• Sixteen sweet dumpling squash

I’ve been told I’m addicted to squash, but that’s not entirely true. It’s more complicated than that. The context under which the squash accusation was leveled was highly circumstantial; in the five days prior to today, I was forced to visit a half-dozen suppliers—Green City Market, Stanley’s Fruits & Vegetables, Logan Square Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and the Dill Pickle Food Co-op—in an attempt to procure 18 very specifically sized and shaped sweet dumpling squash. I’m still two short.

My obsessive behavior stems not so much from a love of squash, though I am quite fond of it—both its multi-hued variations (acorn, butternut, spaghetti, calabaza) and its diverse uses (pureed into soups, simply roasted with sea salt, and, for the most momentous of occasions, a three-squash lasagna with fried sage and caramelized chestnuts).

For my most recent bout of obsession, a pureed soup is to blame. Specifically, this soup, the first course of today’s dinner. Here’s the intoxicating description that got me hooked: “The whimsical presentation of this dish gives maximum dramatic effect.” I am a big fan of whimsy and drama. And pureed soup. Obsession was inevitable.