I have been on a soup kick lately, probably due to the cold weather, being able to see my breath when I run in the morning and gasp, snow! Soup on the brain led me to plan a soup party for our skiing friends a few weeks back.
Six soups simmered on the stove for guests to help themselves. Some just wanted to try one or two; a few wanted a “flight of soups” and tried all six! It was such a relaxed and fun party with everyone jammed into our kitchen sipping soup. One of the soups simmering was squash soup. Bright orange and studded with bacon, it was a big hit.
I picked up a very green turban squash at the local farmers market a week or so beforehand. It was really interesting looking- the most pronounced turban shape I had ever seen. Turban (or buttercup squash) is extremely flavourful and sweet-much more pronounced than butternut squash. Look for it in the fall when squash varieties are abundant. Turban is one of my favourites for cooking and roasting the squash before adding to the soup intensifies the flavour even more.
The most difficult part of this soup was trying to cut the hard shelled squash in half so I could scoop out the seeds and roast it. Although I managed without cutting off my left hand, be very careful when attacking the turban squash.
1 large squash, cut in half and seeded (about 3 lbs)
4 slices of bacon
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 Preheat oven to 375 F.
2 Lightly oil sheet pan. Place squash cut side down and bake for 45 minutes or until squash is tender.
3 While the squash is baking, cook bacon until crisp in a large pot. Crumble and set aside.
4 In same pot over medium heat, sauté onion in bacon fat until translucent.
5 When squash is cool enough to handle, scrape flesh from skin and mash then add to pot.
6 Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, stirring to combine.
7 Reduce heat to simmer. Use an immersion blender to puree until desired smoothness.
8 Add crumbled bacon. You also can thin out with more stock or milk if needed but I find it is usually just perfect.