Monday, Shmonday. Make this soup!

This weekend we Atlantans had a nice reprieve from the rain and the late winter cold. Friday evening Laura and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather. It was just warm enough to eat outside and just cold enough for butternut squash soup- what a perfect end to the week. Did we mention beer? There was a little bit of beer. But just a little. Really. We sat outside and enjoyed each others' company, a superb warm meal and the cool breeze of one season turning into another...

Il ├ętait doux, non?

Well. That was Friday. Now it is Monday. Now it is cold and rainy again. Now, as I write this, I am soaking wet from standing outside in the rain while my new puppy finds the courage to do her business outside-yes, Mae- even when it's raining.

O mon dieu. D'accord...

What I wouldn't give for another bowl of butternut squash (or squatternut bosh if everything in your life is also a Friends reference) soup. It's quick, easy, full of flavor but impressive enough to serve any guest any time... as long as they don't know how quick and easy it really is...
 
Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash 2-3lbs, peeled and roughly chopped (it's getting blended, so just make sure your chunks are uniform in size to make for quick, even cooking)
1 medium sized apple, peeled and chopped
1 small to medium sized onion, chopped
3-4 cups vegetable stock (or 3-4 cups water and 2 tsp Better Than Bouillon paste)
1-2 slices bacon, chopped (I love getting Broadbent bacon from the Farmer's Market)
1 small apple, diced (optional)
croutons
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)

You can do this entire soup in one pot. This is another reason I love this recipe.

Heat medium-low to medium (I wouldn't go above a 6 if you like to play the numbers game) a tablespoon or so of olive oil in an 8-quart or so pot.

Add your bacon and fry until almost crispy. Remove and set on a paper towel. And save for later. Do not drain the bacon grease. This will add loads of delicious flavor.

Add your butternut squash, apple and onion to the pot. Give 'em a good stir to make sure they're evenly coated with the olive oil/bacon grease. It should take about 10-15 minutes for these guys to get soft enough to blend. Just remember to stir often and adjust your heat (down) if they're getting too brown. These aren't supposed to get dark and they shouldn't stick to the pan. Keeping a lid on the pot will help them soften up, too.

Once the squash and apple are tender (can you cut through a piece of squash easily using a wooden spoon?), add your stock. Take the pot off the heat. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then take your immersion blender to it. You'll have to kind of mash some of the chunks as you puree, but you'll see it gets smooth quickly. This should take about 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add back on the heat if you need to, keeping your burner on low.

When you're ready to serve this, typically 2-3 ladels will do. Top with croutons (if you're making them fresh- cut up stale bread into 1/2 inch chunks, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes, watching to make sure they don't burn), bacon, jalapeno, and, if I'm feeling crazy, a little bit of fresh apple.

[almost naked soup...put some clothes on, soup!]


[fully dressed soup. perfection.]


Until next time...



1 comment:

  1. My pup, after 4 years, still thinks going in the rain is beneath her and we have tons of issues getting her tush outside!

    This looks so good! I tried a similar recipe last fall and worked for HOURS with the squash and stuff and it turned out terrible - so I'm still in fear of making anything with the beast that is butternut squash

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