Butternut squash is a favorite in my house but so is a warm comfy bowl of soup. I love the salty sweet topping on this version. This is easy to convert to vegetarian and there are a lot of creative options for toppings.
4 slices bacon
½ chopped onion
1 chopped carrot
1 stalk chopped celery
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped.
32 oz chicken stock
dash of nutmeg
drizzle of pure maple syrup
Peel, seed and chop squash. Spread chunks on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, toss. Cook at 400 degrees for 15 mins.
While the squash is roasting, cook bacon in a large soup pot until crispy. Remove bacon to drain on a paper towel covered plate. Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery in bacon fat until soft, about three minutes. Add roasted squash to onion, carrots, and celery and stir. Add chicken stock until vegetables are covered, reserving some for later. Bring to a boil. While waiting for the veggies to boil, chop bacon.
Carefully pour hot soup into your Vitamix or high-powered blender, or use an immersion blender, start on low, slowly increase speed and blend until smooth. Add more chicken stock if needed to reach desired consistency. Add nutmeg and stir. Taste, then add salt and pepper to your liking. Pour soup into serving bowls, sprinkle chopped bacon on top and drizzle maple syrup.
Skip the bacon and this could easily be made vegetarian. Use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock and cook the veggies in butter instead. You could add red peppers, other spices, and veggies, or try different toppings. I enjoy a dollop of crème fraiche rather than topping with maple syrup. It adds a creamy indulgence and cuts the sugar.