Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fancy-Pants Sausage Squash Soup/Stew

Normally, I wouldn't bother making a fancy soup that involves putting the soup into the blender and back into the pot. However, I tried it recently and realized that it is worth the few minutes it takes to transform a simple squash soup into something similar to what I would get at a restaurant. When you puree the squash, it looks like a creamy soup even though you didn't add any cream or milk. Some people would insist on adding cream or dairy to make it richer but honestly, I don't think it was necessary. So, for vegans, this might be a good way to have a fancy soup that suits your diet needs. As a bonus, according to MyFinessPal, this recipe is loaded with Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Eat a bowl of this and you'll have enough of those vitamins for the day. Eat a big bowl of this and you'll be overdosing on those vitamins, which is not such a bad thing to do.

The ingredients can vary according to whatever you like but you definitely need some winter squash to create a creamy-looking soup, whether it's acorn squash, butternut, or whatever's on sale at the market. Pureeing at least some of the potatoes and chickpeas with the squash will also make the soup a little thicker.

(serves 6 to 10 people, depending on their appetites and whether this is the meal itself or an appetizer)

1 package of Turkey smoked sausage sliced into thin coins (e.g. 14 oz Butterball) (leave out if you're vegetarian and add something else that has salt and spices in it)
A bunch of kale (or whatever green stuff you have in the fridge) chopped
3 to 6 cloves of garlic (as you like) chopped
2 to 3 tomatoes (diced)
1 to 2 onions (diced)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 medium potatoes (diced)
2 small winter squash or 1 medium/large winter squash (cubed)
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup of water
possible seasonings: cumin, soy sauce, finely diced jalapenos, Frank's hot sauce, black pepper, nutmeg

After everything is chopped and sliced, put it all into a slow cooker for about 4 hours at around 150F. If you have time and would like to be extra fancy, saute the garlic and onion in olive oil before adding to the pot. If you don't, just dump it all into the pot. At the end of the 4 hours, put the squash and vegetables into a blender with some liquid. Leave the sausage in the pot. There should be plenty of liquid in there because the vegetables give off a lot of moisture in addition to the cup of water that you added at the start. The trick is to let the soup cook and to avoid opening the cooker while the soup is cooking. Puree the squash and liquid in a couple of batches. The soup is hot, so if you put too much in, the blender top might fly off. Put the pureed soup back into the pot to warm until it's time to eat.

Also, you don't have to puree all of the squash and veggies. It's nice to have a few chunks in there for texture. Actually, I like leaving most of the potato in there in chunk form. The chickpeas also add some interesting texture to the dish. If you're trying to impress someone, drizzle some olive oil on top of the soup when you serve it.


  1. When you have something you are not sure whether to call a soup or a stew, it is then called a "stoup". I thought you could appreciate this slang term.

  2. Thanks, I heard that on Rachel Ray's show once. :)