I hate the chill of fall. It actually managed to snow most of the afternoon last Saturday (on the upside this meant I got to try out my new Running Room winter wear!). All I want is to warm up, and while I am sure the a sweater works just fine, one of my favourite ways to warm up is actually a hot bowl of soup (and hot chocolate, but that’s hardly filling) (Dang it. Now I want hot chocolate.). I love soup in the winter because it’s easy to get filled up on all sorts of winter comfort foods – as if the cheesy goodness will make us feel better about living somewhere where it is cold 4 months of the year and freezing cold another 4 months. But those “comfort foods” aren’t always so comfortable on the waistline in the spring. So it’s nice to mix it up, plus my favourite soup recipes aren’t your Plain Jane broth and noodles recipes, usually I pick soup recipes because either A) they have a lot of protein/fibre or B) they have lots of vegetables so combined with a salad – what up half my servings of vegetables without knowing it? – bam! Nutritious, delicious, and filling meal.
The beauty of fall though means we are in both apple season and butternut squash season. And it’s always bacon season, which makes this dish doubly amazing. For the vegetarians out there, you can remove the bacon (or use tof-acon – is that a thing?) and just add some oil instead to the pan, and since you’re awesome top it with goat cheese instead of bacon.
This recipe is SUPER easy, and quick to prepare so it’s great for busy or late nights where you’re just too rushed or tired to cook. With a butternut squash base you’re getting a hefty does of potassium, beta-carotene (and other carotenoids), vitamins C and B6, and a hefty does of antioxidants. That’s a lot of goodness in own fruit (yes, since it has seeds it is technically a fruit). The apple gives it just a hint of sweetness without being overpowering.
Like most recipes, I suggested making something before actually being aware of how to make it and then set about getting general ideas until I had a gist of what to do and then tooling around and usually ending up with something yummy. Fortunately this did turn out to be delicious and I wasn’t forced to admit defeat.
Apple & Bacon Butternut Squash Soup
- 4 slices bacon
- 1lb butternut squash diced
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 1/2 onion coarsely chopped
- 1/2 large carrot, sliced
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 2 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
- salt and pepper
- Fry the bacon, remove from pan when crispy.
- In the same pan brown the butternut squash (don’t stir too much). Add the apples, onions and carrots and fry until slightly softened and the onions are clear.
- Add the broth and herbs/spices and simmer for about 10 minutes until the squash and apples are soft. Add half the bacon.
- Cool down slightly. Blend in batches (unless you have a blender that can fit it all) and reheat.
- Serve topped with the other half of the crumbled bacon and pecan pieces.