butternut squash soup with fennel sausage and chestnuts

butternut squash soup with fennel sausage and chestnuts
3 tbsp butter
1 3/4 lbs squash
either butternut or kabocha, diced into 1-inch chunks
1 whole onion
1 stem celery
roughly chopped
12 oz chestnuts
cooked and peeled
1 qt milk
2%, could also use a combination of water and milk to lighten up the recipe
1/2 tbsp butter
2 whole sausage
with fennel, cut into about 12 slices, optional
4 oz chestnuts
for garnish
salt and pepper
This is a very comforting, delicious soup. The addition of the sausage makes it a full meal. The soup also freezes well. One of our friends adapted this recipe from a French food magazine. In her translation of it, she modified it to reduce the fat and substituted the sausage with one that is widely available in the states.
Preheat the dutch oven over low heat. Wash and prep the squash, onion, and celery.
Add the butter to the dutch oven. Once melted, add the vegetables. Cook on low for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the chestnuts and just enough milk to cover all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°F. Pan fry the sausage slices with a little butter. Transfer the sausage to a plate and reserve inside the 180°F oven to keep warm. (At such a low temp, the plate will be just fine in the oven.)
Slice the chestnuts for garnish into thin slivers. In the same skillet with the sausage drippings, pan fry them until the edges brown. Reserve with the sausage slices in the oven.
When simmering is complete, use a hand blender to convert the vegetables into a silky purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the fried chestnuts and sausage slices.
We have found cooked, peeled, and packaged chestnuts at our local Korean market.