Squash Soup!

This recipe features a butternut squash base...perfect time of the year for it!

Truthfully, I've never been a "squash soup" kind of person...but this recipe convinced me that I was seriously missing out on some great flavors! And if you are a vegetarian, you can eliminate the meat and just toss in a few of your favorite veggies or beans!

It is GREAT for game day or family gatherings!

I have simplified the recipe as much as possible, but it still takes a little more time than my usual "dump and ignore" soup recipes.  

I precook everything, store it in the fridge and then mix it all in the crock pot about 4 hours before meal time. You can also prep everything and then immediately simmer it on the stove top for 20 minutes. Your preference!

As usual, I have changed things up a tad. Feel free to do the same!

The ingredients are highlighted....

Bake a butternut squash (3-4 pound) in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour. Poke holes in it and put it on a baking pan covered in aluminum foil. (I cover my pans in aluminum foil for everything...just makes cleanup that much easier!)

While the squash is baking:

     Place one box of wild rice (I use Uncle Ben's and the seasoning) in 4 cups of chicken broth (1 box) Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 25 minutes. When the rice is done, put it in a storage container and put it in the fridge.

    Saute onions (as much as you like) and fresh garlic (to taste) in about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. When that is tender, add one kielbasa sausage (diced up) and 1 package of frozen corn. Saute for a few minutes. Put it all in a storage container and refrigerate.

When the squash is done, slice it in half and scoop out the seeds and goo. Scoop out the squash and place it in a blender...add one box of chicken broth (or 4 small cans) Puree until blended well. (If your blender isn't big enough, just puree the squash with a little bit of broth and then add the rest of the broth to the soup before cooking!)

If some of the squash is still a little "firm," place it in a microwave, cover and zap it for a few minutes...then add it to the blender as well.

Put the squash/broth mixture in a container and refrigerate.

If you are going to cook it in the crock pot, put the corn/sausage and the squash/broth in the crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours! Season to taste. (Remember, chicken broth can be a little salty so be careful!)

I add a can of black beans as well...just for a little more "substance." 

I add the rice and broth to the crock pot in the last 30-45 minutes just so the rice doesn't get all "mushy" when cooking so long in the crock pot.

If you are going to cook it on the stove top for 20 minutes, add it all together at once.

A few minutes before serving (20 minutes if crock potting) add a carton of half-and-half or 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream!

This recipe is a perfect way to use leftover chicken or turkey rather than the sausage...you can also throw in any veggies you like. In other words, add what you like! The broth/squash base is perfect for just about anything!

Serve with a little plop of sour cream...maybe some cheese...a little parsley...however you like to garnish your soups! 

Hearty, simple meal!