I’m not fan of butternut squash. But I can appreciate a good butternut squash soup. I have never tried to make it, but when I saw a recipe for “Great Butternut Squash Soup” in the Sept/Oct issue of Cook’s Illustrated, I knew I had to finally give it a try.
I incorporated bacon into my recipe and I thought the earthy flavor of the squash went well with the smoky flavor of the bacon. Top it all off with a dollop of sour cream and a few fresh chives and you’ve got yourself a thick and hearty autumn meal.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 ½ about 7 cups pounds butternut squash, peel removed, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes (about 2 medium squash)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 leek white and light green parts only, quartered lengthwise, sliced thin, and wash to remove any grit
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1-2 cups water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 3-4 strips bacon cooked and diced
- Sour cream and chopped fresh chives optional
Place squash in an even layer in a large casserole dish. Cover dish and microwave on high for about 15 minutes until squash is fork tender. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add squash, chopped leak, and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook until squash begins to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Add broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 1 cup of water, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until leeks are tender, about 6-7 minutes.
Remove soup from heat and allow to cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and process until smooth. Return mixture to pot, add water until soup reaches its desired consistency, and season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with bacon, sour cream, and chopped chives.