Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop!
An international group of tarotists are all writing on the same topic and then linking to each other so that the reader can hop from one blog to the next, seeing all the permutations and facets that the topic inspired in different writers. Co-wranglers Kiss Boglárka of Vadrózsa Tarot and Jay Cassels of Metaphysical Angels suggested we think of a character from a favorite tarot deck and ask them what dish they would prepare. I was perplexed until I heard a knock at the door, and by the end of the evening had discovered Fool’s Soup.
I often order groceries online, and it’s typical to unpack surprises at delivery. I love butternut squash and ordered one two weeks ago, but unboxing time revealed much more squash than I could use by myself. Winter squashes keep well, I thought, so I back-burnered it thinking I would cook it when I had someone to share it with.
Out of town for a couple days, busy for a week, and then it was time to get that behemoth off the counter. Ugh. I hate peeling and chopping big squash. It’s entirely possible that I should have looked up recipes first and prepped the squash according to the needs of the recipe. But Fool’s Soup tends to get started without a clear destination in mind.
I’ll cut it in half and bake it so it’s easier to use. The clever Princess of Swords raised her blade and sized up that squash. Thwack! Her blade vibrated back and forth as it lodged itself Excalibur-style in the butternut. Hmmm.
Eventually the squash was cut in two. I remembered the first time I cooked a (much smaller) butternut squash in college 27 years ago. Just like then, I put butter and brown sugar in the cavity left by the seeds. I wrapped silvery aluminum foil over the top of each half, placed them on a baking sheet staggered with one bulbous end up and one down like the Two of Wands, and put them in the fiery furnace.
A couple hours later they are done. I eat my fill, and scrape bowlful after bowlful out of the skins wondering what to do with it all. Most recipes online are under the mistaken impression I have the motivation to spend hours peeling and chopping and don’t offer any recipes that use prepared mashed squash. Soup it will have to be. I read dozens of recipes and settle on one that includes lentils and diced apple.
I open the door to a knock and there is my wandering minstrel with his autoharp slung over his shoulder and an overnight bag in his hand. I suggest we make soup, I found a recipe. He suggests we go out for dinner. I say sure. (I always get my way and am determined to do what he wants this time.) “You don’t want to go out?” he says. “Yes, I do,” I say. He looks closely at me. I get my way.
He unpacks his autoharp and starts strumming. (If you want to hear what I heard, you can listen in.) I heat up extra virgin olive oil in the sauté pan that’s too heavy to lift when it’s full. I chop onions and carrots, mince garlic, and grate ginger. Hal plays and sings. The Three of Rings makes me think of mixing things on the stove.
I add curry powder and red lentils. “I don’t ever use broth. I’m going to use water.” Hal says he makes his own vegetable broth. “Should I add sherry?” I say. “Sure,” he says. “Does this look like three cups of squash?” I ask. “Yes,” he says. The tomato paste is clearly optional as I don’t have any. I dice an apple. Spinach would be great, but, as before, clearly optional. The Hermit shows us waiting patiently for the creamy yellow orange soup to drip from potential into actualization.
“Is it soup yet?” I say, amusing only myself. “They simmer it for 50 minutes, they must be using green lentils,” I surmise. “I used red lentils.”
The Four of Swords shows our delicious soup being stirred after it simmered covered for a quick 25 minutes. I wash the dishes with as little running water as possible so I can listen to Hal’s music.
The Princess of Cups holds a bowl of Curried Red Lentil, Orange Squash and Red Apple Stew. The Fool arrives for dinner with a big spoon over his shoulder. He likes it at my house because too many dogs at his house can be a pain in the big butternut.
“So, did you just happen across this recipe today?” he asks. “I was looking for a recipe to use up this squash,” I say. I look at him closely. He smiles. We eat soup like the Two of Cups.
Adapted from Curried Lentil, Squash and Apple Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup dried lentils
4 cups water
1/2 cup cooking sherry
3 cups mashed butternut squash. If you cooked it with butter and brown sugar ahead of time, the soup will be extra sweet and rich.
1 large unpeeled apple, diced
YIELD 5 servings TIME 1 hour
Curried Red Lentil, Squash and Apple Stew
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, and sauté onion and carrot
until almost soft. Add garlic, ginger, curry and salt, and let cook a few more
minutes until fragrant.
Stir in lentils, water and sherry. Add squash and apple. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 25
minutes, or until vegetables and lentils are tender. Adjust spices and serve.
Please hop on to the next blog to see what other tarot characters have cooked up for the equinox!