My husband's birthday was yesterday, and I usually make him the copycat version of Outback's Walkabout Soup. It's a cheesy onion soup and takes a lot of prep work (All. Those. Onions.), but he loves it and deserves something special on his special day.
He asked me this year if we could have butternut squash soup instead. I'm not sure why he wanted to switch, but squash soup is much easier to make, so I said, "Sure, honey. Whatever you want!"
I wanted to do something different from our usually curried version, though, and came up with THE best soup we've ever eaten.
Who doesn't love a thick, creamy, savory soup on a dreary, rainy day?
From memory, here's how it went down. Best made on a lazy day when you're not in a hurry.
1 large or 2 small butternut squash
1 pound mild ground sausage
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 Tblsp dried sage
1 can full-fat coconut milk
Rinse the squash before you stab it with a knife a couple times, place it on a cookie sheet and pop it in a 350° oven for an hour or two. (Smaller squash will take less oven time, but don't rush it. You want the squash to be VERY soft.)
Go take a nap while it bakes.
Remove the baked squash from the oven to cool a bit.
In a large Dutch oven, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into bite-sized chunks. After the sausage has released some fat, reduce the heat to medium and throw in the onion and garlic. When the onion is translucent, stir in the sage and stir to mix thoroughly.
Cut the squash in half crosswise and scoop the seeds out of the blossom end. Remove the skin from the flesh of the squash and add the flesh to the sausage mixture. Pour in the coconut milk and stir well.
Let it cook for half an hour to 45 minutes. If you can't get to it right away, lower the heat and just let it simmer until everyone's ready to call to the table. The longer it simmers the more the flavors will meld and the better the finished soup will taste.
No need to blend it with an immersion blender. Just stir until it's thick and creamy and then DIG IN.
Best. Soup. EVER. Did I already say that? Well, it is!