Butternut Squash Soup with Kielbasa and Wild Rice

If you prefer, you can substitute cooked pork, chicken, or turkey for the kielbasa.

INGREDIENTS | SERVES 6–8

  • 1 1 ½- to 2-pound butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 pound kielbasa, cut into ¼" slices
  • 1 12- or 16-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Water as needed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Place the squash halves skin-side down on a baking sheet and drizzle the meat with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

  3. Peel the squash and add it to a blender or food processor along with 2 cups of the chicken broth; purée until smooth and set aside.

  4. Add the remaining 4 cups of the broth and ½ of the chopped onions to a Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the rice; cook for 1 hour, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally with a fork. Remove the rice from the pan and set aside.

  5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and bring it to temperature over medium heat. Add the kielbasa slices; brown them for 3 minutes. Add the remaining onions and corn; season with salt and pepper and sauté for 3 minutes.

  6. Add the squash purée; reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, checking occasionally and adding water, if needed.

  7. Skim off any fat on the surface, stir in the rice, and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve garnished with parsley, if desired.

Microwave-Roasted Butternut Squash

Instead of baking the butternut squash, you can fix it in the microwave. Wash the squash, slice in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and place it cut-side down in a shallow microwave-safe pan. Add water to about ¾-inch deep. Microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

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