Bowl to my car. I payed my overpriced parking fee and then sat in 2 hours of traffic to get home.
I almost didn’t go to the audition that morning. I had some weird food poisoning, and I had spent the night at a friend’s house so I really just wanted to stay and drink coffee and eat chilaquiles with them all morning. It would have been really easy to not go, and I knew my chances for getting picked were pretty slim. I also knew that at the end of the day I would feel better having tried and gotten rejected than not having gone at all.
When I got home that night I didn’t want to spend any time cooking, but I wanted something comforting and easy. (This is how I imagine most people who don’t enjoy cooking as much as I do feel when they get home from work). This soup is super easy and can be thrown together on a weeknight. The spicy nuts are something that I’ve used before in other recipes, and they add an awesome texture and bit of protein to this dish which I think butternut squash soup really needs. I just used almonds and walnuts this time, but feel free to use what you like.
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and but into 1-2 inch pieces
- 4 small carrots, chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 small yellow onion chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (use less if you want it less spicy)
- 4-6 cups almond milk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss squash, carrots, onions garlic with olive oil and lay out on parchment lines sheet pan. Season with salt and cayenne. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Turn vegetables and roast another 15 minutes. Roast for an additional 10-15 minutes if vegetables aren't soft.
- When vegetables are done roasting remove from oven, and pick out garlic cloves. Add veggies to a blender and cover with almond milk, adding water or more almond milk if necessary.
- Peel garlic and add to blender. Blend until smooth and season with more salt if necessary. Garnish with spicy nuts.
- If you're eating the soup right away you may need to heat it up again a little bit on the stovetop unless the almond milk was warm.
- Depending on how big your butternut squash is and how thick you want your soup to be, you may need more of less liquid.