Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Smoked Sausage, Butternut Squash, and Wild Rice Soup | December 13, 2006

soup.jpg

Ah, soup–nothing says wintertime quite like a steaming bowl of soupy goodness. With that in mind, and with a butternut squash in my fridge, I set out to find a recipe that would accommodate both my on-hand ingredients and my desire for something comforting and warm.

I don’t normally gravitate toward Emeril Lagasse’s recipes. I find them to be very much like their creator–pompous, overrated, and “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” However, when I saw the recipe for Smoked Sausage, Butternut Squash, and Wild Rice Soup, I decided to put my distaste for Mr. “Bam!” aside and give his food a go.

Overall, I liked the soup. The meaty kick of the sausage balanced the sweetness of the squash, and the rice added a nice texture. Next time, I’ll probably add more spice–maybe some red pepper flakes or just some extra salt and pepper–but this is definitely a satisfying cold-weather meal.

Serves 10 people. Cooking time: approximately two hours.

  • 1 medium butternut squash, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 3/4 pound smoked sausage (I used turkey kielbasa), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves (I actually forgot this)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for one hour. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Peel and seed the squash. In a blender, 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 one hour (note: it didn’t take me nearly this long, more like 20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally with a fork. Remove the rice from the pan and cool. In a large saucepan, 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 onion 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 heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface (note: if you use turkey or chicken sausage, you can probably skip this step, as the meat is very lean). Stir in the rice and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the half and half, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve.

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