I wanted to share this soup with you before Spring hits and soups are no longer a staple in our lives. Well other peoples lives. I love soup year round.
Butternut Squash Soup with Pears and Bacon
Serves 8 (1 cup servings)
Adapted from Raley's
6 - 8 strips of bacon
1 small onion, chopped
1 large (or 2 small) butternut squash (I buy the cut up version at Whole Foods. Way less work)
2 large pears, peeled, cored and cubed
3 celery ribs, chopped
28 - 32 oz chicken broth
1/2 tsp. thyme (dried)
1/2 tsp. basil (dried)
1/2 cup half and half
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet (that has sides to it) with aluminum foil. Put your bacon on the lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the bacon). This gets your bacon extra crispy, less mess than the stove and cooks the bacon perfectly. If you have a wire rack, you can put that in the cookie sheet and put the bacon on top for even less grease on your bacon.
2. While your bacon is baking, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to a stock pot. Add your onions and cook until they are translucent and slightly brown.
3. If you don't have the cut up version of the butternut squash, stab your squash a few times and put it in the microwave for a minute or two to make it easier to cut your squash. Cut the top and bottom off. Stand your squash up and using your knife, cut long slices of the rind off. Once you have it peeled or the outside cut off, then you can cut it in half, scoop out the insides and cut the squash into cubes (around 1 inch). You should have about 4 cups of squash.
4. Add squash, pears, celery and broth to your pot. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
5. Let your mixture cool for 5 minutes and place it in a blender, food processor or use a hand held blender to puree until smooth. I use my hand blender and it is completely blended in 2 or 3 minutes. Return to pot if you used a blender or food processor.
6. Add your herbs and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
7. Cut or chop your bacon into small chunks.
8. Stir in half and half and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
9. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with bacon and serve.
We had lots of leftovers, so we each have lunch one day this week and the rest is in the freezer for a quick and easy meal in the future. I hope you enjoy this soup as much as my family does.