While it may not the be most sophisticated dish, and is probably a little overplayed, as soon as the air gets chilly and leaves start to turn I get a hankering for Butternut Squash soup. More specifically, I get the hankering to make it at home.
Few soups – or any kind of dish for that matter – warm my belly like a piping hot bowl of sweet butternut squash soup. My version has evolved over the last few years, as I keep trying other recipes and stealing the bits that I really liked and adding to my own.
For those that feel like taking advantage of the bounty of squash in the produce section right now, I’ve posted the most recent incarnationof my recipe that I made for some friends a few weeks back.
What about you? What dish does the looming cold weather make you crave?
Maple bacon butternut squash soup
2lbs butternut squash, peeled seeded and chopped into 2 inch cubes
6 slices of thick bacon
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup small dice carrot
1/2 cup small dice celery
½-teaspoon caraway seeds
2 thyme sprigs, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped sage
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
11/2 quarts chicken stock
Maple syrup (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place bacon slices on a rack and bake in the over until crisp, 15-20 minutes. Set aside on a paper towel to cool. Turn the oven up to 425 degrees.
Spread the chopped squash on a foil lined sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil evenly, and lightly coat with kosher salt and black pepper. Roast the squash in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the squash begins to brown and is fork tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Coat the bottom of a stockpot with olive oil over medium high heat. Add the diced onions, carrots, and celery and sweat for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and shallots, and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and vinegar to the pot and immediately add the squash, sage, thyme, caraway seeds, and bay leaves. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Cook the soup for at least 30-45 minutes. If your stockpot is high enough, you can use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. If not, you can do this in a blender or food processor in batches. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Chop the bacon and serve in the center of each bowl. Drizzle maple syrup over the bacon and enjoy.
- By Jon Watson, Food & More blog