Societal labels are an interesting thing. Jock. Geek. Goth. Popular. Loser. Emo. Drama queen. We’ve all at some point or another have been wrongly or in some cases accurately defined by others. I myself am guilty of believing in these stereotypes sometimes. Looking back, those high school years were never my favourite. I went through a journey of labels – starting off from ‘the nerd with pink glasses’ in 8th grade, to ‘the shy and quiet girl’ in 10th grade, and somehow by the time I hit graduation, I had mysteriously evolved into ‘the angry goth girl’ (who got sent to the counselor for listening to Marilyn Manson).
To a certain extent labels make it easier to compartmentalise the people in your life. Sometimes a person’s quirky characteristics are better understood or are more relatable through simplified definitions. Recently a colleague of mine received a pumpkin from a client who was leaving the corporate world to venture into organic farming (lucky him). The pumpkin then went to live on my colleague’s desk for a week or two until her last day at work clear out, after which I was bestowed the honor of the organic pumpkin. She said confidently “you are the only person I know who would appreciate an organic pumpkin. You would know what to do with it. You’re the foodie. The pumpkin girl.” I would like to think that I have a close relationship with the people that I work with although the majority of them do not know me THAT well. Many of them do not even know about the existence of this blog. However it is a nice feeling that from what little they know of me, they automatically associate me with ‘Tasha the foodie’ or ‘Tasha the healthy food person’. The pumpkin girl. For once these are labels/associations that I openly embrace and welcome. I love knowing that food, wholesome home-cooked food, is so engrained in every part of me that it has become something that I automatically (and unconsciously) project in everything I do – what I say, how I act, the choices that I make – even to those who do not know me very well. This has become a defining part of who I am.
So what did the pumpkin girl do with her organic pumpkin? Pumpkin soup of course.
The Basic Ingredients
One whole pumpkin, one leek stalk, 1 small potato, garlic onion, groups cumin, nutmeg, ground coriander, 1L chicken or veggie stock, olive oil, salt & pepper, creme fraiche and coriander to garnish.
1. Slice leeks, cube the pumpkin, dice the potato, and chop garlic and onion.
2. Sautee garlic and onion in olive oil.
3. Add the chopped veggies and cook with lid on until pumpkins are slightly tender.
4. Add stock and cook for 30 – 40 mins.
5. The pumpkin should be almost broken down at this stage, season, and remove from heat.
6. Blitz soup mixture in a blender.
7. Garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprig of coriander.