A big bowl of Sausage and Butternut Squash Soup warms your insides when the outside turns wild and wintery. Nubbins of zesty Italian sausage, slices of brown mushrooms, and chunks of sweet orange squash cozy up in a savoury broth loaded with aromatics and herbs for a rich autumnal bowl of goodness. It's soup season! (Skip to recipe.)
Fall is soup time. (Although with the weather we've been having you'd think it's winter out there.)
It's time for long-simmered pots of rib-sticking, soul-warming, belly-filling flavour. I think soups are my favourite foods of all to make. I feel like an alchemist hovering over my bubbling test tubes, tossing in a handful of this, a pinch of those, and a slurp of that; letting it all simmer together and voilà - a pot of deliciousness. It doesn't really matter what you put into a soup - well, I guess I've made the odd pot of . . . well, oddness - but mostly, just about anything goes in a soup, and it always comes out good. However, some combinations really shine.
There's magic that happens when you toss together bits of savoury sausage meat, earthy mushrooms, and sweet, tender squash, add some liquid to bind them and garlic, onions, and spices to bejewel them. You get a pot of this wonderfully aromatic autumn soup.
A heavy, dense-fleshed butternut squash stands up well to the simmering and turns into buttery soft cubes of glowing orange.
It's also a delicious way to get fiber and antioxidants into your bowl of autumn comfort.
I'm filling myself a steaming bowl of this wonderful butternut squash soup and heading off to enjoy it on the couch while I binge-watch some more of Schitt's Creek on Netflix.
Happy Cocooning, everyone.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: Any dense-fleshed squash will work as a substitute for butternut squash, like kabocha squash, red kuri squash, hubbard squash, or buttercup squash.
Butternut squash is easy to peel with a vegetable peeler.
If you prefer, you can also substitute the mild Italian sausage with spicy Italian sausage, or regular sausage meat.
Sausage and Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. (454 g) mild Italian sausages or bulk Italian sausage meat
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups (150 g) sliced cremini mushrooms or button mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground dried sage
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 lbs (900 g) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into ½-inch (1cm) cubes (about 5 cups)
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups (1.5 l) water
- optional, to make a creamed sausage chowder: 1 cup cream whisked with 4 tablespoons sweet rice flour (for gluten-free) or all purpose flour (for regular)
If using Italian sausages, slit each one lengthwise down one side and peel off and discard the casing. Use the inside for the soup.
Heat the oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage meat and brown it, breaking up the meat into smaller bits as it fries. Cook until the meat gets browned and crispy in spots and leaves bits of browned meat sticking to the bottom of the pot, about 10 minutes.
Add the onions, garlic, mushrooms, paprika, salt, sage, thyme, nutmeg, and pepper. Cook for about another 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the diced squash, bay leaves, and water.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes.
If making the creamed version, add the cream and flour and cook until the soup just starts to come to a boil and is thickened.
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