The rainy April showers have me craving all the soups lately, specifically creamy butternut squash soup. I'm telling you this soup will heal you from the inside out. It is so creamy, warm, healthy and perfect for a cold rainy day. This bowl of yum puts a bit of a twist on the classic by incorporating kale and Italian chicken sausage throughout. These fun ingredients add additional flavor, protein and make this soup more of a meal.
When I first made up this recipe I intended to add cream to it but when it all came together it was already so creamy and delicious I ended up leaving it out entirely!
The downfall of some soups like tomato and butternut squash is that the typically lack a protein. Usually I'm all for tossing a grilled cheese or chicken sandwich on the side and sold but sometimes I just want a big bowl of soup with nothing else but maybe a slice of bread. Sometimes pouring soup in a bowl is all I really feel like prepping for dinner and this meal fits the bill.
The "broth" itself is so creamy and almost sweet it is the perfect balance to the savory sausage and kale.
Kale is typically seen as a harsh, hard to chew vegetable but by wilting it down in the hot soup it transforms into this soft pocket of flavor that packs in the nutrients and hides extra delicious soup in it's every nook and cranny.
Sausage & Kale Butternut Squash Soup
8 servings | 1 hour
2 large carrots (~100g), peeled and cut into large chunks
1/2 an onion (~100g), cut into large chunks
3 lb butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
4 cups fresh kale, chopped (sub for spinach or collard greens if preferred)
1-1 1/2 lb ground meat (I used 1/2 Italian chicken sausage and 1/2 ground chicken but regular ground sausage, turkey or pork would be delicious as well)
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper, as needed
Preheat oven to 400F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick olive oil spray.
Arrange squash, carrots and onion chunks on the sheet and spray again with nonstick olive oil spray. Season everything with pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper.
Bake everything in the oven for 30 minutes to get those delicious roasted and charred flavors.
Remove baking sheet from the oven and heat a large pot over medium heat. If using an instant pot turn it onto the sauté setting.
Add ground meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until it’s browned.
Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.
Depending on meat choice the grease/water left in the pot will vary. Remove all but about 1/2-1 tbsp grease.
Add garlic, sheet pan veggies and ginger to the pot. Toss with spoon and sauté until fragrant, just a minute or so.
Stir in chicken broth and bring the soup to a boil. If using an instant pot, close the lid, put it on to cook for for 15 minutes. If using a pot, cover and lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until veggies are all soft.
After cooking, release pressure (if applicable), open the lid and use an immersion blender to blend the soup.
Once the soup is smooth, return the meat to the pot and add in the kale. If using an instant pot, close and cook for another 15 minutes. If using a pot, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until kale is soft and wilted.
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Nutrition Facts are provided as a guideline only. Exact nutrition will depend on quantity, brand and ingredients used.