Last night after one of my best friends left my house with her daughter to go on back home to Illinois, Ferdinand stood looking at the front door as if it had just swallowed them whole. “They left,” he said. He looked at the door a moment longer and then he said, “I’m so sad, I can hardly take it.” He sat down and cried. There is no explaining away how much it hurts when love walks out your door. I had ordered pizza. I made soup. I offered tea. He didn’t want to brush his teeth or read his book. “No thanks, mom” he said, and went to bed.
Roasted butternut squash soup: Split the last butternut squash of the season into sections and remove the seeds. No need to peel. Season with salt and pepper and give a good spill of excellent olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees until fork tender. Cool slightly and remove the skins. Saute an onion on a low/medium flame with a few sprigs of marjoram or tied thyme, parsley, the inside stalk of celery and a piece of leek, for as long as you can stand it. If you have a peperoncino and a bay leaf they wouldn’t hurt. The onion should be completely softened and delicious enough to eat when it’s done. Add two cloves of freshly minced garlic and one chopped peeled potato. Let it go until the potato sticks and then add enough water to cover with a good pinch of salt. Add the squash and simmer a few minutes more. Rest a moment. Remove the bouquet garni and peperoncino. Puree. Taste for salt and pepper. Add grated parmigiano reggiano, a pour of cream and a splash of water if you need to thin it out a bit.