23 October 2008

Squash Soup with Crumbled Bacon

I must admit, winter squash is not my favorite.  In my mind, I remember my mother making acorn squash all the time, although probably it was not more than a few times a year.  In my mother's defense, she did make the acorn squash palatable by baking it with butter, orange juice and brown sugar.  But I remember hating the squash after finishing the bites saturated with the sweet, buttery cooking liquid.  As an adult, I have learned to look past my initial aversion to winter squash, but it is still not my favorite.  It does give me pause however, thinking about what I make that my kiddos will have an aversion to when they grow up.
During fall, our CSA basket always contains some interesting squash.  Last winter, I must confess, I had to throw away some winter squash that had wintered too long in my pantry.  So when we started receiving our squash this year, I knew I had to cook it quickly or risk the same squash demise.  I have been reading Tom Valenti's Soups, Stews, and One-Pot Meals this week and in it there is a technique of laying strips of bacon across squash while it is baking to give it a nice smokey flavor.  Since everything is better with bacon, I took Tom Valenti's recipe for Butternut Squash Soup with Minced Bacon, and changed it to suit my cooking style.  The Squash Soup I created has a wonderful, smokey flavor from using the bacon technique, and the texture is smooth and silky from the long, slow cooking.
By the way, I checked Soups, Stews and One-Pot Meals out from the library, but it is now on my "to buy" list.  This book is chock full of Italian grandmother type meals.  I want to try my hand at his Chicken Hearts and Gizzards in Italian-Style Tomato Sauce next.  If I don't tell my children what it is, perhaps their aversion won't be automatic.  

Squash Soup with Crumbled Bacon by Joie de vivre


6 lbs. of winter squash (I'm not sure of the variety I used though!)
6 Tbls. unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
Couple sprigs of thyme plus more for plating
Bay leaf
1 qt. chicken stock
1 can (15 oz.) beef stock
Salt and pepper


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Lay strips of bacon across the open face of each squash half and place open side up on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven and bake until a fork can pierce the squash flesh easily.  Mine took 1 hour to bake, you can start checking on yours after 40 minutes or so depending on the variety of squash you are using.  Remove the bacon to paper towel lined plates and let the squash cool slightly.  Crumble bacon when cool and set aside.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, pour the melted butter from the squash or drizzle in some olive oil.  Saute the onion over medium low heat until softened, but not browned.  Put in the thyme sprigs and the bay leaf and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.  Scoop squash into the bowl and stir for 1 minute constantly so squash does not scorch.  Pour in the stocks and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring soup to a boil.  After bringing soup to a boil, turn heat down, partially cover, and let simmer very gently for an hour.  Fish out the thyme and bay leaf with tongs and puree soup with an immersion blender.  

To serve:  Ladle into bowls, top with some crumbled bacon and sprinkle with additional thyme leaves.


Laurena said...

Okay, I know I've said this before, but I sooo want to come eat at your house.
If you're ever feeling really creative, you can try to make stuff that Tim will eat so I can use your recipes. No sauces, no soups, no stews, no tomatoes, no mushrooms, no avocado, no fat, no bones, no (obvious) butter, no cheese, no mayonaise, no cow's milk, no desserts, no seafood of any sort, no (obvious) oils, nothing fried (pan or vat), nothing breaded, no squash of any sort, no herbs that can be seen with the naked eye, no broccoli, etc. It probably would be shorter to just put what is acceptable!
I love my husband to the ends of the earth, but I would really love to cooks something interesting some time that someone besides me would eat!
I guess that's why Bill watched cooking shows with me at the Eagle Rock house, and not Tim.:)

Anne said...

That soup looks wonderful! I'll have to check out that book-

Robin Sue said...

Hi- I have never heard of putting the bacon on the squash while cooking but why not I think it would make the squash great! I will have to try this out. I need to read that French Lady book and see if I can live French (and lose a little weight on the side!) Thanks for stopping by my blog today and commenting on the Jalapeno Poppers!

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

I am obsessed with orange-colored soups. No matter what's in the soup, as long as it's orange it will be good. Adding some smokey bacon sounds like a great idea.

Robin Sue said...

Hi-You are very welcome to use "Blogs of the Month" on your site. Thanks so much for asking! I think it's a fun way to show off some of the sites I like with out having this huge foodie bog roll- my roll would be huge- foodie roll that is, not my tummy roll!! Although blogging makes my tummy bigger, and my thighs, and my bum...! Snort! Have a great weekend!

Foodycat said...

I just adore butternut & pumpkin and the whole squash family, so if you as a non-squash lover thought this was good I suspect I would think I had died and gone to heaven! And of course bacon makes everything good.

Nicole said...

This looks great. I made butternut squash soup for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it!

mikky said...

the soup looks great... bet it tastes good too... :)

Heidi / Savory Tv said...

How gorgeous looking! Thank you for sharing the recipe, I would not have thought of both chicken and beef broth together!