Butternut Squash and Rice Soup
My favorite thing to cook, especially during fall/winter months, is soup! When I published my cookbook in 2022, I had so many soup recipes I've curated over the years that it was hard to pick a Top 10 list, which is all my book theme would allow me! This is one that is not included in the book, but is a hearty and comforting tummy warmer for which your friends and family will clamor!
Roast Your Squash: Take about 3 pounds of butternut squash - either cut up yourself, or bought already in chunks - and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes until slightly browned and tender. In your vitamix or food processor, puree up the squash with about 2 cups of chicken stock, until really smooth, and set this aside.
Cook Your Rice: You'll need about 1 1/2 cups of wild rice - either prep yourself (I like to cook in stock, with some diced onion), or buy it frozen - your choice!
Put It All Together: In a large stock pot over medium heat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil. When warmed up, throw in a smoked sausage/kielbasa, chopped into little slices (about 1/4 inch wide). Once they start to brown, add about 2 cups of corn kernels (I use frozen) and 2 cups of chopped onion. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper. Saute for another 4 minutes or so, and then add 6 cups of stock and your squash puree. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in your rice and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes more, then remove from heat, stir in about a cup and a half of heavy cream. Season again with salt/pepper, and serve with chopped parsley leaves on top.