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  • Mary Kay

Butternut Squash Soup with Sauteed Bacon



Add sauteed bacon to your soup with squash seeds as garnish!


Butternut Squash Bacon Soup. When you blend in the flavor of a good sauteed bacon, that makes it even better. And, bake up the seeds for a special garnish on top.


There’s nothing better than fresh veggies in a soup, especially a Butternut Squash Bacon Soup. When you blend in the flavor of a good sauteed bacon, that makes it even better. And, bake up the seeds for a special garnish on top.


Now I have a new veggie that I never cared for before I created this soup with bacon, maple syrup and brown sugar.


Other types of squash will also work, but my hubby prefers the Butternut from his childhood. His Mother always baked it in halves, added butter and served it mashed. Squashes do have different flavors, so pick your favorite and experiment with a tasty soup.


Since one butternut squash would make way too much soup for our two-person household, I like to roast a whole butternut, making half as a side for dinner, and making soup out of the rest. Of course, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container.


First, I cut, peel, clean and bake the squash in cubes. I cut them into cubes so they bake faster than the larger pieces. Stir in the maple syrup, brown sugar and oil before baking, to create some nice sweet flavors in the soup.


Then I use half the cubes in my soup and the rest are mashed for a side dish with dinner.

Sautéed bacon adds another nice salty flavor to the soup, before cooking the veggies in the bacon grease. Yum!


Adding the squash and garnishing it with baked squash seeds tops off this delicious soup. Of course, the seeds are not necessary as a garnish, but why waste them? They are tasty as a snack or garnish.


This recipe serves up 4 good sized bowls:


Prep your pans:

- I use a 4-quart soup pan for this soup recipe.

- Spread foil over a large (about 12"x17") rimmed baking sheet for baking the squash and seeds.


Gather your ingredients:

1 Butternut squash, about 10”- 12” long

3 Bacon slices

½ Onion

2 Celery stalks

2 Carrots

5 Mushrooms, optional

2 Bay Leaves

4-6 C Water or veggie broth

Salt & Pepper to taste


Ingredients for baking the squash and seeds:

½ C Maple syrup

½ C Brown Sugar

2 T Olive oil, extra virgin


Prep and bake your squash and seeds together:

- Preheat your oven to 325F degrees.

- Cut the butternut squash in quarters or 8 pieces. I find it easier to clean and peel when I have smaller pieces.

- Clean out the seeds and separate from the stringy innards, and set the seeds aside after rinsing them.

- Peel all the squash parts.

- Cube the squash and place in a bowl. I keep the cubes small enough for the soup, smaller than 1” cubes.

- Add the maple syrup, brown sugar and extra virgin olive oil and mix together with the cubed squash. Take a tablespoon of the maple syrup, brown sugar and oil mixture to separately stir into the seeds, too. (The maple and brown sugar will add a little sweetness to the soup.)

- Spread the cubed squash and seeds in a single layer on the foil lined baking sheet, keeping them separate. You’ll want to take the seeds out before the squash cubes are done.

- Bake at 325F degrees for 30-45 minutes, stirring a couple times to turn over the cubes and seeds.

- Every 5-10 minutes, check the seeds for doneness. They should be crispy and crunchy. Take out and set aside on a small plate to dry.

- The squash should still be a little firm for the soup.

- Take out half the cubes into a bowl to save for the soup.

- You can let the rest of the squash bake until it’s soft enough to mash in a bowl for a side dish with dinner. Or, leave the cubes whole. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste before serving.

- To continue making the soup, cut up the bacon and sauté in the soup pan on medium heat until crispy.

- Clean and dice the onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots until they are translucent or getting a little soft, over medium-low heat.

- Add the cubed, baked butternut squash and bay leaves, turning the heat up to medium.

- Add the water or broth. I prefer water instead adding salt-laden broth. It’s up to your which you like better.

- Adjust the heat on the burner so the soup simmers (not boiling) until the squash has softened up more.

- Salt and pepper to taste.

- When serving the soup, top with a few seeds.

- Serve your soup with a crusty bread or crackers. I especially like a thick slice of crusty bread spread with a little peanut butter along with my squash soup. Yum!!


Storage:

- I store the soup in a covered pan in the refrigerator. It’s easy enough to scoop up enough into a soup bowl to heat in the microwave for an individual serving, without heating up the entire pan.


- I have also stored the soup in a sealable plastic bag for up to a month. Place the open bag into a big bowl. Pour in the soup, and seal it, releasing any air. Place the bowl and the soup bag in the freezer. When it has frozen, I take it out of the bowl, double bag it and put it back in the freezer. Double bagging it helps eliminate any leakage.

- To thaw, set it in a big bowl in the refrigerator until it’s ready to heat. Pour it out into a microwave safe bowl, cover, and heat in the microwave. In my microwave, I heat it for one minute, then at 30 second intervals until it’s hot enough.


How about a little heat in your Squash Soup? For a little different flavor, when I reheated a bowl of squash soup for myself in the microwave, I added some rough chopped pepperoni on top. It added a little zing. For even more zing, add some jalapeno peppers!


Squash is something I never cared for, but when I noticed a pic of squash soup somewhere, I thought, “Why not?” So, I did try it. I love it, especially when I mix the maple syrup and brown sugar with the squash cubes for baking. Some people even top the bowl of hot soup with a dollop of sour cream. However you make and garnish your squash soup, “Bake your own Memories!”


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