Once upon a time (last fall, actually!) I bought a really enormous, toddler sized butternut squash at the farmer’s market for two dollars. I was so excited about this deal that I completely disregarded every other time I had brought home similarly large squashes only to allow them to reside in my kitchen rent free until I eventually threw them in the trash.
Bursting with pride, I showed my huge squash to my husband (who totally remembered all the other squash tenants who have live in our kitchen and was thus totally unimpressed). I brushed off his cynicism and loaded the squash into the potato bin and promptly ignored it for the better part of six months.
Sometimes though, sometimes you’ve just got to seize the day. Or the squash. Full disclosure; the prospect of using bacon was a motivating factor. Whatevs. I made this soup. With that squash. And the bacon. And it was deeeee-licious. The way anything flavored with bacon and deep brown colored onions is.
If you’ve ever kept a squash around for a long time, please know that it’s almost never too late. Those things stay good for just about ever.
Also, everything is just a little better when it involves some bacon.
- 1 large butternut squash (about 4 cups), peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 whole carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- ½ pounds raw bacon, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- pepper (to taste)
- sourcream (garnish)
- scallions (garnish)
- bacon (garnish - will be left from making croutons)
- 4 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
- Place squash, onion, carrot, and garlic in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Place into oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove pan from over. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, stir vegetables, add bacon and return to over for an additional 15-20 minutes until squash is tender and bacon is crisp.
- Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add butternut squash mixture and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender.
- Allow soup to simmer for 5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
- Fry bacon until crisp in a heavy skillet on medium heat.
- When the bacon is crisp remove from skillet to drain on paper towel, add the cubed bread.
- Stir and turn the bread frequently until it is golden on all sides - about five minutes.
- Season to taste with pepper, cheese, and garlic powder
- Serve soup immediately, garnished with croutons, bacon, sour cream, and scallions.