Creamy Monolith squash soup. It sounds like an oxymoron, because how can be something creamy be associated with a monolith. But thing is, this recipe does not accept logical limits and besides that, it is a tribute to a couple of magnificent things in life: squash and Amebix.
Squash is known by different names in Spanish. In English too, some people prefer to call it butternut, or pumpkin, depending on the variety. But they all belong into the Cucurbita family. In my mother tongue, we call it ‘‘ahuyama’’ which sounds beautiful. Amebix is only known by its forename and woe to the ones who misspell its name or confuse it with another band. Seriously?
Squash is good for health, not only physical but spiritual as well. Why? Because at least in my case, it takes me back to childhood. The first cream of squash soup that I tried was my Mother’s and I still think it will always be the best one. More so, to be totally honest, this recipe I am sharing today is 90% hers. Of course, in my emotional imaginary, hers will always be my favorite.
And it is good for physical health as well, because squash has a lot of Vitamin A, useful to potentiate the capacity of our supranalytical eyes. Lots of healing properties are attributed to squash, and among those, preventing cancer; but not Cancer Spreading, because nobody will save us from having musical orgasms listening to that delicious Italian stenchcore. People think it is diuretic, and its high phosphorus content works as fuel for our brains. Better than reading Simone de Beauvoir, let us say. It is also said that it helps to diminish wrinkles but at Stenchcore Diva we do not worry about that yet, because people still say to her writer aka myself, that I look 10 years younger than what I really am.
I am totally in love with squash because it is neither sweet nor savory but you cannot qualify it as ‘‘neutral’’ either. She is simply what she is, no matter the categories. She can be the queen of a salty recipe and of a sweet one, simultaneously. She can navigate in all worlds, in several cultures and in different eras. I love her, I mean, squash, because it resembles me. Or I look like her, I mean, squash.
Without further chit chat, you only need a few things for this recipe.
- 1 squash, preferably a big one
- 2-3 potatoes
- ½ red bell pepper
- 1 white onion
Every good syllogism rests on certain premises. The ones for this recipe are well rinsed vegetables, chopped into medium-sized chunks. Of couuuuurse. What did you expect.
- Squash: you peel it, and take off the seeds.
- Potatoes: you peel them and cut them into halves, like the half of the moon.
- Red bell pepper: you need to remove the white parts and the seeds.
- Onion: you peel it and cut it in 4 parts.
- Salt: best to use sea salt.
- Having a good-sized cooking pot.
- Feeling love towards Amebix.
In a big cooking pot, you throw in the vegetables just like I explained above; you cover them with water and a little bit more, but not too much because we’re making a cream of soup and we do need consistency. You begin to cook this wonder.
When it boils, you turn down the heat to a medium and you wait until all the vegetables are well cooked. To be sure, we can impale (yes) the potatoes and the squash chunks with a knife, to check if they are ready. Yeah, Vlad Dracul style. Afterwards, we add the salt; personally, I love salt and I use 1 spoon for a big pot. You can add a sprinkle of olive oil or sunflower oil and nothing more.
Once you turn it off, you wait till everything is warm (I hate that word, especially in Spanish! It’s horrid! We say ‘‘tibio’’) or till it is cold. You grab a ladle, and you put the vegetables with its broth in the blender and you blend it all step by step. When everything is well blended and homogenous, you can warm it up again if you intend to have some soup right away or you can store it in the fridge in a proper container waiting to be devoured the next day.
You can serve it with parsley or cilantro, croutons, tortilla chips, potato kind-of-matches (Mother, I always hated them, ewww), vegan cream or the one you prefer, Parmesan cheese (faux or not, up to you), chives; I do not know, well, I am just giving you ideas so you can decorate your dish. You can eat it the way you want it. It is not my problem.
Why did I choose the Monolith to baptize my recipe, which is not mine, but I claim it as mine… Simple. Because it is my favorite Amebix album, even though other people insist that the best one is Arise. I have never swum with the current and I do not share the opinion of the majority. For me, the best one will always be the Monolith, because it has a deep meaning in my History and it is maybe one of the records that has changed my life radically and shaped it for the better. Yeah, epic, I know. The day I die, play this album please, and I hope everybody has a bowl of creamy squash soup while they remember me.
Amebix, Chain Reaction
Rise into the light, and set a flame to the night
We must destroy the institution of fear
Every shadow of doubt, grind it out!
There is a vision now becoming so clear
Use your head, take control
Use your head, no gods no masters
Feel the strength from within, do you believe it’s a sin
To find the power lying inside your mind
Not from the cross or the gun
Not from the moon nor the sun
But rising from the very soul of mankind
We are straining at the leash!
We swear allegiance to none, be, not become
There is no one upon whom praise we will shower
I believe that the sin is the first to give in
On the path toward the ultimate power
Spanish translation for Bilingual readers and curious souls
Amebix, Reacción en cadena
Elévate a la luz, e incendia la noche
Debemos destruir la institución del miedo
Cada sombra de duda, ¡destrúyela!
Hay una visión que ahora se hace tan clara
Usa tu cabeza, toma el control
Usa tu cabeza, ni dioses ni amos
Siente la fuerza que viene desde adentro, ¿acaso crees que es pecado?
Para encontrar el poder que está dentro de tu mente
No que provenga de la cruz ni de las armas
No de la luna ni del sol
Sino surgiendo del alma misma de la humanidad
¡Estamos forcejeando con la correa!
No le juramos lealtad a nadie, ser, no devenir
No hay nadie a quien cubriremos de elogios
Creo que el pecado es el primero en claudicar
En el camino hacia el poder supremo
It is hard not being in love with this song. It has a few possible readings, each one deeper than the previous one, and that is something I love about Amebix. It begins exhorting us to search for light, something that reminds me of Plato’s Cavern. Humankind is in darkness, the Tenebrae of ignorance, lost and subjected to shadows; it can’t get out of there unless someone drags it away from its own miasma. But in the punk vision of the world, it is up to us to take us away from that place.
It tells us to destroy the institution of fear. There are a lot of institutions that propagate fear, but this verse (because yes, Amebix is pure poetry), should be taken not only literally but in a metaphorical way. Fear as an institution, fear as a monolith, fear living inside of us, not letting us achieve our true potential.
The doubt, which in this case is not synonym with method or prudence, but of stumbling actions, of unfinished philosophical dissertations, of an individual paralyzed by anxiety not knowing what to do, this is the boring doubt Amebix invites us to destroy and surpass. Overcoming that impasse. Because the song tells us: our paradigms have been renewed, we possess a clear vision of where we really want to go.
Punk, and every movement that has strived to give human beings the power over their existence, be it existentialism, situationism and why not, let’s go way back in History to punk’s true ancestors, the cynics, they have dreamed that we take full responsibility for our thoughts, that we become the beginning and the end (pun intended) of our own speech. Far from earthly masters, hierarchies, tyrants, all those who want to oppress mankind and who actually do. Ripping humans of the most sacred, and that is our freedom. Neither a liberticide God up heaven, with its abject moral codes from shepherds of souls here on earth, and their speech of sacrifice, penury, suffering, nor the politicians will be able to make us bow before them and submit to their ridiculous anti-vitalist perspective.
Our spirit’s force is real; therefore, it is the one thing that will keep us alive. Nonetheless, some people consider it to be a sin or call it subversion, because they are not used to think for themselves and even less to live by their own law. According to Antisect, a band that also changed my life, ‘‘your standards, your law’’.
A real power, transformative, limitless, which does not seek to conquer or dominate other people, but to be a life giver and make any change possible, every harvest abundant and to renew ourselves, deep within. It is a power coming from ourselves, it is not alienated by religious fictions and it is neither a gun that they put on our forehead, nor does it come from obsolete mysticisms but instead of what really is: the beating heart of mankind.
The song keeps going, quoting the idea that we are dogs, tied and domesticated who are rebelling and breaking their chains; we can see the metaphor with the image of being straining at the leash. The natural thing is that we destroy those ties, in order to be able to be ourselves. Nobody is going to give us freedom, only ourselves can (and maybe, the squash soup).
Like good pirates, we do not swear allegiance to no one unless they deserve it. We do not practice gratuitous gallantry, we always are who we really are, in front of anyone and we deal with the vicissitudes of life. If Death comes, we wait for her with a glass of whiskey and a smile on our faces. If a love disappoints us, in the same easy manner we let it in, we banish it; if a friend betrays us, s/he betrays her/himself and we will ignore his/her misdemeanor or we will wait till the Universe avenge us. The persons who have a corrupted soul are the ones who first surrender to the mermaids’ call. Us, on the contrary, who were forced to become sea wolves by being pariahs here or there, we walk with a light heart and full of life, out of the cavern, heading to that vision of world where we want to live. Everything starts with ourselves.
Long live to creamy squash soup.
Long live to the ones who dare to think.
Long live to the ones who dare to love.
Long live Amebix and the tropical rain keeping me company while I give birth to these writings induced by insomnia.
Written in Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
During the delicious month of June 2017 ♥
No Gods, No Masters, baby! ♥
© Stenchcore Diva
Original Spanish version
Versión original en ESPAÑOL