Due to the strong reception on my Butternut Squash and Sausage & Spinach Soups, it felt only right to take the best of both and send them on a date. Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match because this one is going to steal the show at any dinner – especially Thanksgiving! Folks, even if the idea of a “squash soup” turns you off, prepare ye and give it a shot. I give you Butternut Sausage Soup.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds Italian sausage links, kept whole (sweet, hot or a mix or both)
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) salted butter
- 3 shallots, diced
- 3 cloves (1 tablespoon) garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 cup sherry wine
- 3 1/2 cups garlic broth (I used 3 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Better Than Bouillon + 3 1/2 cups water) or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups (2 pounds) butternut squash, cubed (Costco usually has this exact amount when in season)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- 5.2-ounce package Boursin (any flavor) or homemade herb cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Pure maple syrup, for drizzling (optional)
- Add the oil to the Instant Pot. Hit Sauté and Adjust to the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of heating, add the sausage links in batches, searing on each side until lightly browned and set aside on a plate to rest. Repeat the process until done.
- Add the butter and, once melted, add the shallots and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the sherry and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot, getting up any browned bits from the sausage. Add the broth, seasoned salt, sage, thyme, black pepper and stir. Add the squash and stir once more. Nestle in the seared sausage links but do not stir. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel, and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release when done.
- Using tongs, remove the sausage links to a cutting board and let cool. Use an immersion blender to puree everything in the pot for about 30 seconds.
- Add the cream, Boursin and Parmesan and puree once more.
- Slice the sausage into bite-size pieces (see Jeff's Tips) and return them to the soup. Stir well, ladle into bowls and top with additional thyme and a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.
For slicing the sausage, I tend to go for 1/4 - 1/2-inch disks and then slice in half. It keeps it a bit rustic that way. But if you want it smaller, simply slice into smaller pieces.
Want it vegetarian? Use a plant-based sausage!