Thanksgiving hasn’t gone very well for me these past couple of years. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the gathering of family and friends, and the sweet and savory aromas that waft through the house for hours in anticipation of the big meal are the ultimate comfort. But what’s been happening is that I’ve been getting ill. The arduous preparations combined with the heavy, butter-laden fare have taken their toll on my body, and now twice in a row I’ve been laid up in bed when I should have been celebrating. This year, I’ve resolved to take a different path, one that involves less stress, more nutrition, and – I’m hoping – much more fun.
Never a huge fan of turkey, I’ve composed a soup that could be served as a main dish alternative or as an accompaniment to the traditional meal. It’s hearty and satisfying without being heavy, and while it does need a bit of time to simmer, the preparation is not overly involved. It can also be made a day or two in advance and reheated just prior to serving.
The flavors here are comforting and complementary. The sweetness of the butternut squash is echoed by the chicken apple sausage, and the kale imparts a subtle bitterness. Sautéed aromatics and herbs give it depth, while the wild and brown rice blend provides added nutrition. Thyme is a favorite of mine, but feel free to change things up if you wish; rosemary and sage would also work well in this dish.
Hearty Wild and Brown Rice Soup with Autumn Vegetables
Makes 9 cups
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 cup finely diced Onion
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 14 ounces Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage, casings removed and sausage cut into ¼-inch slices
- 2 ½ quarts (10 cups) Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
- 1-½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Wild and Brown Rice Blend
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1-½ tsp dried Thyme
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
- 3 cups medium diced Butternut Squash
- 3 cups thinly sliced Lacinato (dinosaur) Kale
- Plain Greek Yogurt, for serving
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then add the onion, garlic, and chicken sausage pieces. Sauté until the sausage is brown and the onions are tender about 8-9 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Increase the heat if needed to achieve color on the meat but also be mindful of the garlic, which can burn easily at high temperatures.
- Next, add the chicken stock, rice, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the butternut squash, simmering for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, add the kale and simmer for 10 more minutes until the rice, squash, and kale are tender.
- Taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Pepper Lynn is a blog focused on loving people well through nourishing food. Emphasizing freshness and simplicity, it’s my joy to share what I’m cooking up as I encourage readers to learn, grow, and be adventurous in the kitchen