The cure for Midwest Frozen Finger Syndrome
Here in the midwest, Michigan in particular, we have had a brutal winter. Cold. Snow. More Snow. A lot more Snow. There are a lot of frozen fingers and optimistic prayers for more daylight and temps above 10 degrees. One perk: Soup.
Adapted from a 2001 Emeril Lagasse recipe, this soup is velvety smooth and simple. Typically, I make Butternut Squash soup with a base of apples and bacon (shall make and post another time.) The addition of a salty, spicy sausage to the sweet smooth butternut is another good combo and one I was drawn to try. So I did. Here’s the proof. Personally, I would have taken out the sausage before pureeing and then added it back in. Adding the sausage to the recipe, I think, is for texture and flavor, so pureeing it with the squash seemed a little bizarre to this kitchen dweller. I felt like pureeing all that up left you with sausage-flavor soup..see where I’m going here..not soup with sauage in it. Do what you like, to puree or not to puree the meat- It will be in your control path.
Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage Soup (printable recipe)
Servings: about 6-8
1 large butternut squash, about 3 pounds
2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 pound sweet italian sausage (use Hot italian sausage for spicy soup), remove casings
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried sage)
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. Cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Lightly coat the two halves of squash with vegetable oil (about 1 teaspooon.) Season the inside of each squash halve with salt and pepper. Place cut-side/seasoned side of squash down on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper makes cleaning up easier.) Bake until very tender, about 45 minutes. Let the squash cool and then scoop out the cooked sqaush. Discard the peel.
2. In a large stockpot, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and break up into pieces as it cooks. Cook until browned about 4-6 minutes. Add the onions and cook until softeneed, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, sage, basil, oregano, thyme and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Add the cooked squash and chicken stock. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once the soup boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occassionally.
3. Using a held-hand immersion blender or blender/food processor. Puree the soup until smooth. For really smooth soup, strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean saucepan. Add the cider vinegar and stir to combine. Add the heavy cream and season with salt/pepper if necessary. Serve!
Fat Bottomed Girls You Make the Rockin' World Go Round. (Queen) I have not lyrical stylings for that diddy.
The Butternut. It looks like a tough character but it’s really a good, round bottomed (cheap!) squash. Roast it and give it life in soups, pasta, on it’s own as a side. It plays well with sage and bacon. Sweet and salt.
To crack this nut, slice it in half (from the stem to the bottom) and scoop out the seeds as you would a pumpkin at Halloween. If you wanted to roast up some to serve in pasta or on a salad with roasted beets and walnuts (holy good), cut the round bottom off to stablize it. Prop it up and peel the skin off first, then chop it up and roast on a sheet pan with some salt and olive oil.
Scooped, oiled and ready for action in the oven.
If you have parchment paper around, line the pan with parchment for easier clean up. Once scooped, oiled and ready. Place the squash meat side down on the pan. Roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes until very tender. While squash cooks, complete step 2 of the recipe.
Let the surrendered squash cool then gut its innards and add them to your soup.
Baked and ready for scooping.
Easy. Winter warming soup.
Stay warm Midwesterners. It can’t possibly snow until April.