I couldn’t help myself.
Walking through Union Square last Saturdayany Saturday morning, reallytends to be a bit of a dangerous proposition for me. I feel myself grow covetous. And, despite having a fully stocked pantry, find myself unable to resist the new flavors on offer.
In this case, it was the newly arrived flavors of fall that did me in. Sure, I’m already missing the juicy tomatoes of summer, but right now the rows and rows of apples have made me easily distracted. Paired with butternut squashanother fall favorite of minethey make a surprising soup. Silky and elegant and so very filling, this is soup that’s good enough for company.
What? You thought perhaps I would admit to something more ominous?
Oh, well, there’s always next time.
For now, here’s the recipe.
Butternut Squash Soup
6 bacon strips, cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 TBS olive oil
3 apples, peeled and cut into cubes (combination of gala and granny smith)
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes, with seeds set aside
2 shallots, diced
2 onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp thyme
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk or heavy cream (I used soy milk for a lighter flavor)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In separate dishes, toss both the butternut squash seeds and butternut squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Before roasting the butternut squash seeds, make sure that they have been dried thoroughly. Roast for 40 minutes. Set aside.
In a large dutch oven, heat the bacon over a low flame, rendering the fat and browning the bacon, about 10 minutes. Strain the bacon on a paper towel and set aside.
Add the red pepper flakes, thyme, shallots, onions, and garlic to the bacon fat and saute until the mixture is translucent, about ten minutes.
Add the apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stir and saute 2 minutes.
Add the butternut squash and chicken stock. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until the apples are soft and falling apart.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Stir in a cup of milk or heavy cream and simmer for another 15 minutes, until all of the flavors have combined.
Serve using the bacon bits and butternut squash seeds as garnish.
Serves six, very generously