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The sweetness of the caramelized, roasted butternut squash and onions is tempered by nutty wild rice and salty sausage that gives you something to sink your teeth into. This soup is the perfect, cozy, meal in a bowl for fall or winter.

I did not start out in life as a fan of Butternut Squash soup. Probably because the first time I had it, it was made with cooked apples pureed into it. In theory it should have been delicious but this is what I took away from that experience: If it is served as a meal, soup should not be sweet.

A short time later, my friend Karen dropped by with a tupper-ware of her Butternut Squash soup. She doesn’t cook a lot so whenever she makes something she’s really excited about, she brings me some of the leftovers to try so I can share in her excitement.  I politely took the soup. I could not bring myself to crush her enthusiasm by explaining I didn’t care for this type of soup. I knew, however, that she would later want to hear what I thought about it, so I would have to try it. I felt that my challenge was to come up with a creative way to not hurt her feelings while not all-out lying about how I felt about it. When I did try it though, I got a pleasant surprise…a nice salty bite of ham and nutty wild rice that balanced out the natural sweetness of the butternut squash. I couldn’t believe it, I was a fan!

This recipe is inspired by that first satisfying spoonful. I did not have ham on hand, nor did I have a recipe. But I took the basics of what I knew I liked about it and made up my own. Andy and I couldn’t stop “sampling” the results, so I’d say it’s a winner!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage and Wild Rice

Andy just pointed out that the spoon in this picture is on the wrong side of the bowl. This is why I should not photograph food when I am hungry! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs peeled and cubed butternut squash (You can get this pre cut and peeled in most grocery stores now. It saves a heap of work! I get mine at Costco.)
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 lb sausage links cooked and diced- I used 2 large Colosimo Red Wine sausages, but you can use whatever your family likes.
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend – cook according to directions
  • 4 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional) – You could use half and half, fat free half and half, or omit altogether if you are so inclined. *adding this note later: A friend made it and reported back that it was delicious with about 3 Tbsp nonfat greek yogurt in place of the cream. Try it however it sounds good to you. 🙂
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line two baking sheets with foil. Place the squash and onions on the pans in a single layer. Add two sprigs of rosemary to each pan. This is for infusing a little flavor, but rosemary easily becomes overpowering, so they will be removed later.

Drizzle a light layer of olive oil over the squash and onions, and season with a little salt and pepper. Stir to coat evenly:

Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Stir, and roast for 10 more minutes. They should be good and crispy on the sides that were on the pan. (I left mine a few minutes too long before stirring so yours might not be quite as dark as mine got. That’s life with a toddler!)

Allow to cool slightly, discard rosemary, then place squash and onions in a stock pot:

Place stockpot on the oven over medium heat, add 4 cups chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender.

Place the soup back onto the stove on low heat. Stir in the heavy cream (if using), 1 cup of the wild rice, and 3/4 of the diced sausage. Sample and season with salt and pepper to taste. Dish into bowls and garnish with additional rice and sausage:

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