This Butternut Squash Apple Soup is the perfect cold-weather appetizer or light dinner. It’s even better topped with cornbread croutons and bacon.
For the Soup:
- 12 ounces thick-cut apple-smoked bacon, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
- 1 large butternut squash, seeded (keep seeds), peeled, and diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- Nutmeg, pinch
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup Half and Half cream
- 2 cups cornbread cubes (from homemade or store-bought cornbread)
- Cornbread croutons (see instructions)
- Crème fraîche
- Roasted butternut squash seeds (see instructions)
Make the Roasted Squash Seeds:
- Peel, halve, and scoop out the butternut squash seeds. Rinse seeds under cold water in a colander, removing squash flesh, and pat dry. Toss seeds evenly in a little bit of olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Roast at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, until starting to brown. Cool and set aside.
Cook the Bacon:
- In a hot pan, cook the diced bacon until crispy and the fat has rendered. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and place on paper towels to dry. Reserve the bacon fat.
Make the Croutons:
- Toss 2 cups of cornbread cubes with 3-4 tablespoons of the bacon fat, sea salt, pepper, and a pinch of dried thyme. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until crispy, about 20 minutes, turning half-way through.
Make the Soup:
- In a deep soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat.* Add in the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery, and cook until softened. Add in the butternut squash and apples. Season with sea salt, pepper, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Add in 4 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 25 minutes, until all the vegetables are very tender.
- Working in batches, puree the soup until completely smooth and free of any lumps. Return to the pot and warm through. On low heat, stir in the Half and Half cream and a tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary.
- Portion the soup into bowls and garnish with the crispy bacon, a swirl of crème fraîche, cornbread croutons, and squash seeds. Sprinkle with additional fresh rosemary. Enjoy!
*You should have enough bacon fat for both the croutons and soup if using thick-cut bacon. If you do not have enough bacon fat, simply replace what you need with olive oil.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 331
- Sugar: 8g
- Sodium: 550mg
- Fat: 13g
- Carbohydrates: 41g
- Fiber: 3.1g
- Protein: 11.9g
- Cholesterol: 48mg