Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Crumbled Bacon
I am having a major love affair with butternut squash this fall.
I only discovered I even liked butternut squash two years ago. I had never tried it before. Since then though, I’ve eagerly looked forward to roasting the slightly sweet orange squash as soon as the weather cools every year. It’s my new favorite fall vegetable.
This year, I decided to try something a little different with my butternut squash. I roasted it as usual, then pureed it and turned it into a fantastic soup. This soup has just a hint of pumpkin pie-like flavor, while remaining savory and not tasting, you know… like pumpkin pie. It’s fall in a warm, cozy bowl and it’s healthy too!
Well, except for maybe that extra crisp bacon I topped it with.
Yeah, that happened. Salty sweet heaven. You need to eat this.
Butternut Squash Soup with Crumbled Bacon
While the soup is simmering, cover a baking sheet with foil, lay bacon strips in a single layer on sheet and bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, or until bacon is crisp. It’s my favorite way to cook bacon.
Don’t be scared by the tales of how hard it is to cut up butternut squash. By roasting the squash in quarters, it only requires a few quick cuts. You don’t have the mess with peeling and chopping it. I made my soup on the thicker side. If you prefer thinner, add more chicken broth. I only added a few dashes of each spice to the soup – start with a little and adjust to your taste.
1 3-lb butternut squash
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 shallots, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups finely diced carrots
3 ribs celery, finely diced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
3-4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
salt to taste
dashes of cinnamon, allspice, chili powder
crisp cooked bacon, for garnish
With a sharp, strong knife, slice roughly 1/2 inch off the top (stem end) and bottom of butternut squash. Cut squash into quarters lengthwise, first slicing in half from top to bottom, then cutting each half in halves. Place squash on a foil lined baking sheet (for easy clean up). Using your fingers, break 1 tablespoon butter into small pieces and dot over squash. Sprinkle evenly with salt. Cover with foil and roast at 400°F for 45-50 minutes, or until squash is tender and easily pierced. Cool on pan.
In a large soup pot, saute shallots, garlic, carrots, celery, and apple over medium heat until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Add enough chicken broth to cover (about 3 cups) and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove soup from heat.
Using a spoon, scoop softened roasted squash from skin and puree in food processor until smooth, working in batches if necessary. Transfer to a bowl. Carefully ladle soup into food processor and puree until smooth, again working in batches if necessary. Repeat until all soup is pureed.
Combine pureed soup and butternut squash in pot and return to medium-low heat. Cook just until hot. Add cider vinegar. If needed, add additional chicken broth to thin soup to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt & spices.
Serve warm, topped with crispy, crumbled bacon.