This is a recipe I first received, via fax! Last time I made it, I realized that I had changed every single ingredient, the cooking method and the times! I have made this for my bookclub, my family and for a Presidents' Day cross country ski trip. Now people ask for it. —bgavin
pumpkin or butternut squash. Peeled, seeded and cut into one inch chunks, bite-sized.
carrots, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces, logs about an inch long, and split the fat ends into semi circles.
parsnips, peeled and cut like the carrots
potatoes, optional to peel, but definitely cut no bigger than one inch chunks
Freshly ground pepper (lots)
Italian sausage, out of casing
1 1/2 cups
Onion, roughly chopped
cloves of garlic, chopped
Chicken or vegetable stock
Cannellini beans (canned) with their liquid
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a huge bowl, toss squash, carrots, parsnips and potatoes with oil and spices.
Spread on a cookie sheet (lined with foil, if you are adverse to unnecessary scouring). Your vegetables should only be one layer thick, meaning each chunk touches the bottom of the pan/foil. It is not inconceivable that you'll need two cookie sheets. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes, shaking and rearranging the pieces once. You want the pieces barely cooked; not hard, but not too soft or they'll fall apart. You also would like them a little browned on some of the edges. I sometimes run the veggies under a hot broiler for 5-8 minutes.
While the vegetables are in the oven, in your big soup pot, cook the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks, and the onions. This should take about twelve minutes. About two minutes before the meat and onions are done, throw in the garlic and mix in well. Now, add in your stock and scrape up anything that stuck to the bottom. When the veggies are done in the oven, throw them in and mix gently.
If you are serving this immediately, throw in the beans, their liquid and as much extra water as you think you need and cook, on low, just simmering, for about 20-30 minutes.
If you are serving the soup "tomorrow", put the pot with the stock, onions/sausage and roasted veggies in the fridge. When you are ready to serve, remove any fat that is solidified on the top, place over medium heat, add the beans and whatever liquid and simmer until it comes to a simmer, plus 20 minutes.
Either way, you'd like to keep the roasted vegetables relatively intact and prevent the beans from falling apart. This is not a stew/soup that cooks for hours.
Also: the amount of liquid. This was originally a stew recipe, the extra liquid makes it soup. Use your best judgement. And have fun.