A creamy and delicate butternut squash soup perfumed with sautéed onions, rosemary, thyme and smoky bacon.
Total Time:1 hour
2 butternut squash, appx. 5 lb total weight
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
12 garlic cloves
4 whole sprigs plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
4 whole sprigs plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
6 slices of applewood smoked bacon, browned and chopped with grease reserved
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped (about 1–1/2 cup chopped), or 1 cup chopped shallots
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup of whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
Cut each squash lengthwise into two equal halves. Drizzle each half with olive oil and stuff the cavity of each with one sprig of rosemary and thyme. Distribute the unpeeled garlic cloves among the cavities of each squash half and sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Carefully turn each squash half, flesh facing downward, on to the lined baking sheet.
Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Allow to cool.
When squash is cooled, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and set it aside. Squeeze garlic from its peel and reserve it with the squash. Discard herbs.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Combine the reserved bacon grease and butter. Add chopped onion to the pot and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft and fragrant.
Add squash and garlic to the pot and toss together with the onions. Add chicken stock, white wine, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, chopped rosemary, and chopped thyme. Stir to combine. Mash any large clumps of squash until broken up. Reduce heat to medium and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Once simmering, remove from heat and stir in the cream. Carefully, puree the soup using an immersion blender or in batches using a standard blender. Once smooth, add salt and pepper to taste (I used 2 teaspoons of salt and another 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
Garnish soup with chopped bacon bits and serve with croutons or sliced baguette.