This Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Wild Rice Soup is cozy and comforting, making it an ideal soup to enjoy on chilly days. The butternut squash puree, smoky bacon, bold Italian sausage, hearty wild rice, and kale combine to give this soup wonderful texture and amazing flavor.
After a fun Friday night out with friends, I woke up to dreary, rainy weather on Saturday, and wanted nothing more than to make it a relaxing day. So I spent it in my PJs, made a meal for the family, watched a movie with the kids, and cheered on the Twins later in the afternoon. It was a slow, relaxing Saturday that yielded quality time with the family and as a bonus, the best Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Wild Rice Soup.
This soup can be a wonderful weeknight dinner, but I find the process of cooking it best suited for slow, relaxing weekends. This is one of those recipes that lets you take your time and actually enjoy the activity of cooking and as a result, infuse all kinds of love into the finished product. You will absolutely, without a doubt love this soup if:
- you’re craving something warm and hearty to eat.
- you’re a fan of weekend cooking that will give you leftovers for the week ahead.
- you don’t mind a recipe that takes a teeny bit longer to make but is well worth the effort.
- you love soup that’s healthy but also so cozy and comforting that it warms the soul.
- you love butternut squash soup, wild rice soup, and/or zuppa toscana.
Inspiration for the Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Wild Rice Soup
I like to think of this Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Wild Rice Soup as a mash up of 3 of my favorite soups: Butternut Squash Soup, Zuppa Toscana, and Wild Rice Soup. I took a sampling of ingredients from each and the resulting combination of flavors and textures made this such a hearty and flavorful soup.
For the butternut squash part of this soup, I started off by roasting a whole butternut squash and then pureed it with a little chicken broth. This is the smooth and creamy thickener for the soup, giving it an overall subtle sweet flavor that balances well with the salty bacon and sausage. This recipe was also inspired by Zuppa Toscana, a lovely Italian-inspired soup combining bacon, sausage, potatoes, and greens with luscious heavy cream. I used the bacon for its smoky flavor, the Italian sausage for its meaty texture and Italian flavor and the kale because its extra hearty and nutritious. The last bit of inspiration for this recipe comes from the soup that has every Minnesotan’s heart, wild rice soup. Obviously I used wild rice for it’s nutty, chewy texture, but I also included the classic wild rice soup starter of carrots, celery, and onion (mirepoix) to give the soup a nice savory base of flavor.
Roasting the Butternut Squash
But let’s back up. The first line of business is roasting the butternut squash. Simply cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. An ice cream scoop works really well for this. Next, drizzle the flesh side of the squash with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven to roast for about 40 minutes. Once it’s cool, use a knife to peel off the skin, cut the squash into a few larger pieces, and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add in a cup of chicken broth and puree until smooth. Soup thickener, done!
How to Make Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Wild Rice Soup
While the squash roasts in the oven, you’ll have plenty of time to get started on the rest of the soup.
In a nutshell, you’ll take these steps:
- Chop the mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onion) and garlic.
- Brown the Italian sausage in the pot and remove.
- Cook the bacon in the pot.
- Add in the carrots, celery, and onion and cook.
- Stir in the garlic and wild rice.
- Add in the chicken broth and let everything simmer until the rice is tender.
- Peel the squash and puree.
- Stir in the butternut squash puree and kale.
Serving the Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Wild Rice Soup
When serving traditional Wild Rice soup, toppings are usually limited to chopped herbs. However, the Italian flavor of this soup begs for parmesan cheese and a little chopped parsley as finishing touches.
This Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Wild Rice Soup is pure comfort in a bowl! It’s savory yet sweet, chunky yet smooth, and hearty yet lightened up. If you’re looking forward to a cozy weekend (or week) ahead with a comforting soup that will keep you warm and full, be sure to include this Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Wild Rice Soup in your plans.
Farmer’s Market Shopping List
- Butternut Squash
Over the past 3 months, I’ve had so much fun, sharing recipes I created with the amazing produce at my local market, the Shoreview Farmer’s Market. If you are local to the Twin Cities of Minnesota, specifically the northeastern suburbs, be sure to visit to the Shoreview Farmer’s Market on Tuesday afternoon. The last outdoor market will take place on October 15th. Stock up on all the fresh autumn/winter produce and handcrafted artisan items!
Check out the other recipes from the Farmer’s Market Series:
- Asian Kohlrabi Salad
- Grilled Smashed Potatoes with Chipotle Ranch
- BBQ Chicken Zucchini Boats
- Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Corn and Tomatoes
- Sheet Pan Veggie Tacos with Avocado Lime Crema
- Autumn Brussels Sprouts Cobb Salad
A cozy and comforting soup with wonderful texture and flavor thanks to the pureed butternut squash, smoky bacon, bold Italian sausage, hearty wild rice, and kale. This is an ideal soup to enjoy on chilly days.
- 1 medium or large butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeded
- 2 olive oil tablespoons, divided
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 6–8 cups chicken broth, divided
- 5 slices bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 pound raw Italian turkey sausage
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 3 cups chopped kale or other greens
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over the squash and toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes until the edges are browned. Set aside to cool.
- While the squash is roasting, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Brown the turkey sausage for a few minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside. Add in the bacon and cook until crispy. Add in the onion, carrots, and celery, cooking until softened. Stir in the garlic and wild rice. Pour in 4 cups of chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer, cooking for 30-40 minutes until the rice is tender.
- Once the squash is cool, remove the peel. Chop the squash into large chunks and place in a food processor or blender. Pour in 1-2 cups of chicken broth and blend until smooth.
- Stir the kale and butternut squash puree into the soup. Add in more chicken broth if you’d like a thinner broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley if desired.