From the look of things, there’s probably snow on the ground where a lot of you are. It’s hard to believe we had a big enough snow here in the South to make a snowman, but it happens on occasion. However, unless you’re from somewhere not too far below the Mason-Dixon Line you might need a lesson on how to build one.
I’ll tell you how to make some soup that will warm you to your toes after being out in the frigid air, though. A Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup that is flecked with tiny bits of bacon and warmed by a splash of sherry will do the trick nicely. Sprinkle a few toasted pumpkin seeds and bacon pieces on top and you’ll forget all about the snow.
Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup
makes 6-8 servings
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 small pumpkin
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup cream sherry
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel squash and cut off top and bottom. Slice lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Chop into 2 inch pieces. Repeat with the pumpkin.
- Pile squash and pumpkin chunks into a baking dish and add 1/2 cup water. Bake about 1 hour until tender when pierced with a knife.
- Put the bacon pieces in a large pot and turn on the heat to medium-low. Cook until bacon is deep brown and crisp. Remove to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.
- Add the yellow and green onions and the garlic to the pot and sauté over medium heat until softened. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs and add them along with the bay leaf, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir for about one minute.
- Add the roasted squash and pumpkin and sauté 5 minutes longer, then add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf from the pot, and puree the soup in a blender, food processor, or with a stick blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and bring back to a simmer. Add the sherry and simmer gently for another 3-5 minutes. Pour in the cream and heat through.
- Add additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg and top with the reserved bacon pieces.