Soup love. I have it. And while I really adore puréed soups, Mr. Saucy prefers his with a bit more of a bite. So, this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup has just that…it’s both chunky and smooth. You could almost call it stew-like. Delicious with sweet roasted butternut squash, sausage and a wild rice blend, and the added flavors of orange and sherry and thyme, it’s a very nice combination of savory and a hint of sweet; and it’s outstanding for any fussy soup eater in your house.
Jay Leno once said, “Soup is just a way of screwing you out of a meal.” He certainly couldn’t say that about this soup. It is a meal in a bowl, with all of the great things about soup, but with enough of a bite to make it seem like you’re eating something, instead of just sipping.
Winter squashes are simply wonderful; they are a great source of vegetable carbohydrates as well as dietary fiber. They also have very, very tough skins. There are a lot of ways out there showing you how to peel these suckers, but I found the best one for me; and I have shown you in photos below. Forget the vegetable peelers (at least for me) and pull out the knives. What you will reach in the center of these delightful vegetables is so worth the effort.
Next, because I wanted some texture to this soup, I only puréed half of the roasted cubes of butternut squash. Really, they were a coarse mash to which I added orange juice, for a bit of sweet that highlighted the sweet flavor of the squash; and sherry, to add to the nutty flavor brought out by roasting the squash. You may have noticed that I use sherry quite a bit in my cooking; adding some to your pantry is a good thing. Just never, ever buy a wine you wouldn’t drink…so, those “cooking sherry” bottles they sell in the grocery store are out; they are loaded with salt. You could also use a dry white wine, in place of the sherry.
As an additional bit to texture, I used a some wild rice in the form of a white/wild rice blend. The nuttiness of the wild rice was just fantastic. I also added some andouille sausage that I sliced and browned, along with some onion and thyme (all adding to the savory elements of the soup). The little discs of meat were delicious, plus the caramelized bits in the bottom of the skillet were released into the stock when it was added. This made for a very rich depth of flavor.
This soup can be made more soupy with the addition of more stock, or it can be made to be more stew-like with the use of less stock or reducing to the desired consistency. The decision lies solely with you. As with any recipe, make it your own.
Just make it. It’s not Spring yet, so soup season is still in full swing!
- 1½ pounds butternut squash (weight after peeling), peeled and cubed (about 1 inch cubes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup white/wild rice blend (cooked according to package instructions - I added a cup of water, brought to a boil, covered, reduced heat and cooked for 20 minutes.)
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup sherry
- ½ pound sausage, sliced and browned
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons parsley (optional)
- Place the cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 25 minutes,
- Remove from oven.
- Using only half of the roasted cubes of butternut squash, mash together with the orange juice and sherry.
- Add the cubes of butternut squash to this bowl and set aside.
- In a sauce pan, cook the wild rice blend, according to the package instructions.
- While the rice is cooking, in a very large skillet (with a lid), over medium heat, place the sausage slices (no additional fat is needed) and brown the first side.
- Once the first side is brown, turn the sausage slices, add the onion and thyme to the sausage and cover.
- Continue to cook until the sausage is cooked through and the onions are soft (about 15 minutes).
- To the skillet, add the chicken stock and stir up the bits of browned sausage from the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the butternut squash and stir.
- When you are ready to serve, stir in the cooked wild rice blend and adjust the thickness of the soup as desired, by adding more stock if you want it more soupy, or by continuing to cook for a few minutes to reduce to your desired thickness.