So I'm told that today is officially National Moldy Cheese Day. Did you even realize there WAS such a day? Wow! How fortuitous then that I was already going to post this butternut squash soup that incorporates, of all things, moldy gorgonzola cheese. Patty was slightly skeptical when I said I wanted to make a butternut squash soup with gorgonzola. She isn't the biggest fan of moldy cheeses, but it has been my mission for us both to appreciate every type of food in some way. The way I see it, every food has a proper pairing, and in this case, the gorgonzola is ideal for this type of recipe.
Gorgonzola has a powerful, bold flavor. It stands out against so many other ingredients, often overwhelming them. I actually love gorgonzola and blue cheese. Roquefort anyone? So many applications. It truly pops in this soup recipe, a combination of roasted butternut squash, roasted peppers (So good! Fresh from the garden!), Italian sausage, plenty of herbs and seasonings, and topped with extra gorgonzola and green apple slices. The green apple slices add a welcomed crunch factor to each bite. You will love it.
So, in honor of National Moldy Cheese Day, I present to you our very own butternut squash soup with gorgonzola and so much more - with chili peppers, of course - though you can enjoy this soup recipe any day of the year.
Patty's Perspective: I loved the heat of the Italian sausage. The textures of the sausage and the apple slices added a lot to this soup. I also loved the mixture of melted cheese throughout the dish and the fresh crumbled cheese on top. Mike is turning me into a fan of gorgonzola! AKA "moldy cheese".
Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Peppers, Gorgonzola and Italian Sausage
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 large red bell peppers, roasted and chopped (I used a variety of different peppers from my garden, but bells will work great for this)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces beer
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 teaspoons ancho powder
- 2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
- 6 ounces Italian sausage
- 1 ½ cups gorgonzola
- Green apple slices for serving
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and set it into a large baking dish. Add about 2 cups of water to the baking dish. Sprinkle the squash with a bit of the ancho powder, paprika, and salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, or until soft. Remove from heat and peel.
- In a large pot, heat to medium heat and add olive oil with onion, garlic and celery. Cook about 5 minutes to soften. Add roasted peppers and stir.
- Add beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes to reduce slightly.
- Add chicken broth, some salt and pepper, rosemary, basil, ancho powder, paprika, and cooked squash. Simmer about 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. Longer is fine, as long as it is on low. You can always add a bit more chicken broth if it reduces too much.
- Use a stick blender to blend the soup together, or use a blender or food processor, then return soup to the pot. Remove from heat.
- While the soup is cooking, cook the Italian sausage in a pan about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go along. Remove from heat when cooked through and set aside.
- Add half of the gorgonzola cheese to the soup and swirl it in. It will incorporate but will remain a bit chunky and soft.
- Serve into bowls, then top with extra gorgonzola cheese, a couple spoonsful of Italian sausage, and apple slices.