Buttercup Squash Vichyssoise with Crispy Sage leaves

I won!

Thank you so much for taking the time to vote for me. I can not tell you how wonderful it feels.

I love the fall. Back to school…

When the girls were little, Ralph was away a good deal of the time. He would leave early on Monday morning and return home late on Thursday. All of the responsibility of home work, extra curricular activities, chores, friends and sister issues were mine.

It was never a burden to me. I loved the constant challenge that came from raising three ‘way-too-bright’ daughters. They had all sorts of different strategies and techniques, which they used when they were trying to work the situation to their advantage. Sometimes they worked alone, other times they tag teamed me and worst of all was the gang attack – all three at once! I wish that I would have video recorded some of those conversations so that I could use them when my grand children come along…

As the girls got older, the issues became more intense. Should they dye their hair, could they each have a cell phone, should they bother with their homework – the list was long and constantly changing.

One day, on a rare occasion that Ralph was home, we were working in our office, when we heard the girls come home from school. Instead of charging in to say hello, we could hear them whispering in the kitchen. It was ‘home report day’. I did not say a word to Ralph. I wanted to see how my three little kittens were going to work their father. I figured that the report cards must not be very good if they were choreographing who would dance first!

As usual, it was Meggie. In she came, with those beautiful big brown eyes of hers. Yikes! – Ralph did not stand a chance.

Hi Dad.

Hey Sweetie, how was your day?

Well, I got my home report card today…

My back was to the girls but I could see the three of them in my computer screen – it was priceless. Kaitie and Sara were giving Meg the ‘look’ to get on with it!

Ralph pushed his chair away from his desk.

How did you make out? Mom tells me that you have not been doing your homework.

I’m busy Dad. I have swimming, the play and work.

So how’s the home report?

She passed it to him and said, ‘what do you think, Dad, do you think it’s good’

Ralph slowly looked it over, then he handed it to me. As I had expected, her marks had fallen a bit. I was always much harder on the girls about their grades than their father, which is why they chose to show the home report cards to him first.

It doesn’t matter what I think, Sweetheart – it matters what you think – you decide…

Silence.

It was brilliant!

In that moment, Ralph transferred the responsibility of decision-making from me to the girls. They always knew what the right decision was but it was so much more fun to ignore their better judgement and try to convince me to cave. Then if anything went wrong, they could say, ‘but Mom said it was alright.’

Those two little words changed our world. ‘You decide’… and they did.

This is a perfect soup for fall.

Buttercup Squash Vichyssoise with Crispy Sage Leaves

serves 4

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, trimmed and diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups cooked buttercup squash

3 cups chicken stock – you can use commercial in a pinch!

dried red chili flakes, to taste

freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

12 large sage leaves

This soup needs to be seasoned perfectly and to your taste which is why I am not including seasoning measurements – remember to add slowly and taste – you can not take it out once it’s been stirred in!

In a medium stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium – high heat.

Add carrot, onion, celery and garlic – saute for 5 minutes stirring constantly

Add chicken stock and potatoes then bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a gentle bubble and cook until potatoes are fork tender.

Add cooked squash and break up into smaller pieces.

Remove pot from heat.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked vegetables to the bowl of your food processor.

Whiz to make a puree then return puree to the soup pot.

Add grated nutmeg, chillies, salt and pepper.

Add a little more chicken stock if the soup is too thick.

Place last tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet and fry sage leaves until crispy.

Drain fried leaves on a piece of paper towel.

Add sage flavored olive oil to soup and stir well.

This soup can be served hot or cold – you decide

Thanks for reading.

  • Kaitie

    I just want to be very clear, that this report card in question I had high honours….Just sayin’

    xoxo

  • Joe Chase

    Congratulations Chelle never a doubt

  • Morgan

    Way to go, Michelle! …and I love this recipe! I have one very similar and always start making it around this time of year.

  • Emma Thibault

    Congratulations !!
    Sorry, if you get this message twice. I don’t think it went the first time I sent it.

    • It’s a lovely message to get twice!

  • Judith MACKIN

    Such a wonderful story and post. Thank you for dinner last night. It is always so much more than a meal. It is an experience.
    Judith
    xo