If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly. ~Author Unknown

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kielbasa & Wild Rice Soup w/ Butternut Squash

We have been enjoying a nice visit back home in Tucson this month. Been busy with baby showers, birthdays, taking our turn at being tourists in our home town, and taking advantage of having grandparents close by to sneak away for a date night or two. So to sum it up, we have been BUSY! Going out to restaurants are fun of course but while traveling and not being in your usual routine at home, its hard to come across a good home-cooked meal that took a little time to prepare.

Fall is here, did you know that? I was aware of the season change, but with trip planning and the craziness of getting visits in, I haven't had time to really enjoy it.  I got a nice surprise one night after a long day of errands, visits, and trying to squeeze too much plans into one day... Enter fall.. My moms house smelled wonderful! Unfortunately we had already ate dinner (something quick on the way). We had a cranky boy who was falling asleep and had plans to sneak in some Blizzards from Dairy Queen and relax with some TV before bed. My mom told me she made some soup... didnt sound as appealing to me as the smell was...and I had my ice cream, so I told her I would check it out another time.

The next day, while trying to find something to eat for lunch... nothing sounded good anymore and I was beyond bored of sandwiches, I found the soup sitting in the fridge. Looked alright, smelled great, so I decided to check it out. Well it certainly did not disappoint! It reminded me of the season I was missing out on with our busy plans. It was warm, comforting, savory, and hearty. With butternut squash and smoked kielbasa, it was exactly what I needed. Unfortunatly, I do not have a picture to post on this one. By the time I  tried the soup and decided I had to share this great recipe, it had already gone to the freezer and I didnt think a picture of a soup ice cube would grab your attention ;) Next time I make it, I will snap a photo for sure! This recipe came from Cuisine at Home Issue 96, the only changes made at the time, was with out the heavy cream added (which still made a winning recipe). Enjoy!

14oz. kielbasa, half-moon sliced
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 C diced onion
1/2 C diced celery
1/2 C diced red bell pepper
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp dried thyme
1 C dry wild rice (I used Uncle Bens, reserved seasoning packet for another use)
2 tbsp flour
1/2 C dry sherry
5 C low-sodium chicken broth
4 C diced butternut squash (1-1/4 lb)
1/2 C heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook kielbasa in a large pot over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, 5-6 min Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Melt butter in same pot, then stir in onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, cayenne & thyme; saute until onion is translucent, 4-5 min. Stir in rice, then stir in flour to coat.

 Deglaze pot with sherry, scraping up browned bits; cook until thickened, about 2 min. Add broth & kielbasa, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to med-low. Cover pot & simmer soup until rice is nearly cooked, about 30 min (depending on the rice directions you are using).

Add squash, cover, & cook until squash is tender, about 15 min more. Stir in cream, then season soup with salt & pepper.

Makes 6 servings, about 10 cups

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