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Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Quick Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Bacon

Michael makes fun of me for eating soups primarily during cool weather and salads in the summer, but I stand by my seasonal eating habits. There's nothing quite like warming up from the inside out. Though this weekend will feel like spring, it's still winter for a couple of months, and this recipe is a quick option for butternut squash soup. 

I love that the technique in this recipe does not require cubing the squash, which takes forever. And, though you might not think bacon goes with allspice, the soup's flavors are delicious. I will sometimes garnish my bowl with toasted walnuts and chives, in addition to the bacon. This is lovely in a bread bowl!


Quick Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Bacon

Source: How to Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman

8 slices bacon
1 medium butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds)
2 large apples
1 small onion
1 teas allspice
1/4 teas cayenne (1/16 teas for Betsy)
salt and pepper
5 c chicken stock
1 c cream

Prepare the squash: peel it, scoop out and discard the seeds, and cut into pieces that will fit well in a food processor. Bittman's instructions for peeling work well: "Cut the squash in half around the equator, stabilize the flat side on a cutting board, and work downward with a chef's or paring knife to slice the skin from the flesh, turning the piece as you work, then trim off the ends."

Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces and begin cooking it in a large pot over medium heat. When the bacon is done to your desired crispiness, remove it from the pot and place it on a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the rendered fat in the pot.

While the bacon is cooking, peel, quarter, and core the apples. Then trim, peel, and quarter the onion. Shred the squash, apples, and onion in a food processor using a grating disk.

After the bacon is removed, add the shredded vegetables to the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the allspice and cayenne, along with a sprinkle of both salt and pepper. Stir and cook for about minute, until the spices are fragrant.

Add the stock and cream. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat so the soup simmers. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the squash is tender. Turn the heat off and use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and then serve, garnishing with bacon.

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