Sunday, November 1, 2009

Smoked Sausage, Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Soup

Smoked Sausage, Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Soup

     As a group, my family has chosen to ban winter squash from our kitchen. I don't know if it's the taste, texture or a combination, but they pretty much avoid most orange colored vegetables. For the most part, however, they are adventurous eaters and I was able to coax them into trying this soup. After that first hesitant bite, they were hooked; I now hear pleas for it rather than protests.
     Though an unusual sounding soup, it is an absolutely delicious dish. The combination of a silky squash puree with pieces of corn, smoked sausage and nutty wild rice join together flawlessly for a warm, intensely flavorful, and satisfying meal.

Smoked Sausage, Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Soup
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

2 medium butternut squash, about 3-4 pounds, peeled seed and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
12 cups chicken stock
2 ½ cups chopped onions
1 cup wild rice
¾ pounds kielbasa or other smoked sausage cut into ¼ inch pieces
2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 ½ cups half and half
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degree F

Season the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool completely. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring 4 cups of stock and ½ cup chopped onions to a simmer. Stir in rice and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally with a fork. Remove from pan and cool.

In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, add remaining oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and brown for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of chopped onions and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes.

Puree cooked squash with about 3 cups of stock, until smooth. Add to the Dutch oven along remaining stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the half-and-half, check seasoning and serve.

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