Friday, June 13, 2008

Bar Food 3. Italian Sausage, Butternut Squash, and Potato Soup

So while the recipe for this post is the sausage, squash, and potato soup, I also wanted to take a moment to RAVE about my new Cuisinart Smart Stick. It's an immersion blender/ whisk/ mini chop all in one. I've been in the market for an immersion blender for a few months now and most of the reviews erred away from these multi-purpose hand blenders. But the ones they suggested were usually $50-$100. I already have overflown our little kitchen with all of my cooking toys so I felt guilty buying something I didn't necessarily "need," since I already have a fantastic blender and a food processor (which I'm hoping will die sooner than later so I can be justified in buying a new one). But when I saw that Costco finally had a hand blender for only $30, I immediately got it and have just loved it.


I used the mini-chop to make a small batch of arugula and basil pesto. Instead of dirtying my kitchen aid standing mixer for just one egg, I used the smart stick whisk attachment to beat an egg white for some super light waffles. And the blender? Well let's just say I've been making soups like crazy, like this one. This recipe was inspired by Emeril's recipe for Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage Soup. My adaptations: I used hot Italian sausage, added potatoes, and eliminated the cream. I was skeptical at first about a pureed soup with sausage. But I must admit, it's pretty darn good. And I also used my homemade chicken stock, which I personally think makes a big difference. Enjoy!

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ITALIAN SAUSAGE, BUTTERNUT SQUASH, AND POTATO SOUP

3 cups butternut squash, diced into 1 inch cubes
3 cups
(about 3-4) red potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 hot Italian sausage links, removed from casings
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus 12 whole leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram (or 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram)
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade.

In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and, when hot but not smoking, add the sausage. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until the onions wilted and starting to caramelize, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, sage and marjoram, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the squash and potatoes, stirring for another 1 minute.

Add the chicken stock, stir well to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes and squash are cooked through.

With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor or blender, puree the soup. Adjust seasoning, to taste.

Since I made this yesterday, I had some leftovers for lunch today with a spinach, quinoa, butternut squash, and red pepper salad. Delightful. Okay, back to studying criminal procedure. Ugh.

2 comments:

Karen said...

Beautiful pictures, Van! The soup looks delicious. And I might need to take a trip to Costco... wonder if those guys are still on the shelves.

Kat B said...

I use my hand stick blender ALL the time. I bought mine second-hand off some friends who were moving back to Europe and didn't want american voltage appliances. I use it for soup, salad dressing ... at least once a week.