Creamy Squash Soup with Sausage

My family all liked this soup.  Two of the kids picked out the meat, but the rest of us liked it in there.  The “sausage” recipe follows below separately from the soup recipe.  The only thing that would make this soup better for me is if somebody else cooked it and cleaned the kitchen when done!

Soup 6:  Creamy Squash Soup with Sausage

1 medium-sized butternut squash (buttercup is also spectacular here!  or even pumpkin!–and sometimes I mix them together)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves pressed garlic
1/2″ peeled, minced fresh ginger (about 1 rounded teaspoonful) (ground, dried would be substitutable)
4 tablespoonsful of olive oil
2 quarts of chicken broth (more or less to desired consistency, sometimes it seems like I only need 1 quart and others the full 2 quarts!)
1/2 teaspoonful coriander
pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoonful ground cloves
1 teaspoonful cinnamon
1/2 teaspoonful nutmeg
1-2 teaspoonsful salt
Browned (cooked) crumbled sausage, amount as desired (I use about a 1/4 pound), recipe follows
Coconut milk to taste or consistency, added in at the end

1.  Choose your method of preparation to cook squash (oven, boil, or steam).  I chose to cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp.  I then steamed the squash in my steaming pot until it was fork tender.  Then, when it was cool enough, I cut/scooped the soft flesh off of the shell and cut into chunks.  Set aside until ready to combine ingredients in the soup pot.

2.  While squash is cooking, saute onion, ginger, and garlic in olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot until soft and aromatic.  Add the coriander, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Continue sautéing until mixed through.

3.  Add the chicken broth (starting with 1 quart) and squash to the soup pot.  Stir together and heat through.  Use immersion blender or blender to blend soup very smooth.  You may want to add more chicken broth if you like your soup thinner.  Don’t forget that coconut milk may be added if you desire at the end– so don’t make it too thin if you’re going to be adding that.

4.  Add the browned “sausage” to the soup.  Heat through and serve.

5.  Add coconut milk as a garnish and to add a creamy texture and flavor.  Add as much as you want, but we save it for the end because we LOVE the flair it gives the presentation of the soup!

Family “gustar” report:  5/5 loved the soup.  I didn’t get the kids’ votes, though, until I handed them the coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and allowed them to “juice” it up the way they wanted.  When handed their bowls, they looked at me like I was crazy.  “I don’t like it.”  And they hadn’t even tried it.  So I gave them a pep talk about how “I make the basic soup, but it’s YOU who has to make it your own!  Add a little of this and that.  Make it YOUR soup.”  That made it fun,  and they had seconds.  They definitely wanted the coconut milk in there.  I left it out.  If your eater is really fussy, and you can let them have a little honey or maple syrup in it, the sweetness is delicious.

Sausage

I really like spices a lot.  So I add a lot to my sausage.  Pick and choose what you think you’d like, but I think the salt, sage, cumin, pepper, and cinnamon are my favorites.  The rest are because I’m having fun in the kitchen.  I love to add a little of this and a little of that.

1 pound ground beef (we also have ground goat, and it makes great sausage!)
1/4 onion, diced
1/2-1 teaspoonful cumin
1/2-1 teaspoonful salt
1 teaspoonful sage  ( I really like sage in my sausage, so I usually add extra–more like a heaping tablespoonful for me!)
1/4 teaspoonful cinnamon
1/4 teaspoonful nutmeg
1/2 teaspoonful pepper
1/2 teaspoonful oregano
1/2 teaspoonful basil

Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until mixed thoroughly.  Make into patties and use immediately or freeze for later.  Or brown it and use it in soups or omelets.

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