I love fall mainly due to the fact that winter squash is in season and available everywhere. I love how versatile it is. Spaghetti squash is a tastier and healthier substitution for pasta in a recipe. Yup, I said that. Shake your head at me if you must, but I am an Italian girl from Providence and if I can eat spaghetti squash in place of pasta than you can too. I love how acorn squash mixed with almond butter, cinnamon, and a splash of maple syrup is a tastier and healthier substitution for oatmeal. Oh and it makes a fantastic post-workout meal because squash is a dense source of carbohydrate which you need after a hard workout, and because it’s pureed it’s easier to digest (which your gut needs after a hard workout.)
There is not one type of squash that I don’t love, but I will admit that butternut squash is my favorite. I have memories of my mom making it with brown sugar and butter and literally eating a half all to myself. Because I love squash so much my mom grows some in her garden for me. When you have 3 huge beautiful squash staring at you in your kitchen you gotta do something cool with them. Last year I had Brent peel and cube them & we froze it all for quick stews in the winter. (You didn’t think I was going to tackle that job did you?!) This year I wanted to do something different, so I created my version of butternut squash soup. In my sweet potato soup recipe I talk about how I need my soups to have some texture to them and they need to include a protein or else it won’t fill me up for long. I don’t prefer to puree this soup completely, but you are more than welcome to if a smoother consistency is what you like better.
Bacon Maple Butternut Cream Soup
3 large butternut squash cut in half & seeded
2 large onions
4 cloves of garlic, chopped.
8 ounces full fat coconut milk
8 oz.-1lb. Bacon
1 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2-1 t tsp. Cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
1 tsp. Salt
32 oz. chicken stock
1/2 cup Maple syrup + extra for garnish
Cinnamon for garnish
1/4 cup Olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 425°F
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and brush with olive oil.
Place face down on a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until soft.
While squash is baking, cook bacon in a large pot. When done, remove bacon and set aside; crumble it when cool.
Leave all bacon drippings in pan and saute onions and the garlic until translucent.
Add chicken stock, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, salt, maple syrup, bacon, and squash; simmer 10-15 minutes so that the flavors incorporate.
Using a blender (regular or immersion) puree as much of the soup as you like. I pureed about half of the soup because I prefer it chunky.
Garnish with maple syrup & cinnamon if desired.
This recipe stores nicely in the freezer. I portion any leftovers into 2 cup containers and freeze for a quick lunch. This is a great way to build up your emergency stash of food for the times when meal planning didn’t happen.