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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Butternut Squash Soup with Greens and Bacon

butternut squash and bacon soup
Butternut Squash Soup with Greens and Bacon

The relationship between weather and soup in our house is as follows: the colder the temperature, the more soup made in our kitchen. Given that this has been one of the worst winters I can remember, there has been a lot of soup eating here in recent months. We're enjoying a lot of our past favorites, but I've also had fun discovering new soups (maybe the only upside of this dreadful weather?!).
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Butternut squash isn't a stranger to our soups. We love the curried butternut squash soup and butternut squash and kale minestrone, and now this one! The squash is actually cooked and pureed, serving as the brothy base which is then chunked up with beans, veggies, and chunks of bacon. The finished soup is full of texture, flavor, and, most importantly, warmth!
butternut squash

P.S. Did you win the Smart Balance giveaway? Winner announced here!
One Year Ago: Zesty White Bean Burgers and Peanut Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables
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Butternut Squash Soup with Greens and Bacon
from Food and Wine Magazine November 2006

-6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
-1 (2 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch pieces
-5 sprigs thyme
-2 garlic cloves, halved
-2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 2-inch pieces
-1 celery rib, cut into 2-inch pieces
-1 tbsp vegetable oil
-2 thick slices bacon, cut crosswise (1/2 inch thick)
-2 cups coarsely chopped kale
-1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
-1 medium carrot, finely diced
-1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
-1 cup corn kernels
-salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large stockpot, combine the broth, squash, thyme, garlic, leeks, and celery. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
2. In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the bacon strips and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp (about 7 minutes).
3. Discard the thyme sprigs from the soup. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add the bacon, kale, beans, carrot, bell pepper, and corn, and bring mixture to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender (about 7 minutes). Season soup with salt and pepper before serving.