Our parish has a soup supper every Wednesday during Lent, offering one meat based and one vegetarian soup. As the Resident Vegetarian, I generally end up making two soups, and tomorrow I’m supposed to bring Butternut Squash. I stopped at the store last night and picked up eleven pounds of squash and six packages of cream cheese. (I’m serving 36 people, here, so don’t panic.) This morning, The Squire and I got started, and I discovered I did not have enough butter in the house. I knew I hadn’t gotten everything on the shopping list last night, so I asked if he wanted to go to the store or if he would chop the onions while I went shopping.
When I got home, the dear man had not only chopped 2-1/2 cups of onions, he had peeled and diced all of the squash! He waved the knife in my direction and asked if I remembered the story of Rumpelstiltskin.
Many years ago, when we were first married, the church was having a spaghetti supper and I remarked proudly that my new husband made really good salads. Next thing I knew, the poor man was signed up to make salad for 75 people! He and Eldest Daughter went to the grocery store and picked up 21 heads of lettuce and goodness knows what all else. As they were putting the stuff on the check-out belt, Eldest Daughter was having hysterics. The Squire told her to straighten up and help, or he’d “get rid of the d—d rabbit”, which only sent her further into gales of laughter.
So – Tuesday night I went off to college and left him peeling cucumbers and slicing radishes. Wednesday night I went to the laundromat and he was home chopping celery and dicing onion. Thursday night I went to choir rehearsal while he washed lettuce and sliced tomatoes.
When I came in I leaned over to kiss him, and he handed me a knife. After chopping lettuce in silence for a few moments, he pointed his knife at me and said, “If anybody ever asks you, I cannot spin straw into gold.” I replied, “Yessir” and kept on chopping.
Butternut Squash Soup for Six
6 tablespoons chopped onion
4 tablespoons butter
6 cups (about 2 pounds) peeled and cubed squash
3 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes (I use Temla kosher brand, which does not contain meat or wheat, but you may use whatever you wish.)
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
Saute onion in butter until soft, then add everything but the cream cheese to the pot, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Puree squash and cream cheese in blender until smooth and return to the pot. (You need to do this in batches.) Reheat carefully – do not allow to boil.