Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Butternut Squash Soup with apple and bacon

It was a rainy Tuesday in Seattle when Mr. Snowgoose and I decided to warm our bellies after a long run with this squash soup.

Because we only had 5 strips of bacon and a can of chicken stock, we cut the recipe in half.

Note: This is not vegan. I'm sure you could sub in vegetable broth and fakin' bacon, but it wouldn't taste as good.

From Cook's Illustrated Magazine. Makes 6 servings

8 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice (to yield about 6 cups)
1 small granny smith or other tart-sweet apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch dice (to yield about 1 cup)
1 1/2 tbs finely chopped fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups low-salt chicken or vegetable broth

1. In a 5 qt stock pot over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp and gold, 8-10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.

2. Increase the heat to medium high. Add the squash to the bacon fat and cook until slightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.

3. Stir in the apple, sage, 1 tsp. sale, and 1/2 tsp pepper; cook for about 4 minutes.

4. Add the broth, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the squash and apples are very soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cook somewhat.

5. Add about half the bacon to the soup and puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor or stand blender. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Reheat the soup and garnish each serving with the remaining bacon.

Notes from the cooks:
1. The soup was a little salty. You could probably omit the salt since the bacon is chock full of sodium. Also, when halving the recipe make sure you halve the spices. Our soup was a tad over spiced.

2. If you don't have sage, you can sub in rosemary or thyme. We used thyme.

3. Our soup was much darker than the photo in the magazine, probably from all the bacon bits.

4. This tasted awesome. I'm totally going to make it again.

5. For such a simple recipe it takes forever to make. You'd think something with 5 ingredients wouldn't take an hour and a half.

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