Hands down, in my opinion, Rachael Ray makes the best soups and stews, or stoups, as she calls them. They always look so good when she makes them so I thought that I would give it a shot.
I've been looking for a recipe that uses that cut up butternut squash that Costco sells. Now you know that there is no way Miss MoneyPenny is gonna cut up a hard squash because that would most likely be a quick trip to the emergency room. The best I can do is those tasty Delicatas because they are small and sometimes that can get dicey.
I came upon Rach's (we are bffs) recipe called Sausage, Butternut Squash, and Alborio Rice Soup and that one sounded really good. Of course, I did change it up a bit by using orzo pasta instead of the rice because I didn't have it. As you can see from the above photo it turned out crazy good.
The first thing I did was brown a pound of bulk Italian sweet sausage in a large Dutch oven. Mine was barely big enough so that gives me the excuse I've been needing to buy a new one. Then add a chopped onion and three cloves of chopped garlic (all from my garden).
Reduce the heat and add a bunch of cut up Tuscan kale. Simmer until until done.
When the soup had cooked down some, I took my masher to the squash making it thick and yummy, leaving some chunks for texture. I cooked 3/4 cup of orzo separately and added it to the soup.
At serving, Rach suggested a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of Parmesan. I didn't do the olive oil but the Parmesan really took the soup to perfection.
Here are the ingredients:
2 T olive oil
1 pound bulk Italian Sweet sausage with fennel (couldn't find it so I went with just sweet)
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large bay leaf
2 pounds butternut or pumpkin squash, cut up into 3/4 inch dice
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups half & half
1 small bunch Tuscan kale (any kale will work or maybe even chard)
3/4 Arborio rice or orzo pasta
Parmesan for topping
Several years ago, Miss Know-It-All told me that WD-40 should be in every woman's tool kit, so I bought some and it has languished up in the cupboard. Until Saturday morning. I got up and turned on the coffee, let the dogs and cat out, and let them all back in again. I fed, watered and medicated everybody, grabbed my cup of coffee and sat in my chair to watch the news.
Now my LazyBoy came about in the early 90s when my favorite ex husband was racing stock cars. He usually kept his winnings to put back into the car or buy beer for his pit crew but one night he gave it to me and I bought the recliner. And it is the most comfortable chair in the world and holds myself and all my critters at one time but that morning the footrest got stuck at half mast and wouldn't budge.
People that know Miss MoneyPenny know that she did not get the fixit gene...just like my dad, I immediately break out into sweat and start cussing when something needs me to fix it.
I decided that maybe something had come loose underneath, so to the chorus of all three dogs barking at me, I turned the chair over and looked. All I could see were bells and whistles and springs that meant nothing to me but everything seemed to be intact. Then I was hit with a stroke of genius. I grabbed my can of WD-40, hoping that it would still spray, and gave everything that even looked like it could move a good squirt. The whole house smelled like WD-40 but I sat on the couch and had my coffee.
After my coffee I felt almost human and brave enough to turn the chair upright. Guess what?? It worked like a charm. After years of fighting that stiff handle on my chair I can now raise the footrest up or let it down with one finger. Who knew!!
Miss Know-It-All always know best.