My friend Jenny has a knack for finding THE BEST fall season recipes. My favorite–the one I make at least once a month in the fall and winter–is a soup of butternut squash and white beans. It’s the first thing I ever made with cumin (mmmm! new spice discovery!) and seems more appealing with the delicious topping of toasted pumpkin seeds and crispy bacon.
I haven’t made it yet this season, but today’s weather (cold wind, rainy Nor’easter and falling leaves) serves as the perfect inspiration for this hearty and satisfying soup.
Butternut Squash/White Bean Soup (a.ka. “The Bacon Soup”)
3 bacon slices
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (1 ½ lb)
¼ cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp red pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
¼ cup whipping cream
1 TBL chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 (15 oz) cans Great northern beans, rinsed and drained /(we use cannellini beans)
3 TBL unsalted pumpkinseed kernels, toasted (optional)
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from pan, reserving 2 tsp of drippings in pan; crumble bacon, and set aside.
Add onion, celery, and garlic to pan; cook 3 minutes or untiltender, stirring occasionally. Add squash; cook 3 minutes;stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook until liquid almostevaporates. Stir in broth, cumin, red pepper, cinnamon, andcloves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or untilsquash is tender.
Stir in cream, oregano, salt, pepper, and beans; bring to a boil.Remove from heat. Sprinkle each bowl with bacon and pumpkin seeds. (We cook this in a stock pot since we don’t have a Dutch oven and it comes out fine.)
I also use my stick blender to blend this soup up, but it tastes great either way.