As the cooler weather of fall approaches, there’s nothing like a warm and rich soup to heat you up. Squash is plentiful in the garden and using it in soup is a great way to enjoy this wonderful and healthy vegetable. This tasty apple bacon butternut squash soup is the perfect way to celebrate fall while highlighting this versatile vegetable.
Cooking Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Bacon
I love butternut squash, because it’s easy to grow and has a sweet, buttery and earthy flavor. It makes for great soup, especially with a side of freshly baked bread. If you are growing butternut squash in your garden, be sure to try out this great recipe.
What Makes this Recipe Special?
Apples - Adding tart apples, like a granny smith apple, provides a little bit of sweetness without overwhelming the soup. You can use any type of apple, but baking apples tend to offer the most flavor when cooked.
Bacon – Bacon provides a touch of saltiness and adds depth to the dish. Because this recipe is a little sweet, the salty bacon balances that out.
Maple Syrup – A dash of maple syrup partners well with the apples and the bacon without making the dish overwhelmingly sweet. You won’t even taste the maple syrup, but it really helps the other ingredients shine!
What Ingredients Do You Need?
- 4 cups Butternut squash about 3 lbs Butternut Squash
- 4 slices of Bacon
- 1 tbsp Garlic diced
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1/4 tsp Ginger ground
- 2 Granny smith apples peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 4 cups Chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper ground
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/4 cup Half and half
Preparing the Squash
Cooking the soup starts with preparing the squash. Slice your butternut squash in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds and pulp. Then, coat it in a bit of olive over and sprinkle salt and pepper over the flesh. Bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the flesh becomes soft.
Once your squash is cooked, allow the squash to cool until it can be handled. Spoon out the flesh of the squash and set aside. It should be soft and easy to remove.
Starting the Soup
While the squash is cooling, cook 4 slices of bacon in an enameled Dutch oven until crispy. Remove the bacon from the Dutch oven and set aside to cool.
Sauté the diced onions in the bacon drippings until slightly browned. Then add the diced apples and maple syrup to the bacon and onions and cook for 5 minutes until the apples become soft.
Adding the Squash
Once the apples have softened, add in your garlic, squash, salt, pepper, and chicken stock. Allow the soup to come to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
Transfer the soup into a blender and puree until the soup is smooth, then pour the soup back into the Dutch oven. You can also choose to use an immersion blender and puree the soup in the Dutch oven.
Finishing the Soup
Stir in the nutmeg, ginger, and half and half. Allow the soup to cook on low for another 10 minutes for the flavors to combine.
Once your soup is ready to serve, top the soup with crumbled bacon, sour cream and a little green onion or chives. Croutons are also tasty. Enjoy!
This delicious recipe is perfect for 6 servings and takes about 2 hours to make!
Tips for Cooking
- If you want to save time making this soup the day of, cook your squash the night before. The soup will only take about an hour to make if the squash is already pre-cooked.
- If you want a silky texture, you may need to strain the soup after pureeing. This is an optional step and a personal preference.
Cooking in a Dutch Oven
This recipe is great for cooking in a Dutch oven because everything can be done in the same dish. Although you could make this in a stock pot or even the crock pot, the Dutch oven is versatile and a great option for any cook.
Can This Recipe Be Vegetarian?
If you are looking for a vegetarian option, simply substitute the bacon drippings for 1 tbsp of olive oil. Instead of using chicken stock, use vegetable stock. Top the soup with pumpkin seeds or croutons for the added salty crunch at the end!
This sweet and savory soup is a wonderful option for those colder nights and makes a great addition to larger meals like Thanksgiving!
Recipe by Elizabeth Preble from The Lavender Homefront.