I have to start off by saying that I am a very picky soup eater. Not because of ingredients, although carrot soup and I have nothing in common, but from the fact that I love soups that are well spiced, savory and just good eats. Soups without the proper spices and savoriness are just like, well, dish water.
Butternut squash soup is usually one of those soups that looks amazingly yummy but tastes rather funky. It either has too much sweet or not enough, making it taste really squash-y. I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and create the best tasting butternut squash soup. Ever. No really, I am. not. kidding. I’m making the claim because I’ve made this soup four times already. In a span of just over two weeks, that’s a lot. This soup is super easy, comes together so quickly, and tastes even better the next day. I want to just lick the bowl, and that does not happen often. Almost never. A soup must be really, really, really good for me to do that and this one is jus that.
As I was dreaming of this soup, my first thought was that it had to be savory, and there is nothing that adds more savoriness than bacon. I tried a pancetta first, but it was too strong and overpowering, so good old bacon it was. Garlic is always a must in just about everything that I cook, except baking. I think that would be wrong. Obviously I was going to use butternut, but I’ve been seeing so many pumpkin recipes lately, I thought what the heck, and added some of that in too. I know that pumpkin is also considered a squash, but it seemed to cut some of the squash-y flavor anyway. Another thing that usually seems to be a problem with butternut soup is sweetness. I think I found the perfect balance of sweet and savory without overwhelming any of the flavors. What I love about this soup is that while all the flavors blend, you get a hint of everything – shallots, garlic, bacon (savory), butternut and pumpkin, pumpkin spice and sweet brown sugar.
This soup is perfect for the cool, stormy, gloomy November days ahead, for lunch leftovers the next day at work (or at home), and while we’re at it, for a Thanksgiving starter. Warm, cozy, sweet and savory. My new favorite soup to make all. the. time. You’re going to love it!!
- 2 large shallots
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 large butternut (or 2 small)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ½ cup half & half (low fat milk works too)
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 1½ tsp pumpkin spice
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Garlic butter croutons
- Onion crisps (or straws)
- Crisp bacon
- Fresh parsley
- Peel, remove seeds, and chop butternut squash. Cook in water until tender and drain. Approximately 15 minutes.
- Chop bacon and sauté in pan until crisp. Remove to paper towel leaving the rendering in the bottom of the pan. Set aside for your topping when you serve the soup.
- Chop shallot and garlic. Sauté in rendering of bacon until slightly browned. Add cooked butternut and mash together.
- Add cream, vegetable stock, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Stir until mixed.
- Now, you could leave it like this, a little chunky, but I like it smooth. I blended it (it might take 2 batches depending on size) in my Vitamix/blender or immersion blender. Return to your pot to simmer and let flavors meld. This soup is super thick so if you like your soups a little thinner you can add a little more vegetable stock.
- Serve with a sprinkle of croutons, onion straws, the crisp bacon that you set aside earlier, and chopped fresh parsley. Add a side green salad with cranberries and goat crumbles cheese. Yum.
- Tip: This is the perfect soup to be served in a cute little pumpkin. A little work, but so worth it, if you want to impress some special people. 🙂