Audrie and i thought it would be nice to have a pumpkin soup "starter" this Thanksgiving. She had a delicious one in Germany, and Laurence has been eating a pumpkin-cider soup in NY that he keeps raving about. So i was determined to give them a good pumpkin-type soup this Thanksgiving.
I made three different soups - all with pumpkin or butternut squash and apples - but two of them were disappointing. One was so healthy that it had no taste; the second one, made with pancetta, was disappointing, but it had potential. So i decided to modify the recipe with pancetta, and now i think i have the perfect Thanksgiving butternut squash soup!
- 8 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dices (yields about 6 cups)
- 1 small Granny Smith or other tart-sweet apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch dices (yields about 1 cup)
- 1/2 small Gala or other sweet apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch dices (yields 1/2 cup)
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons of finely chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- 1 cup of apple cider
Use a slotted spoon and transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.
Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the squash to the pot with the bacon fat and cook until lightly browned. Try to resist stirring too often or it won't brown.
Stir in the apple, sage, salt and pepper and cook for about 4 or 5 minutes. (You'll see more browning occurring on the bottom of the pot than on the veggies.)
Add the broth and apple juice, scraping up any browned bits in the pot 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.
Remove from the heat and let cool somewhat.
Add about half the bacon to the soup and, using an immersion blender, puree.
Add more salt or pepper if needed.
Reheat the soup and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and the remaining bacon.
Buon appetito, and a joyous Thanksgiving to all!