Don’t get distracted by the bacon sitting up there calling to you like a siren luring a sailor. This post is really about the soup–the bacon is just a lovely little benefit.
Yesterday Imani asked me what to do with the butternut squash she had laying around in her fridge and in the process of telling her how to make butternut squash soup I decided it sounded so delicious I should make some for myself.
The thing about butternut squash is that its really a blank canvas for whatever you want to do with it. The squash itself has a nice flavor, but not enough to sustain the soup as a “wow” dish. To do that you have to add flavor and depth wherever you can- I cook my soup in chicken stock and add apples for sweetness and carrots for flavor and color.
A note about the squash: It is INCREDIBLY hard to peel and chop. Unfortunately the packages of pre-peeled, pre-chopped squash cost like four times more than a whole thing. I personally go to the middle ground and buy it pre-peeled and then chop it myself, but if you buy a whole one and don’t feel like peeling it then I suggest just cutting it in half and then scooping the flesh out after roasting it. (Don’t forget to take the seeds out.)
- 1 butternut squash, cut into chunks
- 3 apples, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 sage leaves, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly oil a large cookie sheet or roasting pan and arrange the squash in an even layer on the pan. Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender
- While the squash is roasting, in a large pot, sauté the onions and carrots in a couple of table spoons of olive oil until the onions are completely translucent and have started to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the roasted butternut squash to the pot and cover with 3 cups of chicken stock. Add the sage leave, nutmeg and a couple of large pinches of salt and a teaspoon of pepper. Allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes.
- Blend the mixture either with an immersion blender or a regular blender. Add more chicken stock if needed. If using a regular blender, since the mixture is hot, make sure the blender is not more than half full and hold the lid on while blending.
- If the soup is not smooth enough for your taste you can pass it through a fine mesh sieve.
- Add cream and taste for seasoning.
- Serve with crumbled bacon and fried sage leaves