Italian Sausage and Squash Soup
1 lb bulk italian sausage
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 inch chunks (about 1 1/2 lb)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup diced bell pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp sugar
2 cups packed baby spinach
3 Tbsp brandy
Salt and black pepper to taste
1. Brown sausage in 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
2. Sweat onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium high, add squash and pepper flakes and saute for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in broth and water, bring to a boil, and simmer until squash is very soft. About 10 minutes.
4. Puree soup with a handheld blender (or in batches in a standard blender), then add bell pepper, cream, sage and sugar; simmer until bell pepper is tender, about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in spinach, brandy and sausage, and simmer until spinach is wilted and sausage is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Add on Olive and Tomato Bruschetta if desired.
Per cup - 364 calories; 27 g total fat, 453mg sodium, 17g carb, 3g fiber, 11g protein.