This is a wonderful soup — a rich and savory combination of butternut squash, nutty wild rice and smokey sausage. I made the soup the day before serving it, which worked perfectly. Instead of the roasting method that the recipe calls for (peeling the squash, cubing it then roasting it), I split the squash, scooped out the seeds, drizzled it with a bit of olive oil and roasted the halved squash (much quicker than peeling and cubing). After the roasted squash was cool enough to handle, I scooped out the cooked flesh and discarded the peel. I then proceeded with the recipe as written, making the butternut puree, cooking the wild rice, and browning the sausage. Next, I combined the butternut puree, additional broth, corn and sausage together and refrigerated the soup; I stored the wild rice in a separate container. When I reheated the soup the next evening, I waited until the soup was fully heated through before adding the cooked wild rice and half & half. I cut down on the half & half (using less than 1 cup) but made up for it with a bit more chicken stock. Also, instead of 2 cups of fresh corn kernels, I used a whole bag of Trader Joe’s white frozen corn. For the sausage, I used a high quality smoked sausage from a local gourmet market. The butternut squash I used was a three-pounder; next time I’ll use one that’s at least 4 pounds for a more intense squash flavor. The soup was delicious, hearty and festive…a perfect soup for our Christmas Eve dinner.
Smoked Sausage, Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Soup
– recipe by Emeril Lagasse – foodnetwork.com
Makes 10 servings
2 medium butternut squash, about 3 to 4 pounds, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
12 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup wild rice
3/4 pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into 1/4-inch
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Season the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool completely. In a blender or food processor, puree the squash with 2 cups of the chicken stock. Puree until smooth and set aside.
In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring 4 cups of the stock and 1/2 cup of the chopped onions to a simmer. Stir in the rice and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally with a fork. Remove the rice from the pan and cool. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and brown for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of onions and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 6 cups of stock and squash puree. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Stir in the rice and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the half-and-half and reason with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve.