Thursday, January 13, 2011
The weekend has once again come and gone, and yet again I am left with thoughts unfinished and tasks undone. My to do list has grown exponentially, and it seems that I am playing an endless game of catch up. Sunday marked the first day in weeks that my alarm clock was quiet until after the sun came up.
I suppose I could have caught up on the sleep lost over the past few weeks to racing thoughts and hard decisions, instead, I rolled myself out of bed and pulled out my Le Crueset. I flicked the burner on, and in went the turkey carcass that has been waiting in my freezer since thanksgiving, some carrots, onions, herbs, and garlic. Soon, the wonderful scent of homemade stock was filling the apartment. All I had to do was wait, so I pulled out another stock pot, and went to work peeling squash, sweet potatoes, and apples.
Soon enough, my stove was full of soups bubbling away, and my mind was perfectly clear. I was no longer worrying about the big changes about to come, or the new directions my life may be taking. I wasn't thinking about jobs and money and bills and credit cards. All I had to think about was not burning the chicken and apple sausage or over cooking the wild rice that were destined to join the roasted squash in the soup pot. I was filled with the anticipation of a new recipe working out with no kinks, and most of all filling my tummy with a wonderfully hearty and comforting soup.
This soup is chocked full of good stuff. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, apples, and shallots, get roasted together and pureed. Then nutty wild rice is added, and topped with some chicken apple sausage. Lets not forget the warming kick from a little curry powder that really balances out the sweetness from the apple and squash. I have a few soups I tend to make over and over again, so this time I was looking for a little familiarity, but also something new.
I kept thinking about a butternut and wild rice soup from Emril Lagasse, recommended to me by my sister, but when I went to look up the recipe, it had a ton of heavy cream, and just didn't appeal to my mood at the time. So I took the notion of combining squash, sausage, and wild rice and made it my own. This was a great adaptation of a simple roasted vegetable soup, I hope you all get the chance to try it soon.
Curried Squash and Wild Rice Soup
this makes a HUGE pot of soup, feel free to halve
1 - 4 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1 inch pieces
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
6 shallots, peeled and quartered
2 small granny smith apples, or 1 large, peeled, cored, and quartered
10-12 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups wild rice, cooked according to package directions
1-2 tablespoons curry powder
4 chicken-apple sausages (feel free to substitute any sort of sausage here) quartered lengthwise and diced
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss squash, apples, shallots, and sweet potatoes with a few tablespoons olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and spread in an ever layer on two baking sheets. Roast for about an hour, tossing a few times, until soft and cooked through, and beginning to turn golden brown.
Transfer about 1/2 the vegetables to a food processor with 2-4 cups of chicken stock (enough to cover veggies), and puree until smooth. Transfer to stock pot, and repeat with remaining vegetables. Stir in the cooked wild rice, and add the remaining chicken stock to desired thickness. Season with 1-2 tablespoons of curry powder, depending on how spicy you like it, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup up to a very gentle simmer.
Meanwhile, heat a small amount of olive oil in a medium saute pan, and cook the sausage over medium high heat until cooked though and crispy brown on the outside. You can either stir the sausage in, I prefer to use it more as a garnish.
This soup freezes very well, so feel free to make a huge batch, it will be enough to get you through the remaining months of winter.