Butternut Squash, Sausage and Wild Rice Soup

When there are kids in the house and everyone has a million activities, cooking is the last thing anyone wants to think about, so Sunday is a great day to cook ahead. It will at least get you to Wednesday. It also helps to have designated days. For us, Thursday was Chinese food takeout from the local restaurant. Monday is burger day or soup and sandwich day so that Sunday can be used for making soup/stew.

This is not an old recipe, but I made a huge pot and it went fast, so it's a keeper. I visited Grandpa Clayton in Minnesota and picked up wild rice. The only wild rice I can get in Hilo is mixed with other types of rice, but the Minnesota wild rice is just pure wild rice, long thin, black, tight kernels. 

The original recipe is from Emeril and it's here. I adapted it to include meatless sausage, homemade broth and no heavy cream.

**Warning - this recipe takes hours so this is a Sunday recipe

2 lbs. butternut squash, already peeled, seeded (I like to use the 30oz package of Eat Fresh butternut squash from Costco)
2 T. olive oil
12 cups of veggie or chicken stock (1 veggie bouillon cube for 2 cups of water)
1 -2 onions, chopped
1 c. wild rice
1 package meatless kielbasa (like Tofurkey or Field Roast) cut into 1/4" rounds
2 cups frozen corn kernels

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Season squash with 1 T. of oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour until it is fork tender. Remove from oven and cool completely. When it is cool, put it in a blender and puree the squash with 2 cups of stock.

While the butternut is roasting, in a pot, simmer 4 cups of stock and 1/2 chopped onions to simmer. Stir in the rice and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed (about 1 hour), stirring occasionally. Remove the rice from the pan and cool. 

In a larger pot, add oil or water saute the sausage just until it's brown. Add the remaining onions and corn. Season with salt and pepper and saute until the onions are soft. Add the remaining 6 cups of stock and the squash puree. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, skimming off any fat/foam that rises to the surface. Stir in the rice and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. 

Serve hot, or cool and put it in containers for Monday dinner. When the soup is cooled and heated later, the wild rice will "bloom" as it absorbs the liquid. If you don't wait, the wild rice will be tender but a little more chewy.


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