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. I used bacon grease in place of butter for searing my sausage and brussels sprouts. You don't have to, but it is mighty nice.
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.
I used bacon grease in place of butter for searing my sausage and brussels sprouts. You don't have to, but it is mighty nice.
Pacific Foods graciously paid me for the cost of ingredients and for my time to create this recipe for them.