Winter Vegetable and Spelt Soup with Turkey Sausage

2 cups spelt (or other whole grain –barley, Farro, Brown rice, Etc.)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
16 oz. lean Italian sausage, casings removed (turkey)
2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1  ½ cups peeled and slices carrots (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 ½ cups peeled and sliced parsnips (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 large onion, diced
3 gloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons thyme
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
In a large lidded pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add sausage breaking up with wooden spoon.  Cook 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. Stir in butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, onion, garlic and thyme.  Cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add chicken broth, 1 cup water and spelt.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered, for 60 minutes or until spelt is tender. Stir in salt and pepper.