It’s time. I should share this with you.
Do you like bacon?
I thought so – and if you don’t, my apologies – try this one instead.
But if you do, I should stop keeping them for myself, and tell you about the bacon I stock my freezer with – the ends and pieces bacon packages. They don’t sound very glamorous – and they aren’t. But for me, they’re perfect.
Why? Well, it’s great for cooking. I love cooking just a bit of bacon with kale, or with roasted vegetables like my fiance did last night, or as a base for soups – and finally we’re getting to the point. This soup makes the most of the extra smokiness you might find in the ends and pieces packages (more surface area for the smoke), not that it would be bad at all with prettier bacon! – and it’s downright delicious.
Farmhouse Butternut Squash & Bacon Soup
Adapted from Epicurious
4 bacon slices or equivalent
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 t. caraway seeds
2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 lbs. carrots, chopped
1 Granny Smith or other tart apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 thyme sprigs
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
3 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
salt & pepper
1 to 1 1/2 t. cider vinegar
Cook bacon in a 4-to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and leave fat in pot.
Add garlic and caraway seeds to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Add squash, carrots, apple, thyme, bay leaves, broth, water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaves.
Purée about 4 cups soup in a blender (or just use an immersion/stick blender, if you have one), in batches if necessary, until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar (don’t go overboard with the latter until you taste it). Serve topped with crumbled bacon.