Hearty, healthy soup is the mission objective today, balancing savory and sweet flavors and brining a belly full of yum. When is comes to ingredients, this soup is like that friend. You know, the one that is always down to hang out no matter what the plans are or how they change. Easy going and always fun. Just like this Roasted Butternut, Kale and Wild Rice Soup. You can adjust the final product with what you’ve got in the fridge and pantry, and no matter this soup is going to be all fun and flavor.
Oh! And did I mention how flexible it is? Totally flexible. Not a fan of kale? Try some spinach or collard greens! Fresh out of wild rice? Try some brown rice or farro! Living that vegan/vegetarian lifestyle? Omit the chicken sausage and use your favorite vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.
Easy peasy, let’s make some soup.
Roasting and Stewing
While you’re not always down for extra steps, it’s going to be worth it in the end game. Chopping and roasting the butternut squash not only removes excess water, it adds texture so the bite sized pieces don’t turn to mush in the smooth. This step is going to let the naturally caramelized flavors of the butternut shine through. So with all these hearty, savory things going on each bite we will have just the teeniest hint of sweet squash goodness.
Since that oven’s going anyways, you might as well throw in some sweet Italian style chicken sausage links in there to cook up. Unless you’re option for the vegan/vegetarian version of this soup.
My favorite tip to remember when making soup is all about spoon size. When you’re chopping those veggies, just keep in mind size. You want a little bit of every ingredient in each bite, so cut those veggies small enough to make that possible. Roughly a 1/2-inch dice is good.
From there, life is just getting simpler. A little braise of the greens, seasoning and combining of ingredients. Just bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, until the rice is cooked and expanded just a touch.
Roasted Butternut, Kale and Wild Rice Soup dished out with a few slices of hearty bread for ultimate soup bliss.
Roasted butternut squash adds sweet, caramelized notes to this savory braised kale and wild rice soup with the option of adding thinly sliced chicken sausage.
1 ½ pounds butternut squash, cubed in ½ inch pieces¹
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flake
Optional: 6 links sweet Italian style chicken sausage
1 small head of kale, stems removed and chopped into small pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
½ cup dry white wine
1 ¼ cup wild rice
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 450°F. On a large sheet pan, coat butternut squash in 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Stir around the pan to coat all the pieces then spread the squash into one even layer on the sheet pan. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring half way.
On a separate sheet pan or in a oven safe skillet, place chicken sausage evenly (if opting for the non-vegetarian version). Roast at 450°F for 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes then slice thinly, set aside.
In a large stock pot or your favorite soup pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add kale, ½ teaspoon salt and red pepper flake, stirring 2 additional minutes to braise the kale. Deglaze the pan with white wine, giving it a quick stir after the steam releases.
If using the chicken sausage, add it to the pot along with the roasted butternut squash and wild rice. Stir in the chicken or vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.
After cooking, taste test and adjust salt and pepper levels if needed. If using homemade or low sodium stock, you may need ½ to 1 teaspoon of additional salt.
¹When cutting the squash and kale, keep in mind the size of a soup spoon. You want more than one ingredient to fit on the spoon at a time. Both will shrink alittle after cooking.
I was the lucky recipient of some of this soup and I didn't waste a drop. This soup could be on the menu in every restaurant. The butternut squash just gives the broth just a bit of sweetness to give it such a rich flavor. It is just a wonderful combination of texture and flavors. If I was assigned soup to bring to a luncheon or dinner I would certainly bring this. Be prepared to be complimented till your head can't fit through the door.
Hi, I'm Lauren and this is my slice of the internet to share seasonally inspired recipes. I live in the heart of New England with my husband Henry, our two kiddos, English bulldog and our two local restaurants. Life is busy AND delicious!