I love soup! and when Fall comes it's one of my favorite choices for dinner. A bowl of warm soup, a green salad and a piece of crusty bread and I'm good for the night. I wanted to find a butternut squash soup recipe and there were many that looked appealing to me, but this one CALLED to me. It was probably because of the Italian Sausage listed in the ingredients. yum. This is a recipe from Emeril Lagasse. He includes a recipe for Roasted Parsnip soup to be served WITH this, in the same bowl...a sort of half and half or yin/yang soup. However, I didn't have the patience to make both, so I just went with the Butternut. It is deeeeelish.
1 (1 1/2 lb) butternut squash, peeled seeded and rough chopped
3 TBS olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 C Italian sausage, removed from the casing
1 C onion, diced small
1/2 C carrot, diced small
1/2 C celery, diced small
1/2 C leek, diced small (about 1 leek, white part only)
2 TBL minced shallots
1 TBL minced garlic
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 tsp fresh chopped sage leaves
Preheat oven to 425.
Place the chopped squash in a medium bowl and drizzle with 2 TBL olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper (I used a bit more pepper because I like that). Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and place the squash on the pan. Roast the squash for 30-40 minutes or until lightly caramelized and tender.
Remove the squash fro the oven and set aside. Place a large pot over medium heat and add the remaining 1 TBL of oilive oil to the pan and render the Italian Sausage. Cook, stirring often until the meat is caramelized and has released most of it's fat, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery and leeks into the pan and sweat, stirring often for 5-7 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and sweat for 1 minutes stirring continuously. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and add the chicken stock. Place the squash in the pan and the maple syrup and sage.
Bring the pan to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook the soup for 30 minutes or unitl the vegetables are all tender. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a smooth consistency and velvety texture. Alternately, you can puree the soup in batches using a blender. Taste the soup and re-season if necessary with1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.