In Sacramento we had our first freeze of the year last night. Tonight the wind is blowing hard and rain is pounding the roof and the windows. The cold and stormy weather is the perfect excuse to make this warm, cozy, and nutritious soup! It is full of savory Italian sausage, hardy kale, and melt-in-your-mouth butternut squash. If you are looking for a comforting and healthy meal, give this one a try!
Note: I adapted my recipe from this one from The Lemon Bowl. The main difference is that I took out the beans and reduced the amount of liquid accordingly. I also roasted the squash before adding it to the soup, and I replaced a cup of stock with a cup of white wine to deglaze the pan and for extra flavor.
1 lb. (about 3 links) of Italian sausage, out of the casing
1 medium sized butternut squash, skinned, roasted, and cut into cubes
1 bunch of kale, de-ribbed and cut into bite size pieces
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1 white or yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of white wine
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp red chili flakes (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt & Pepper
2-3 oz grated parmigiano reggiano
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While your oven is preheating, remove the skin and stem from your butternut squash. Then cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut squash into 1 inch cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then roast the squash on a baking sheet in the oven for 15-20 mins or until they are fork tender (can be pierced easily with a fork with light pressure).
- While your squash is roasting, prepare your other ingredients. Then while squash is out of the oven cooling, remove the Italian sausage from its casings (if you bought links) and brown your Italian sausage in a high-walled pan or pot (at least 5 qts) over medium heat. This should take about 5-7 mins. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside in a separate container.
- Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the diced onion to the pan that you cooked the sausage in, and cook the onion for 2-3 mins, scraping up the browned sausage bits as you go. Next, add the red bell pepper and the garlic. Saute for another minute or so, then add your dried thyme, oregano, and chili flakes, salt & pepper. Once fragrant, add the cup of white wine and simmer until reduced by about half and you can no longer smell the alcohol (about 3-4 mins).
- Once the wine has cooked off, add the sausage and roasted butternut squash cubes back into the pot. Next add the 5 cups of chicken stock (it should just cover all of the ingredients). Bring up to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Lastly, add the kale and simmer for about 5 more minutes to let the kale wilt down a bit.
- Ladle into bowls, top with parmesan cheese, and serve hot! Could be served with a nice slice of rustic bread or croutons to really put it over the top. Enjoy!