Soups, Stews, & Chilies publication in September. I've had my eye on one particular soup, the Italian sausage & squash soup; it's actually the cover photo and what caught my eye in the sea of magazines at Barnes & Noble. Anyway, I bought a butternut squash over the weekend, as the prediction was for a cool front and a few days of cooler temperatures. In Louisiana, fall and winter weather comes in spurts. One day you're in shorts, the next day, you're wearing a sweater. So, we watch the weather, and we all eagerly await the next blast of cold weather as we prepare to make cool weather food like soups and gumbos.
I really liked this soup. Initially, though, I didn't add the brandy, but after a taste, I realized it needed another dimension of flavor, which the brandy provided. The instructions call for cooking the squash in the chicken broth, but I chose to roast the squash, as I think the flavor is intensified. Also, as a result of roasting the squash is plenty sweet, so the addition of sugar, which was listed in the recipe, was unnecessary. I think this would be a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving table, and I've added it to my menu for this year. The recipe I've given includes my tweaks; if you'd like the original as written, Google Cuisine at Home Italian Sausage & Squash soup.
Italian Sausage and Squash Soup Printable recipe
1 butternut squash, about 1 1/2 lbs, roasted
1 pound Italian sausage, removed from the casing
2 medium onions, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper,diced
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and diced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup Riesling
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 bunch kale, destemmed & coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons brandy
salt and pepper -- to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut butternut squash in half, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until tender. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and remove flesh with a spoon into a bowl; set aside.
Brown sausage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until cooked through and caramelized. Deglaze with the Riesling, and cook until wine evaporates.
Remove sausage to a plate.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and saute the diced onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and jalapeno, cook until softened.
Add butternut squash, chicken broth, and water; bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth.
Add kale and cook until tender, 15 minutes.
Add cream, sage, and sausage, continue for cook for another 5 minutes.
Taste for seasoning, add salt & pepper as necessary.
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