As a baker working the night shift, there is simply no great time to have a drink. I can't have one after work when the rest of town is eating breakfast and preparing for a day of farm work, and I can't have one at night right before I am about to go stand over a vat of caramel and make a trillion peanut butter cookies (which happen to be a favorite drunk food of mine).
So imagine my dismay when a bottle of Soju arrived from North Korea.
Two of my very good friends sent me the gift while touring the Korean DMZ last month and I was so tickled to receive it but nervous about when I'd get to crack into it. This week, enough was enough and after a particularly crazy day at the bakery involving WAY too many cupcakes, I got home and took a sip. One (very strong) sip was really all it took for me to dance around my kitchen as I made squash and apple soup.
One thing lead to another, and suddenly there was Soju *in* the soup. My eyes got all wide as I feared I had just ruined it, but then I tasted it, and it was in another dimension. The sweet tanginess of just a bit of Soju added a delicious new element, and just like that, another boozy soup was born. —molly yeh
Preheat oven to 400F. Cut open the squash lengthwise and remove the guts. Brush the insides with two tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to roast for an hour, or until the insides are soft.
While the squash roasts, chop the onion and apples into half inch pieces. Set the apples aside. Place the onions in a large pot with the remaining four tablespoons of olive oil and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook for another two minutes.
Add the apples and two cups of the broth to pot. Once the broth boils, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes, or until the apples are soft.
When the squash is cooked through, remove it from the oven and carefully scoop out the insides. Puree them in a blender or food processor with the apple mixture.
Transfer the puree back to the pot and stir in the remaining two cups of broth, the 1/4 cup of Soju, and a few good pinches of salt and pepper. Bring the soup back to a boil for five minutes.
To serve, garnish with a few chopped fresh sage leaves. Enjoy with a glass of Soju.