Butternut Squash Soup with Smokey Bacon and Maple Syrup
From The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook (The Countryman Press, May 2013)
Serve this hearty soup with crusty bread and a tossed green salad.
6 to 8 SERVINGS
4 ounces (about 4 slices) smoked bacon, chopped
8 tablespoon (4 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup pure Vermont maple syrup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus extra as needed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, plus extra as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 – 8 slices baguette, toasted and buttered
Chopped fresh chives
Method of Preparation
1. Cook the bacon in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the pot, add 4 tablespoons butter, and melt over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the squash, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until squash is fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add stock if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking until heated through. Season with additional lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Place 1 baguette slice in the bottom of each bowl and top with the reserved bacon. Ladle the soup into the bowls and garnish with chives.
Recipe from Belted Cow Bistro
Image by Oliver Parini