Laverne from Toronto, Canada sends us a great soup of butternut squash and Italian
style sausage. Rich and tasty, this filling soup will satisfy all us soup lovers. So make a
batch for your family and thank Laverne for this delicious treat.


1 lrg butternut squash - (abt 3 lbs) halved, seeded
2 tbl vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage casings removed
1 lrg onion chopped
6 x garlic cloves minced
1 tbl chopped fresh sage plus
12 whl  sage leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh marjoram
6 cup light chicken stock or broth
1 tsp cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/2 cup heavy cream or more to taste
2 tbl butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly coat the squash halves with 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil. Season the
inside with salt and pepper and place cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with
parchment paper. Bake until very tender, about 45 minutes. When the squash is
cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and reserve. Discard the peel.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the remaining vegetable oil and,
when hot but not smoking, add the sausage. Cook until golden brown, about 4
minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until the onions wilted and starting
to caramelize, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, sage and marjoram, and cook,
stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cooked squash and chicken stock, stir well to
combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes,
stirring occasionally.

With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor or
blender, puree the soup. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean
saucepan. Add the cider vinegar and stir to combine. Add the cream and adjust
seasoning, to taste.

In a small saute pan, cook the butter over medium-high heat until it begins to
turn brown around the edges. Add the whole sage leaves and cook until crisp, 1
to 2 minutes. Transfer the leaves to paper towels to drain.

Serve the soup in bowls, garnished with the crispy sage leaves.

This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.
Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage Soup