Saturday, December 4, 2010

December and Soup


Somehow soups seems to fit the bill in the month of December, even though it was in the 70's early this afternoon, the winds picked up and the temp dropped to 54 by 5:00. It seemed like the perfect day for a nice hearty soup. We had an Italian Sausage and Squash Soup with Olive and Tomato Bruschetta.

I started with the soup by sauteing 1 pound of hot bulk Italian sausage meat in a skillet until cooked through. The cooked sausage was removed to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside. In a large pot, I sweated some diced onions with minced garlic. I added some cubed butternut squash pieces along with some crushed red pepper and sauteed for 5 minutes. I stirred in some chicken broth and water, and seasoned with salt and pepper. This was brought to a boil and simmered for about 15-20 minutes until the squash pieces were tender. I used my immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. It went back on the heat and I added some diced red bell pepper, a little heavy cream, ground sage and a teaspoon of sugar and simmered for about 5 minutes. Some fresh spinach went in along with the browned sausage meat and allowed to simmer for another couple of minutes to wilt the spinach and warm the sausage back up.

While the soup was simmering, I worked on the Bruschetta. I diced and seeded some fresh tomatoes and added some diced kalamata olives and minced fresh parsley and seasoned with salt and pepper. Thin slices of a baguette were drizzled with olive oil and popped under the broiler until golden brown. The bread slices were flipped over, topped with some shredded aged provolone cheese and put under the broiler again until the cheese melted and starting to brown. The tomato/olive mixture went on top - yum!

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