So…I got so excited about making this soup that I actually totally forgot to take any really good pictures of it. That being said, lack of good pictures does not mean that it ain’t good…amiright or amiright??
This soup knocked the socks off my relatives over Thanksgiving. It has a lot of depth. It is a little sweet and has a little kick to it as well. If you are looking for a good starter soup for a family meal or just something comforting for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, I’d say this soup is for you.
◊ Roasted Butternut Squash, Bacon & Apple Soup ◊
20 minutes prep time ◊ 1 hour 5 minutes make time ◊ 1 hour 25 minutes total time
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed*
- 6 pieces of bacon, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 Honey Crisp apples, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of ginger
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree
- 4-6 cups of chicken stock
- 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the cubed butternut squash and chopped bacon onto a lightly oiled baking pan and let them roast in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. Rotate the butternut squash halfway through the cooking time (trust me). If the squash does not seem fully cooked, let it roast a little longer until the squash is tender.
- Heat a pot (preferably a dutch oven) to medium. While heating, take the pieces of bacon from the roasting pan (careful they will be hot), and place them into the pot. Crisp the bacon. The point of doing this is to have some leftover bacon grease to sauté the onions and apples. Once crisp, take a slotted spoon or spatula and take out the bacon. Set aside.
- If there is not enough bacon grease, add up to 1 Tablespoon of olive oil into the pot. On medium heat, sauté the onions and apples until the onions are translucent and the apples are soft (approximately 5 minutes).
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, thyme, and red pepper flakes and sauté for another 1 minute.
- Add the pumpkin puree and 4 cups of chicken stock and stir until combined.
- Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock until consistency is right.**
- Once blended, bring the soup to a boil while stirring frequently.
- Turn down to simmer and let soup simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup of heaving cream and stir until blended.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish the soup with the crisp bacon and serve immediately.***
* Note: The best way that I have found to peel and cube a squash is as follows: First peel it with a sharp peeler. Then cut the squash in half horizontally and then vertically with a sharp knife. The top portion of the squash can now be cut into cubes. Scoop out the seeds from the bottom half of the squash. I sometimes use a small paring knife to get out the stubborn bits. Then cube the bottom half.
** Note: You don’t want the soup to be too thick or too soupy. If you are unsure if the soup is too think, proceed with bringing the soup to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes and check the consistency again. Add more stock if necessary and continue to let it simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
*** Note: If you are serving this soup to a bigger group, I would recommend stirring the crisp bacon into the soup. It still tastes as good and you don’t have to worry about potentially running out of bacon for garnish.