March means always being a little bit cold…

When I was a teenager I went to boarding school at Milton Academy, located just outside of Boston.  Once the calendar page turned to March, the spring season of sports began.  Lacrosse sticks, tennis racquets, and running sneakers were all dusted off after a long winter in the closet.  Spring Break was only 2 weeks away and despite a heavy workload, everyone was in a lighter frame of mind. 

And, the frame of mind wasn’t the only thing that got lighter…the thin summer skirts came out; the winter jackets were abandoned in favor of jean jackets or sweatshirts; the shirts we chose were all sleeveless or short-sleeved.  After all, it was March and therefore, it was spring-even though the temperature could, and almost always did, hover in the high 40’s and low 50’s. 

And, we were always freezing.  It was a two-block walk to campus from our dorm.  The March wind tore down Centre Street and through our thin layers as we made our way to Assembly in the morning.  We shivered.  We froze.  But, we never relinquished our belief that it since it was March, it was spring and we should be scantily dressed.  Instead, we convinced ourselves that it was supposed to be this way-that it was the nature of things and not just our own stupidity.  “March means always being a little bit cold,” my friend Sally said.  “Absolutely,” the rest of us concurred.  This was the way it was supposed to be.

It is March again, and now that I am in my forties, my down jacket stays wrapped around me like a blanket until the thermometer-not the calendar-tells me it is spring.  And, because March is cold, rainy and blustery, I often love a good soup to warm the bones.  But, because it is March- I need it to be light.  Comforting yes-but not creamy or too heavy.  This one is one of my favorites!

Squash Soup with Goat Cheese and Chives– serves 4

Adapted from The New York Times

1 medium butternut squash (about 2.5 lbs) halved lengthwise, seeds and fibers        scooped out

Olive oil

3-½ c. chicken stock

1 ½ t. sea salt, plus more to taste

Pepper to taste

5 oz goat cheese

12-15 fresh chives, chopped, or 3 scallions, sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.  Lightly brush olive oil on the cut side of the squash and then place the squash on a baking sheet, cut side down.  Bake until very soft- about 1 hour.  When cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out and place it in a food processor or blender.  Process until pureed.  Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper.  Process until smooth.
  2. Just before serving, scrape the soup into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat until hot.  Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.  Ladle into bowls and crumble goat cheese on each one.  Garnish with chives and serve.
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2 Comments

  1. Posted March 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    OMG, once again, I think I am channeling you Caroline! Not only did you quote me in today’s blog, but I actually made squash soup myself, BEFORE I even had a chance to read your recipe! Mine has fresh ginger & a dash of curry powder in it, but the essential idea is the same. And yes, it’s true, March means always being just a bit cold – sometimes even more than just a bit. Good thing we are both older & wiser and finally have enough sense to keep our winter coats in service at least until the temperature hits 60 degrees! xoxoxoxoxo sally

    • Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink | Reply

      Oh, how I love that we can still channel each other after all these years! You can’t make that stuff up! XO-C

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