I love Fine Cooking magazine. I’d only been married a few years when the magazine first came out and I bought my first issue. Oh the recipes….. the photos!….. I was instantly hooked! I subscribed to it right away and asked for a subscription renewal every year at Christmas. It was the best Christmas gift ever. Then they came out with their magazine archive on DVD-ROM. Every recipe from the first issue to the present all on one disc. How practical is that? Of course, you still need to subscribe every year after that to keep your archive up-to-date, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s so worth it when you consider the yearly cost of a paper subscription, the ease of searching for recipes on the computer as opposed to flipping through pages of issues, and the fact that the discs take up so much less storage space.
Anyway, I had some butternut squash and it was such a chilly night that I thought it would be a good time to serve a nice, warm, hearty soup for dinner. The recipe for this soup was published in an issue of Fine Cooking from 2005. Their description of it – “smoky bacon, herby sage, and sweet apple give this squash soup layers of flavor” – sounded just like what I was looking for so I thought I would give it a try. It was yummy. I served it with a green salad on the side and it made for a simple yet filling meal. Oh, the recipe is also paleo-friendly which my brother-in-law will appreciate since he’s following a paleo diet right now. I’m going to have to make it for him one of these days.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH APPLE & BACON
(Serves 6 to 7)
- 8 slices bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch strips
- 2½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice (about 6 cups)
- 1 small Granny Smith or other tart-sweet apple, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice
- 1½ tbsps. finely chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Increase heat to medium high; add the squash to the pot with the bacon fat and cook until lightly browned.
- Stir in the apple, sage, salt and pepper, and cook about 5 minutes more.
- Add the broth, scraping up any browned bits in the bottom of the pot.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the squash and apples are very soft.
- Remove from the heat and let cool a little.
- Add about half the bacon back into the soup and puree, using an immersion blender. (You could also use a stand blender and puree the soup in batches.)
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Bring the soup back up to a simmer.
- Spoon soup into bowls and garnish each serving with remaining bacon.