This is a recipe I’ll always be grateful to Roger for sharing with me as it brings such enthusiastic smiles to my family when set at the table. Not that it’s a big surprise – when the squash comes out of the shopping bag the excitement begins. “Are you going to make the soup tonight?!” Warm, creamy and comforting, the blissful combination of flavors and the serenely smooth texture make this dish beg for seconds, thirds, and even fourths. The only thing I can think of that could possibly make this recipe better is doubling it!
- 1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes, about a half inch
- 3 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
- 1 dense tablespoon of minced fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 2 small to medium sized leeks, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/4 lb bacon
- 3 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
Preheat oven to 450°.
In a large bowl, toss squash, garlic, and thyme together with oil to coat. Transfer to a 9 x 12 inch pyrex baking dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and fresh ground pepper, and bake for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is soft and just turning brown.
While the squash bakes, cook the bacon in a stovetop skillet until just crispy. Remove bacon and toss leeks into skillet cooking in bacon fat until the leeks are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
When squash is done, remove from oven and transfer into a large soup pot along with leeks and pan drippings.
Pour stock into pot to cover squash/leek mixture about a half inch over. Add more stock if needed for this.
Bring to a boil then turn down heat and let simmer, partially covered, for about 3o minutes.
Remove soup from heat and purée with immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender, until smooth. Add milk and blend another minute or two until desired creamy consistency is reached.
Crumble or chop the cooked bacon and stir into the creamed soup.
Reheat if necessary and serve.