roasted butternut squash soup

IMG_2183My family might have thought that the world was ending today. Because I cooked bacon. No one asked me to, I just did it. For a little bit of background, I don’t eat bacon. Like, ever. I have no desire to eat bacon. I used to eat bacon, but I don’t anymore, and I don’t miss it in the least. You can roll your eyes and call me crazy… I’m okay with that (I have to be okay with it, since that’s practically what my family does every time bacon makes an appearance at the breakfast table).

It’s not that I feel sorry for pigs. And I’m not a vegetarian or a pescetarian. Bacon is just one of those things that isn’t very healthy, and I don’t feel a need to eat it, so I don’t.

I made an exception today though for this lovely soup. It’s pureed, so I think the bacon is an important textural element. The combination of flavors is a beautiful one too. Sweet soup, with a little kick from cayenne pepper, pungent gorgonzola cheese, and smoky bacon. It’s the perfect lunch to warm you up on a cold, cloudy day.

Recipe adapted from The Little Red House

1 butternut squash, quartered, seeds scraped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and halved
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and quartered
1 large onion, quartered
5 small garlic cloves, peeled
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

6 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
A couple of pinches of cayenne (you can decide how much!)

Crumbled bacon
Gorgonzola cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the prepared vegetables (and fruit!) on a baking sheet. I fit everything onto one sheet, but I used two separate pieces of parchment. The veggies will take different times to cook, so put the squash and sweet potato on one piece of parchment, and put the apple, onion, and garlic on another. Brush everything with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Roast the apple, onion, and garlic for about 30 minutes, then remove them from the oven. Leave the squash and sweet potato in for another 30 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Peel the squash, and place everything in a food processor. Depending on how big your processor is, you might need to puree in a couple of batches. Puree until the mixture is smooth, adding a bit of broth to loosen things up if you need to.

Transfer the puree to a large pot over medium heat and stir in the remaining chicken broth. Stir in the sage and cayenne and simmer for at least 30 minutes before serving. Taste for salt and pepper.

I served the soup at lunchtime, but I allowed it to simmer all morning long. And actually, I made the puree the evening before and stored it in a tupperware in the refrigerator, so all I had to do the next morning was pour it in the pot and stir in the remaining broth, sage, and cayenne, and just let it simmer!

To serve, top each bowl with a generous amount of crumbled bacon and gorgonzola.

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