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squash soup with bacon recipe

Squash Soup with Bacon

There are a million recipes for pumpkin or squash soup on the Internet, but I'd like to think mine is a little different -- thanks to bacon and creme fraiche or sour cream. I use either smoked or unsmoked bacon and butternut squash for this recipe, but you can use other squash or pumpkin, too. Remember however that pumpkin is more watery than butternut squash, and that smoked bacon can be overpowering. Salt pork is an excellent substitute for unsmoked bacon. This soup will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge, so you can make a double batch if you want.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Serves 6 people
Author Hank Shaw

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large yellow or white onion, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 to 1/2 pound bacon or salt pork use less if it's really smoky, diced
  • 1 quart turkey, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large butternut squash, about 2 pounds
  • Salt
  • 2 heaping tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
  • Chopped chives or rosemary flowers for garnish

Instructions

  1. Peel the squash, scrape out the insides and chop it into chunks.
  2. In a large pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat and add the onions and bacon. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent. You don't want them browning. Pour in the stock, add the squash, bay leaves and a healthy pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for an hour. Stir it once or twice in that time.
  3. Uncover the pot, remove the bay leaves and puree the soup, either with an immersion blender, by moving the soup to a blender or a food processor, or by pushing it through a food mill. An immersion blender will give you a slightly chunky soup, a blender the smoothest. Return the soup to the pot, put the bay leaves back in and simmer, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. Stir frequently to keep it from sticking on the bottom.
  4. Add salt to taste. Right before you serve, whisk in the creme fraiche. Garnish with chives or rosemary flowers if you have them.