Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Bacon Bits
When I was smelling and tasting this soup, it became fall. I didn’t care that it was still ninety degrees outside or that not a single leaf has turned on my block. Nope. Didn’t matter. This butternut squash soup with maple bacon made it fall, suddenly and deliciously. 🍂🍁🍂
Before we dive into the soup, I’ll be doing a cooking demo next Tuesday at the Sprouts Farmer’s market in Wheat Ridge, CO! I’ll be demonstrating a few fun fall recipes (including this soup) and there will be lots of samples and giveaways. Plus, it’s completely free! So, if you happen to be in the area, please come say HI!
Okay, back to this soup. It’s actually almost embarrassing how easy this soup is. The hardest part is waiting for the squash to roast. After that you’re just a few ingredients away from a delicious soup. Don’t forget the real maple syrup also. It’s takes it to another level!
For squash: Slice butternut squash in half vertically. Place squash cut-side down on a baking sheet and poke some holes in the top with a knife or fork. Bake at 350 degrees until very tender, about an hour.
For maple bacon, lay bacon strips out on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes until the bacon is cooked and starting to get crispy. Remove from oven and brush with real maple syrup. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
1) In a sturdy pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until vegetables are translucent and soft.
2) Scoop flesh out of roasted butternut squash and add to pot along with salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir together, add vegetable stock, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes.
3) Use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth. If you are using a normal blender, let soup cool briefly before blending and blend in batches.
4) Taste soup and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serve with crumbled maple bacon and maybe an extra drizzle of maple syrup!
Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Bacon
The bad news is that you need to roast a whole butternut squash for this recipe. It takes about an hour at 350 degrees F. Just cut it in half and roast it cut-side down. The good news is that you can do this whenever you have the time. You can keep the squash in your fridge for a few days until you want to make the soup.
While you have your oven on for the squash, also make the maple bacon AKA the most delicious soup topper you’ll ever make.
There are only two key tips here. First, line your baking sheet with parchment paper. It’ll keep the bacon from sticking once you slather on the syrup and make for easier clean up.
Second, don’t use the thick bacon. Just use normal thin bacon so it gets crispy.
Bake the bacon for about 15 minutes, then take it out and brush on some maple syrup. You just need a thin coat on each strip.
Return the bacon to the oven for another 5 minutes and then pull it out and let it cool completely.
The results are sweet and savory crispy strips of bacon. Try not to eat all of these before the soup is done.
Making the Soup
Making the soup is actually the easiest part of this once you have the squash and bacon done.
Add some butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once it’s melted, add the onion and garlic and simmer them until they are soft.
Then add the spices and roasted squash. Stir in the vegetable stock and bring the whole thing to a simmer.
Once the whole thing has simmered for a few minutes, it’s ready to blend! If you have an immersion blender, this is fast. If you are using a more traditional tabletop blender, you’ll have to blend in batches and let the soup cool a bit.
Either way though, the soup should blend up nicely and be really smooth.
Before you serve the soup, taste it! It might need another pinch of salt or pepper. Adjust it to your liking! You could add a little chili powder or cayenne if you wanted some spice to it.
Serve the soup with a healthy amount of crumbled bacon bits, a drizzle of real maple syrup, and a few fresh oregano leaves.
I’m not sure you can get more fall than this!