Recipe Rescue: Butternut Squash and Sausage Soup

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Butternut squash soup sounds healthy enough. I mean, it's gotta be good for you... it's got vegetables! Right? Yes, you're getting lots of good stuff from the squash - vitamin A, fiber, potassium, and so on.

But butternut squash soup typically includes high-fat ingredients like cream for silky texture and sausage to add a savory element. And don't forget about the bread you might use to mop it up! This simple meal-starter can have as many calories as your main dish.

So kick off your lunch or dinner with my lightened up version that tastes like autumn in a bowl. Who knows, you just might make it your whole meal! (Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe!)


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Creamy Butternut Squash and Sausage Soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb raw bulk breakfast sausage
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3 lbs cooked and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Changes Made:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil: Reduced to 1 tablespoon
  • 1 lb raw bulk breakfast sausage: Substituted turkey sausage (less fat and more protein)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter: Reduced to 1 tablespoon
  • ½ tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3 lbs cooked and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups half-and-half: Substituted 3/4 cup each of low-fat milk and fat-free half-and-half
  • 4 cups chicken broth: Opted for reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Nutrition Facts Face-Off!

2 cups of soup

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Autumn-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Turkey Sausage (Printable PDF Version)

Makes about 14 cups


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb raw turkey breakfast sausage
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3 lbs cooked and cubed butternut squash (about 6 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup low-fat milk (1%)
  • ¾ cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Brown turkey sausage until cooked through, using a wooden spoon to break up the sausage into small pieces. Transfer cooked sausage to a bowl and reserve for later.
  2. Add butter and chopped onion to stock pot. Use wooden spoon to scrape brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Saute onion until softened.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add garlic, squash, and spices. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add pumpkin pie spice and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in milk and half-and-half. Using a blender (traditional or immersion), puree until smooth.
  6. Stir in cooked sausage. Heat through, then season to taste.
Recipe Tips
  • If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, substitute 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger, and ¼ teaspoon of ground allspice or cloves.
  • To make the recipe vegetarian-friendly, use vegetable stock. Omit turkey sausage or use a vegetarian substitute.

Nutrition Facts (1 cup): Calories 140, Total Fat 5g (Saturated 1.5g), Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 480mg, Total Carbohydrate 13g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 10g, Vitamin A 220% DV, Vitamin C 25% DV, Calcium 8% DV, Iron 6% DV


Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.