“Silky, chunky, sweet, and spicy – this autumnal soup with an Italian accent is full of texture and flavor contrasts, yet is surprisingly simple to make. It’s a spectacular tribute to the season’s abundance of golden butternut squash.”
Definitely their words…not mine! But it draws you in to the recipe doesn’t it?! My mom made this soup last year from a Cuisine at Home Magazine (It’s a really fun cooking magazine with lots of pictures and tips/tricks and NO ADs! Got to love that. I have not yet bought a subscription but it’s on my magazine bucket list). This is by far my FAVORITE soup I’ve ever had. I get cravings for this soup and have yet to make it for myself. That’s going to change this week :)
My mom gave me the recipe but with all the moving I’ve done in the last few years, I have no idea where it is. So, I decided I would type it here so I can grab it when I need it. The first time she made it she also did a yummy bread. I’ll do a second post for the Cheesy Garlic Bread that goes awesome with this soup and any others that you make this winter soup season.
To begin, this recipe has a tip about working with squash from the magazine….
“The size, shape, and density of hard winter squash, like butternut, requires careful knife work. Buy small squash if possible (easier to handle), then peel with a vegetable peeler and cut (carefully) with a sharp, heavy chef’s knife.”
I also asked my mom if she had any tips or tricks when making this recipe. She suggested that if you don’t have a hand blender and need to use a regular blender that you should take their suggestion about doing the blending in batches seriously! Only fill the blender half full for each batch or you are likely to decorate your kitchen ceiling and counter top with a beautiful butternut squash color. She also recommended that you put a towel over the top of the blender in case any soup seeps out of the top. The heat of the soup causes funny things to happen in that blender so less is more when blending your batches.
Italian Sausage & Squash Soup
- 1 lb bulk Italian sausage
- 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
- 2 T garlic minced
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 inch chunks (about 1.5 lbs)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp ground dried sage
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cups baby spinach, packed
- 3 T. Brandy
- salt and pepper to taste
Brown sausage in 1 T of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate; set aside
Sweat onion and garlic in 1 T. oil in a large pot over medium heat until soft, 5 min. Increase heat to medium-high, add squash and pepper flakes, and saute 5 min.
Stir in broth and water, bring to a boil and simmer until squash is very soft, about 10 min. Puree soup with a hand blender (or in batches in a standard blender), then add bell pepper, cream, sage, and sugar; simmer until bell pepper is tender, about 5 min. Stir in spinach, brandy, and sausage, and simmer until spinach wilts and sausage is heated through, about 2 min; season with salt and pepper.