Sausage, Pumpkin and Arborio Soup
- 2 tablespoons EVOO, plus more for drizzling
- 1 pound bulk Italian sweet sausage with fennel
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 butternut squash or small pumpkin (2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 small bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and chopped
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- A few fresh sage leaves, torn
- Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
Heat the EVOO in a soup pot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon, until browned. Add the garlic and onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaf and squash and season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Stir in the stock and half-and-half and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the kale. Simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
Add the rice and simmer until just tender, 18 to 20 minutes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the sage.
Ladle the soup into shallow bowls. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano and a drizzle of EVOO.
Cook's Note: The soup, without the rice, can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Add the rice before serving.