BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH SAUSAGE AND SPINACH

Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage and Spinach

Whew!  These past few weeks have been a blur.  And it’s not even Christmas yet.  How do people cope with this stress?  Starbucks usually works, along with pumpkin-anything on my plate.  My husband has been busy too, securing some meat for our freezer.  He’s been on – I can’t even count how many – hunting weekends and the other week he finally shot one!  We’re so proud and can’t wait to use the meat in our dinners.  I know some people have trouble with the idea of hunting animals, but for the honest hunter, nothing is wasted and the meat is a source of nourishment for the family.  Really, I’d rather eat meat from an animal that was shot with one bullet than stuffed into a cage it’s whole life, pumped up with antibiotics and then inhumanely slaughtered.

Our freezer will now be busting at the seams until I figure out what to cook with all this ground venison.  Any suggestions?  I can only make spaghetti, tacos and hamburgers so much before my family gets sick of them.  It’s definitely time to get creative.  I’m thinking Southwestern Lettuce Wraps?  Maybe a Shepherd’s Pie?

We should be getting several pounds of venison sausage next week that I can’t wait to use.  Which would be great to use in this recipe but I don’t have it yet.  Wah.

I’m affectionately calling this recipe the S-soup.  Did you notice all the S’s in the name?  Totally not on purpose but kind of cool.

Now, I’ve made a butternut squash soup before, which you can check out here, but there’s so much that compliments the squash it would be a shame not to experiment more.  And I’ve certainly made my share of soups over the past few months herehere, here and don’t forget here.  Winter just begs for soup, don’t you think?  But I think I secretly adore any soup that combines the creaminess of squash with the spicy flavors of sausage.  In fact I like anything with sausage.  And I can’t forget the bacon.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage and Spinach

This was the perfect dish to serve my family with the frigid temperatures outside.  While I was cooking in the kitchen, my husband was mumbling about how cold he was.  Little did he know what awaited him on the stove.  I love it when we’re on the same wavelength like that.

By adding thick coconut milk to the pureed butternut squash, the soup is given a nice creaminess, which will warm you up on a chilly night.  I love the heartiness of this bowl, with the slight crunch of the rice and the corn, the spicy sausage and the health kick the spinach gives.  This is the perfect soup for a biting cold winter night.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage and Spinach
Author: Christine @ Refined Tastes
Serves: 5-6
Barely adapted from Emeril Lagasse, [url href=”http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/smoked-sausage-butternut-squash-and-wild-rice-soup-recipe0.html” target=”_blank”]Smoked Sausage, Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Soup[/url]
Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 Tbs clarified butter or ghee
  • Celtic Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 pound sausage (andouille, chorizo, or kielbasa) cut into 1/4 inch chunks
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 oz baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk, chilled to thicken
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange squash on the baking sheet evenly. Melt 1 Tbs of clarified butter/ghee so it’s pourable and pour over the squash. Season with salt and pepper. Mix the squash around so it’s evenly coated and re-arrange flat. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from oven and cool completely. Once cool, add squash to a food processor or a blender along with 1 cup of the chicken broth. Pulse until smooth and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of chopped onions to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the rice and cook until tender, about 1 hour. Remove rice from the saucepan.
  4. In the same saucepan, heat up the other Tbs of clarified butter/ghee and add the sausage. Cook for 3 minutes or until brown. Add the remaining onions and corn. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook together for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 4 cups of chicken broth to the pan and squash puree. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the rice and spinach and cook for 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.
  5. Remove from heat and add the coconut milk. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

 

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