Butternut and chocolate: Soul soup

26 Oct

…And the happiness that $2.25 can bestow

No nursing stories today.

Soup for the soul, instead.

And first a story that is good for my non-New Yorker soul. This story renews my desire to make peace with the fast pace of Manhattan, the rats in the subway rails, and the lack of recycling or composting.

On Wednesday, I was going to my community clinical. This is one of the only rotations this year that I get to shuck my scrubs and don lovely business casual clothes instead.  I really don’t mind leaving my white granny shoes and compression socks at home, really, truly I don’t. Not that I hate the scrubs; they are pretty comfy, as far as polyester goes. But in the classy clinic that I am in for this rotation, I like my classy clothes.

But anyways, that’s not the point of this story. To go with my clinic clothes, I was carrying a purse instead of my school backpack. I had transferred everything I needed for the day into the purse, or so I thought. I even squeezed in a lunch.

I took the train into the city, and then skipped down to the bowels of the city. I swiped my unlimited metro card, very professionally. I am becoming an expert swiper, mind you. Nothing. I swiped again to be sure. Yep, time for a new card. So I went to a machine, which digging deep into my cavernous purse for my wallet. Then my heart sank, and I realized – no wallet. I brought everything except my wallet. Happens to the best of us. The scenarios that ran through my head in the next few seconds were not pretty. I saw myself holding a Styrofoam cup out for change, crumpled defeated in the corner of the station. Then I saw myself being turned down by 20 people, becoming increasingly more agitated and teary as I was rejected again and again for a swipe or a meager $2.25. For about 20 seconds, I could taste my fear, and it was not tasty. But there was no other option. I would have to ask the scary New Yorkers for cash.

I turned around, steeling myself, and almost ran headlong into the person directly behind me. Oh yeah. I forgot that I was at a subway ticket kiosk, holding up people behind my with my frantic wallet search.  He looked like a relatively nice guy – business suit, no eye stink eye. All good characteristics that made him semi-approachable. So I bumbled and blubbered my way through my story, and before I could even finish, he was already reaching for his wallet. Seriously! Relief washed over me, as I realized that I would not be in the subway station all day. Nay, not even two minutes extra. It was nearly painless, actually! Probably even more pleasant than it would be in Seattle (ok, maybe that is stretching it).

But, really, why do I think all New Yorkers are evil and mean? I guess it’s because walking down the street, they don’t automatically smile and greet me. Thankfully for this experience, I have now decided that it is not good enough evidence to pass such harsh judgment. I have now become one of the individuals on the subway that New Yorkers have shown compassion for, enough to reach deep into their pockets for some spare change. I see it happen here more than anywhere else I have been in the world. So, I ask myself: should the new definition of a New Yorker be the Good Samaritan?  Maybe I am pushing it too far, but still…food for thought.

Now for some food for the belly:

Butternut Squash Soup With Spicy Chile Theo Chocolate

co-starring: sage breadcrumbs


1 onion
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 butternut squash
1.5 oz Theo Classic Chile Bar
1 Carrot
1 sweet potato
2 Qt vegetable stock (I would use less if making it again, maybe 1.5 Qt)
white pepper (to taste)

What to do:
Saute onions, garlic and carrots in a little olive oil. After they begin to brown, add vegetable stock. Peel and chop sweet potato and butternut squash into large pieces. Add to stock and cook until tender. Puree soup and return to stove. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne and then top with generous amounts of shaved Classic Chile Chocolate. Enjoy.

My addition: sage breadcrumbs

Needed: baguette (cubed), olive oil, seasoning salt, garlic powder, sage (essential ingredient – be liberal), parmesan cheese

Toss all of the above listed ingredients together on a baking tray. You can sprinkle the cheese on last, if you choose. Bake at 400 degrees until toasty brown. The sage and salt make it nearly unnecessary to season the soup itself. Hearty goodness.


Posted by on October 26, 2010 in Healing Spoonful, Soups


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Butternut and chocolate: Soul soup

  1. mommy

    October 26, 2010 at 10:54 am

    I am so grateful to that lovely New York man! The idea of my beautiful daughter being reduced to begging is unacceptable. So glad this story has such a good end!

  2. geena

    October 27, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Hi Rachel..I enjoyed your blog as always…It had all the elements of a great story.. good intro, suspense, humor..LOVED it! were reading my mind…I needed that recipe. Love Geena


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