I'll be the first to admit that this soup did not photograph well, but it is the best soup I have made in ages so I'm sharing it anyway. Of course, I've already forwarded the recipe on to 5 of the 10 people that still read this blog, so to the other 5 of you - I hope you enjoy!
Butternut, Sausage & Wild Rice Soup
adapted from Emeril Lagasse's recipe
1 medium butternut squash, about 3 to 4 pounds, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup wild rice
1 lb fresh Italian Style Chicken Sausage (I use the al fresco brand)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 c whole milk
2 cups chopped fresh Spinach
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Season the squash with 1/2 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 1 cups of the chicken stock. Puree until smooth and set aside.
In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring 2 cups of the stock and 1/4 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 1/2 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage (removed from the casing) and cook through, breaking it up with a fork as it cooks. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of onions and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 3 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 milk and season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and simmer until wilted.