It’s cold, wet and grey up here in the Highlands at the moment. With the evenings closing in, the leaves flaming out in red and golden hues and Halloween just around the corner, we’ve been feeling the need for hearty autumn dishes.
Today I made smoked bacon and butternut squash soup. It’s a flavoursome and hearty dish and surprisingly easy to make. All in, it took about 40 minutes to cook from scratch.
1 Onion, chopped
2 – 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
3 – 6 Rashers of Smoked Bacon (to taste), chopped
1 large Butternut Squash
750ml Vegetable stock
750ml Chicken stock
2 Bay Leaves
6 – 8 Sprigs of Thyme
Prepare the butternut squash by scooping the seeds out and peeling it. Set the seeds aside and dice the butternut squash into 2 – 3cm cubes.
In a large pan, fry the onions and garlic in a little oil until they are starting to soften. Add the bacon and fry that too for a couple of minutes.
Add the diced butternut and fry for a few minutes until the edges of the cubes start breaking down.
Add the stock and bay leaves and stir. Add the thyme, remembering to strip the leaves from the woody stalks. Stir and then leave to simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.
While that’s doing it’s thing, separate your squash seeds from the stringy bit of the butternut and put them in a bowl. Mix with a small amount of oil and some salt and pepper and then spread them onto a baking tray. Bake at 170 degrees for 25 minutes.
When the butternut chunks in the soup are soft, remove the pan from the heat, take out the bay leaves and then blend it using a handheld blender or a jug. Please be careful blending hot liquids.
We served ours sprinkled with the roast pips, which was rather nice. We also thought it would lend itself to a swirl of fresh or sour cream. It would even be delicious with some crispy bacon pieces or Caerphilly cheese crumbled onto it.