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Its Friday It Must Be Soup! Jan 25 is Roasted Squash Soup

It's time for soup again but this mild weather is making it difficult to want to even want soups and stews. It would appear that winter is passing us by this year so even though I feel like should be bbqing and planting herbs in my shorts, it is January and a soup must be made.

I did a squash pear soup that nobody liked but me a while back so I thought I would try again with a more savoury version and this time I would add a bit of bacon because bacon makes everything more delicious. I am determined to get The Kid to eat squash soup if it kills me.

I had pinned this delicious looking soup from SPCookieQueen and thought it looked pretty perfect. The sage, bacon and potato make it feel like a nice chowder and I didn't puree the squash so it still has just a bit of texture, which I liked a lot.  I left out the wine and used brandy instead and replaced the heavy cream with some evaporated milk so I could eat the whole pot without doing more damage than necessary. I have using evaporated milk in place of cream in just about everything for quite a while and nobody has noticed so until I get the hairy eyeball I am going to keep doing it.

I love this soup and will make it again. I haven't persuaded The Kid to try it yet but that's okay. I will happily eat the whole pot myself if I have to.

Roasted Squash Soup
adapted from SPCookieQueen

approx 1 tbls olive oil
1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
4 bacon slices, chopped up
1 onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely dinced
1 bay leaf
about 1 tsp dried or 1 tbls fresh chopped sage
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
approx 2 cups cubed potatoes, cut into 1/2 cubes
1/4 cup brandy
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup evaporated milk

rub your butternut squash with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in on a baking tray, cut side up, for about 1 1/2 hours at 400F. Take it out and let it cool to room temp before you scoop out all the flesh and set aside.

In your soup pot, heat over med heat and cook your bacon until it's crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside on some paper towel. You want to have about 1 tbls of fat left in the pan. If there is much more than that, take it out and just leave a tbls in the pot. I actually had to add a tiny bit of olive oil because , for some reason, my bacon wasn't rendering much fat. As long as you end up with about a tbls of fat you are good to go.

Add the onion, celery, sage, bay leaf and salt and pepper and cook that for about 5 minutes. At this point, add the potatoes, stir them in well, cover the pot and let that cook for about 3 or 4 more minutes.

Take off the lid and add the brandy and let that cook down for a minute before you add the chicken stock and let that whole thing cook for another 15 minutes so that the potatoes are cooked and soft.
Add the squash flesh into the pot and let it simmer for another five minutes and then add the evaporated milk, take it off the heat and let it sit for a minute with the lid on.
Throw away the bay leaf, ladle into bowls and add a pinch of crumbled bacon on top.

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