Healthy, elegant and full of flavor, this delicious Roasted Butternut Bacon Soup is perfect for lunches, casual dinners, and meals on the run! It also makes a wonderful appetizer soup!
What's not to love about a silky smooth, slightly smoky, super delicious soup that's loaded with all sorts of healthy fruit and veggies? Recently, after seeing a huge display of butternut squash (and throwing a few in my cart), ideas for this Roasted Butternut Bacon Soup started swirling around in my head...
I could hardly wait to put my ideas to work when I got home and when I served it that night for dinner with a simple green salad and a loaf of warm, crusty bread, everyone agreed it was a winner.
Even better the next day!
I've served it since as appetizer soup served in small pretty bowls and as a hearty lunch after an autumn hike. I love that it can be made a day or two in advance and just seems to get better as all the flavors have a chance to meld.
Loaded with nutritious ingredients
You might be thinking that it's not a very healthy soup since it's called Butternut Bacon Soup. Bacon tends to get a bad rap, but I think it's a fabulous ingredient (when used in moderation), that adds a super delicious layer of smokey flavor.
Plus, this Roasted Butternut Bacon Soup calls for four strips of smoky bacon and makes 8-10 servings, so divided up, that's not much bacon per serving. Plus, there's butternut squash, which is loaded with great nutrition, along with onions, bell peppers and apple. The apple adds a touch of sweetness to this wonderfully savory soup.
The easy way to cook butternut squash
The beauty of this Roasted Butternut Bacon Soup is that everything's done in one pot except roasting the squash. I love preparing squash for soup in the oven. I simply half the squash and coat the outside with a bit of oil. Into the oven it goes until it's is soft, tender and scoopable. There's no peeling or dicing involved so it's definitely a time-saver and the seeds are super easy to scoop out at this point.
Roasting also causes the squash to caramelize a bit adding another layer of delicious flavor. The final step is pureeing everything to a silky smooth texture. You can either use an immersion blender or a regular blender for this.
I love to finish this soup off with the reserved bacon, a sprinkle of Feta cheese and a few fresh thyme leaves for a "pretty as a picture" garnish!
Don't let this wonderful season pass without whipping up a batch of this fabulous, silky smooth, Roasted Butternut Bacon Soup. I think you'll agree, with the first spoonful... this is fall at its finest!
Café Tips for making this Roasted Butternut Bacon Soup
- Butternut squash is usually sold by the pound. They're very heavy and can, therefore, be quite expensive. If you happen to have an Aldi nearby, they're usually priced per unit and end up being MUCH cheaper. The squash I used could have cost as much as $4.50 if I purchased it by the pound but it was $1.89 at Aldi! (This is not a sponsored post.)
- Most squash, especially butternut is very difficult to cut as they are so hard and dense. I've found that if you place the whole squash in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, it softens enough to make cutting much easier.
- This soup makes a fairly large batch but it's delicious for lunches and quick meals on the run. I like to add a simple green salad and a loaf of crusty bread for a delicious, casual meal.
- It also freezes well. If it separates a bit as it thaws, just give it a good stir to combine everything back together.
- I love my immersion blender. It's a little kitchen workhorse for me at this time of year when I'm making lots of soups. You can blend everything right in the pot so it saves time and extra dirty dishes. I've tried different immersion blenders, some simple, some super fancy, but I really like this Cuisinart 200-Watt Immersion Blender.
Healthy, elegant and full of flavor, this delicious Roasted Butternut Bacon Soup is perfect for lunches, casual dinners and meals on the run! It also makes a wonderful appetizer soup!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large butternut squash around 3 pounds
- 4 strips thick-cut smoky bacon cut in half lengthwise and then cut in small dice
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 3 medium cloves garlic smashed and peeled
- 1 large golden delicious apple cored and cut into chunks - don't worry about peeling it
- 1 large yellow or orange bell pepper coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
- ¼ cup half and half
- freshly ground black pepper
- crumbled Feta cheese for garnish
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil for easy cleanup.
Place whole butternut squash in the microwave and cook on high power for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave (using a hot pad or clean kitchen towel) and place it on a large cutting board. Cut a tiny slice off the bottom end of the squash, then set it on the work surface, with the cut side down. Starting at the top, sliced it in half vertically.
Drizzle olive oil on the prepared sheet pan. Rub the oil with your hands to coat the foil, then place halved squash on the foil (cut side down) and rub the skin all over with your oiled hands. Place pan in the oven and roast 40-45 minutes, until squash is very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then scoop out the seeds and discard. Scoop out the squash and set it aside.
While the squash is roasting, cook bacon over medium heat in a medium-large dutch oven until crisp and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
You should have about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan. If there's more than that, discard anything above 2 tablespoons.
Continuing with medium heat, add the onions, apple, bell pepper, garlic cloves, cumin, curry and cinnamon to the bacon fat in the pot. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the veggies are softened and onions translucent.
Add chicken stock and roasted squash. Cook, covered (with lid slightly vented) for 20 minutes or until veggies are very soft and tender. Remove from heat, add fresh thyme and puree with an immersion (stick) blender or a regular blender. If using a regular blender, allow the soup to cool for a while before blending to prevent a messy explosion (caused by steam building up in the blender container). Also, if using a regular blender, leave the center cap off but cover the opening with a small kitchen funnel or a clean kitchen towel while blending.
Add half and half and stir well. Taste and add more salt, if needed and a generous grind of fresh pepper.
Serve in pretty bowls, garnished with a spoonful of crumbled Feta cheese, a sprinkle of the reserved bacon and more fresh thyme leaves.
See Café Tips above for further instructions and more detailed tips.
Thought for the day:
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
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