ah, squash. i used to wrinkle my nose and shake my head as my mom pulled the roasted squash from the oven as part of dinner. now, as an adult, i recognize it's tastiness--and it's healthy too! you just can't beat that.
and though the butternut squash and sausage combo may give you the same reaction i had to squash in childhood, trust me, this is a keeper! now, i have made this with italian sausage or plain, fresh onion or dried minced, fresh garlic or pre-minced, roasted squash or frozen squash, chicken stock or bullion or soup base, heavy cream or milk--any way you shake it, it's still good! below are instructions for how i made it today.
butternut squash w/ italian sausage soup
heavily adapted from emeril
1 pound italian sausage
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp dried minced onions
5 Tbsp cold water
2 rounded Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground sage
3 ten-ounce packages frozen cooked squash
6 cups water
2 1/2 Tbsp "organic better than bullion reduced sodium chicken base"
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
heat olive oil in large skillet. when the oil is not-yet-smokin' hot, add the sausage and brown it. meanwhile, put dried minced onions in a small bowl or mug and add the 5 Tbsp cold water--allow to sit 10 minutes to reconstitute. when sausage is browned, add reconstituted onions to the pan. cook several minutes until the onions begin to brown. add garlic and cook a minute or so, stirring to brown the garlic. add sage and stir.
in a large stock pot, add frozen cooked squash, 6 cups water and chicken soup base. turn the heat on high and allow to warm as you are finish cooking sausage mixture. add sausage mixture to squash mixture in the large stock pot. bring to a boil, stirring occasionally as you break up the frozen squash. once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
in batches, use a blender to pulse-puree the soup, dumping it in a different pot after each blend. REMEMBER: hot liquid spews all over the place!! AND you have to let the steam release--so use the lid, but pull out that middle plug first! in my 6-cup blender, i only put in 2-cups of hot soup at a time and pulse several times until the larger sausage chunks become small sausage chunks.
once pureed, add cider vinegar and cream. stir until blended. serve and enjoy!