Butternut squash soup gets an upgrade with smoky paprika, a bit of cayenne, and a hearty helping of seared kielbasa sausage and golden brown brussels sprouts on top.
September gave us a proper Minnesota send-off this weekend with temperatures creeping back into the 80s. Everyone in the state ran to their lake homes or headed for the Lake Superior shoreline where they proceeded to recline in a lawn chair with their eyes closed in a desperate attempt to capture the moment to carry with them into the cold winter months.
My husband managed this by loading up his motorcycle and venturing out to the river road, only to run into lake traffic and then be further thwarted by seize-the-day campers. The kids spent a morning on the ice curling before we set off for one last outdoor swim session and then watched the sunset and indulged in ice cream. The windows were again opened, the cool night air tucking us into bed.
I’ve been keeping an eye on my neighbors’ sugar maple flame. What started as a smattering of red and orange flames licking the sky has crept down the sides of the towering tree. The colorful foliage seems to spread in a matter of hours, and soon the whole of the leaves will be consumed.
So it goes, the constant spark of fall, running to finish all the final outings and squeeze in last-minute projects before the snow flies. This soup-turned-meal is one of those back-pocket ideas that you pull out and have on the table in a matter of minutes. The convenience of starting with everyday butternut squash soup makes it quick and easy and anything but bland.
Pacific Foods asked me to try a few of their staple foods that have recently been Non-GMO Verified. I agreed, eager to try a few new staples for inclusion in my pantry. In addition to several of their non-dairy milk products were several soup bases and their Organic Creamy Butternut Squash Soup. With the weather cooling, this practically jumped in the pan on its own.
Smoked paprika gives extra depth and character to our sweet and creamy butternut squash. A bit of cayenne helps to temper the sweetness, and crisped pieces of salty kielbasa and golden brussels sprouts top the soup and turn it into a meal.
Smoky Butternut Squash Soup with Seared Kielbasa and Toasted Brussels Sprouts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup minced yellow onion
- ¼ cup minced apple
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if desired)
- 32 fluid ounces Pacific Organic Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil of choice
- 8 ounces kielbasa sausage, sliced
- 2 cups brussels sprouts, halved and outer layers peeled off
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and apple and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, paprika, thyme, and cayenne. Continue cooking for one minute, stirring frequently.
- Slowly stir in the butternut squash soup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer.
- In a large skillet or sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add in the sliced kielbasa to one half of the pan and the brussels sprouts to the other half. Stirring infrequently, cook until the sausage is seared on both sides and the brussels sprouts are golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with kielbasa slices and brussels sprouts.
No butternut squash soup? Make your own. Take 2 cups of butternut squash puree and 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Season with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and salt. Stir in a small bit of cream or yogurt to reach the desired consistency.
Pacific Foods graciously paid me for the cost of ingredients and for my time to create this recipe for them.