Sunday, November 4, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage

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Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage
It's Soup Sunday!  In years past, I always made soups that Daryl would eat... which meant there were a lot of recipes I didn't get to try.  I've decided to change that.  Now and again I am going to start making something I want, even if he won't eat it.  I started today. 

This recipe is from Cuisine at Home's Soups, Stews, and Chilies cookbook.  I followed the recipe exact, except I substituted one seasoning.  It was terrific!  But .... I want to change it.  I'm going to post the recipe as I will make it next time:

1 pkg thin sliced pancetta
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1.5 pounds)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup diced bell pepper (and/or diced carrot)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. brandy
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh ground nutmeg

Cook pancetta in a cast iron dutch oven (or heavy bottomed pot) with 1 Tbsp. olive oil until crispy.  Remove to paper towel lined plate, set aside.  Sweat onion in leftover grease with the other Tbsp olive oil, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic 1/2 way through.  Increase heat, add squash and pepper flakes, saute 5 minutes.  Stir in broth and water, bring to a boil and simmer until squash is very soft, about 10 minutes.  Puree soup with an immersion blender (or standard blender, in batches), then add bell pepper and/or carrot, cream, thyme and sugar.  Simmer until bell pepper and/or carrot are tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in brandy and simmer about 2 minutes more.  Season with salt and pepper
Top with crumbled pancetta and fresh nutmeg.

The original recipe calls for italian sausage (instead of pancetta), sage (instead of thyme), and adding spinach at the end.  The spinach didn't do a lot for me - so I wouldn't buy it special for this recipe.  The original doesn't suggest nutmeg at the end, but I don't know why not -- it's fabulous!

I made this soup for lunch today, and liked it so much I had another serving for dinner with a grilled cheese (made with homemade crusty bread).  Now that's a good Sunday Supper!

~ Enjoy ~

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