I love to eat! And, I love to eat good, real food. My interviewee, Casey Angelova loves real food, too, and it was one of the things that inspired her to become a chef. I love to eat but I also like to understand the nutrition behind food because I believe it’s the key to health and longevity. And, for those who may not already be aware, I live in Bulgaria while my husband finishes medical school. Some might say that we live…well…an unorthodox life. I suppose, we do. I’m ok with that. While my husband’s medical aspirations brought us here, I manage to keep myself busy and engaged no matter where we are. My interests and passions have led me to meet some wonderfully unique and interesting people along the way.
This brings me to Casey Angelova. Casey (despite her foreign sounding last name) is actually an American. She married a brawny Bulgarian guy whom she met while living in the United States. They got married and shortly after moved to Bulgaria with their daughters in search of a different way of life. I sat down with Casey not too long ago and it resulted in an interview! Here’s what Casey and I talked about.
The expat community here is pretty small and Casey and I have some mutual friends. However, one of the ways I was introduced to her was through a recipe she shared. I wanted to share it, too, because it’s a delicious twist on Roasted Butternut Squash soup and it is her own recipe. If you try it, I hope you like it as much as I do. You can also find this recipe on her blog.
Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
3 lb (1.5kg squash)
2 tablespoons (25mL) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
2 md onions, finely chopped (you can try shallots, but will need about 3 – 4)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon (15 mL) ginger, minced
1 tablespoon (15 mL) curry powder
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock, (unsalted, you can substitute vegetable stock)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 14-oz (400 mL) can of unsweetened coconut milk
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C) Cut in half and place cut sides up on a baking sheet. Rub each piece with olive oil, season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast for about 1 hour and 20 – 40 minutes, until fork tender, then cut into pieces.
Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Stir in onions, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, till the onions are soft and the garlic is fragrant. Sprinkle on curry and cook about a minute more, stirring continuously till the curry is fragrant.
Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the squash, sugar, salt and lower heat till you have an active simmer. Cook an additional 30 minutes. Pour in coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove soup from the heat. Then puree the soup in a blender. It will give you a smoother finish or with a hand mixer, which I did. Heat again and adjust seasonings to taste with salt and pepper. The flavors are very balanced; you won’t need to over salt this soup.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and interview! If you have any questions that you would like to pose to any of my interviewees, please let me know. I’m sure they would be happy to do any follow-up.
Live well and be happy!