Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The absolute bestest, most amazing butternut squash soup ever

Because it's freakishly cold here (and it seems, pretty much in this half of the country), and I like soup when I'm cold. This soup will rock your world. I promise. It's from Southern Living (Dec. 2003), which is always a good sign. And there's bacon.

Butternut Squash Soup

6 bacon slices
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped (Yes, there is a theme; are you catching on?)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 (12 ounce) packages frozen butternut squash, thawed (or 3lbs fresh, peeled, seeded, and chopped)
1 (32 ounce) container low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
2-3 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 1/2 Tbs honey
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp red pepper (or more, if you like a little spice! yum!)
1/4 c whipping cream

Cook bacon slices in oven a Dutch until crisp.
Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 Tbs drippings.
Crumble bacon and set aside.

Saute onion and carrots in bacon drippings in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender.
Add celery and onion and saute 5 more minutes.
Add garlic and saute 30 seconds.
Add butternut and chicken broth.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, or until carrots are tender.

Process squash mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth (or just use an immersion blender - I had so much fun using mine for the first time!)
Return to Dutch oven (if you had to take it out).
Add lime juice and next 7 ingredients.
Simmer 10-15 minutes or until thickened.

Top with bacon and garnish (with red pepper, sour cream, etc.), if desired.

8 servings according to the recipe. I am addicted, so I'd call it closer to 6.


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