I made the recipe as written. Here’s what I learned. First, don’t cook it too long. I cooked on High for four hours and then turned down to low for another hour. The squash was mushy by that time so next time I’ll stop the heat at 4 hours. With that said, the squash dissolved and made the broth creamy. Ultimately we enjoyed it! It does need salt to bring out the flavors. We salted to taste when we served it.
Late afternoon, as I gathered the ingredients for this recipe, I “discovered” that it was written for a crockpot. Oh dear - I only had 2 hours max from start to eating! Not a problem. We sat down on time to a truly delicious soup. I was tempted to add salt and pepper in the preparation because I thought it had been missed in the recipe. DO NOT add them! I made the soup exactly as written (well, except for method, obviously) and it is a tasty combination of flavors with no change.
Doubled the Italian sausage quantity. Other than that followed the recipe and it was outstanding on a cold winter day.