Buttery Butternut Squash Soup

Another favorite soup recipe of mine has to be Butternut Squash. This recipe is more than just soup, it is hardy and thicker. I think it is unbelievably annoying when you are drinking soup and it feels like you are drinking flavored water. I am not girl who is shy about eating and I love my food so naturally, I want something of substance to fill me up!
My best friend Mary is addicted to all things butternut squash and I dedicate the recipe to her.

This soup has a lovely smokey flavor to it, I know traditionally this soup does not include a heat element but the Indian in me couldn’t help it. For my vegetarian friends, feel free to leave the bacon out of the recipe and use butter. As I am writing this, I have a big bowl of soup, the remote and a huge comforter waiting for me. Ah, this is heaven!

Butternut Squash SoupIngredients
1/2lb bacon
1 large onion, diced into ½ inch pieces
2 large carrots, diced into ½ inch pieces
5 cloves of garlic, minced
4lbs cooked butternut squash
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
¼ teaspoon clove
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoons cumin
½ tablespoon paprika
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Serving Butternut Squash SoupDirections
Cook the bacon in the soup pot, preferably an enamel cast iron pot. Take the bacon out and leave on a paper towel covered plate to drain.

Add the onion and carrots and allow them to cook until translucent and they should brown just a bit. Add the garlic and let cook for an additional minute. Add the squash, chicken stock and seasonings and allow it to come to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to medium and allow it to cook until all the vegetables are tender. This should take an additional 15-20 minutes.

Let cool a bit and use an emersion blender or food processor to smooth and mix all ingredients. Add additional chicken stock to get the consistency you desire.

Serve with crumpled bacon and cheese squares on top, and enjoy! You can also add cream to the thick soup to give it a creamier texture. when doing this, I like to pour the cream over the top in a few long lines and stir it around so it has a beautiful design when I serve the dish.

TIP: I am all about the easy method. Take the butternut squash, wash the outside, poke several holes throughout and for each pound, microwave it on high for 4 minutes. Let cool and then use a spoon to scrape the inside out. This is much easier than peeling it.

Cheese Squares
16 ounces of shredded cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, fontina and jack cheese are all amazing in this recipe)

Take the shredded cheese and place on a non-stick cookie sheet and place in an oven preheated to 425 for 5-7 minutes.

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