Butternut Squash, Wild Rice, and Spicy Sausage Soup

By Casey Bradshaw

butternut squashI don’t know what it is about Fall, but I love warm, comfort food. Nothing seems more fitting than cozying up with a warm bowl of soup when the leaves are turning and the air is cool. A few years ago, a dear friend of mine introduced this soup to me. When she told me what was in it, it sounded like heaven, and upon tasting it, I realized I was going to HAVE to learn how to make it for myself. Now, if you are like me, I had never cooked with fresh butternut squash before, but I am here to let you know that it is not difficult and that the extra steps to roast it yourself are WELL worth it. This soup is wonderful and will quickly become a family favorite!

Butternut Squash, Wild Rice, and Spicy Sausage Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 medium butternut squash, about 3 to 4 pounds, sliced lengthwise with a very sharp knife
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
  • 3/4 pound smoked sausage (I use hot Italian Turkey sausage, removing the casings)
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (I use frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool completely. After cooling, removed seeds and discard; spoon out flesh of squash. In a blender or food processor, puree the squash with 2 cups of the chicken stock. Puree until smooth and set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring 4 cups of the stock and 1/2 cup of the chopped onions to a simmer. Stir in the rice and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally with a fork. Remove the rice from the pan and cool. In a large pot, over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and brown for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of onions and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 6 cups of stock and squash puree. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Stir in the rice and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the half-and-half and reason with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve.

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