Best Butternut Squash Soup; Felling Trees

Mon mari is not just out walking his tree.

He has it notched (look at the base), expert tree-feller that he is, but he was a little concerned that, because of one upper branch he couldn’t reach, it might not fall ‘true’.

He was demonstrating how he wanted me to pull the tree down with the rope as he notched the other side.

He assumed I would be most willing to do this.

It wouldn’t be the first time he was wrong.

In the interest of matrimonial harmony…. And not wanting to be shown up for the rank coward that I am, I agreed to do this thing.

All I had to do was hold the rope taut and, when the tree started falling, to pull it toward me so it fell in the opening.

Do you have any idea how FAST a falling tree falls?

Do you have any idea how HEAVY a tree is?

Do you have any idea how USELESS a woman on the end of a rope can be?


Thankfully, he had done a good job with the notch.  It fell almost where he wanted it, only nicking the old well covered in geraniums.

We took it down because it was very crooked (as you can see) and, for some reason only know to the planter, sitting on top of a big mound.  (Maybe there’s buried treasure!!!!!)


As long as the chain saw was out, he decided to give the give the catalpa trees a French cut.  The one in front is done; the one behind it will be tomorrow.

Regarding the interior of the house  – the living room and dining room (currently our bedroom) doors are done and hung.  He put them inside the old door frames as the old doors were so huge.  He just needs to add trim around the outside to finish.

Notice how I say ‘just’.


And the wallpaper is hung in the hallway, except for that bit you see on the left.  That’s where the stairs are going…. hopefully this week….

Or next.  This is France, after all.


And, despite the fact that I live in France I persist in cooking with butternut squash.

I couldn’t believe the difference that a dab tomato and a splash Sherry made!

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

2 medium leeks
250gr (8oz)  butternut squash, 2 – 3 cups
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs dry sherry
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbs Greek Yogurt or sour cream

Peel butternut squash using potato/vegetable peeler. Cut it in half the long way (blossom to stem) and remove seeds. Cut the squash into small cubes, roughly 3 cups. Clean and slice the leeks. In medium sauce pan sauté leek in oil until transparent. Add squash and stock. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 15 – 20 minutes, until squash is tender. Purée soup using blender, doing mainly the solids first, add broth as needed; so you can control the liquid – the liquid content of the squash can vary. When all the solids have been puréed you can add more broth as desired. Return the soup to heat, stir in the herbs, tomato and sherry. Gently reheat. To serve, ladle into soup plates or bowls, put dollop of yogurt in the center and serve.

Tomorrow?  Who knows?

13 thoughts on “Best Butternut Squash Soup; Felling Trees”

  1. oh how wonderful……I love your life and I love what you are doing to your home! Hubby seemed to have it altogether pulling that tree down……..and then you served him that delicious soup!! What a women!

  2. I had that exact experience with my first husband – the rope, the tree, the dawning impossibility of either directing its fall or getting hubby’s attention over the noise of the chainsaw when I knew I couldn’t hold it! Whew!

  3. Sherry? Wow! Never thought of that one….And I love butternut squash soup!
    Now, as for the tree…. You are quite brave. I didn’t notice in your story that there were any instructions as to how to get away in time. But clearly you did and all is well….

  4. I love your life and I love what you are doing to your home! Hubby seemed to have it altogether pulling that tree down.

  5. Jann, I’m so glad he knows what he’s doing…
    Natashya, they do it very well!
    Zoomie, and the determination not to look up to see if everything is okay…..
    Toni, he told me to run – while pulling the rope… Fast
    herzinfarkt, we try – thanks for the kind words

  6. Do you have any suggestions to make this recipe vegan? I’m struggling with being dairy free, and on top of that I also don’t eat poultry but I want to try some of your soup recipes. Do you think that using vegetable stock would be effective?

  7. Curt, tree-felling is not in my repertoire – or, at least it didn’t use to be…
    Magic of Spice – thanks… I ran – but with the rope LOL
    sippitysup, helpers are always welcome…. please.
    Lindsay, vegetable stock for the chicken would work, or just water with another tbs tomato paste. Reserve some of the leeks and fry until crisp to use as a garnish instead of the yogurt. Does that help ;-))

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