Ok so maybe it’s not ALL bacon, but I definitely like this soup mostly because the ingredients are all cooked in bacon fat and the garnish is the resulting crispy little pieces of bacon. It was the first thing I wanted as soon as I stepped out of Newark airport and into the cold rain, and became a priority as soon as I got home. As enthusiastic as I was to start cooking, my jet lag got the best of me and I ended up sleeping for two days, and jumping back into my work week with a very weird semi-lucid “is-this-real?” feeling that one gets when away for so long. Three weeks flew by but was long enough for me to lose my work flow- but I am finally getting it back.
I figure the best way to get back to work is to ease in with a simple yet REALLY delicious recipe I’ve been holding onto for quite some time…
Bacon-y Butternut Squash & Parsnip Soup
*for the vegetarians- replace bacon with coconut oil for best results, and garnish with diced apple*
1 large butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 lb. parsnips – washed thoroughly and chopped
8-10 cloves of garlic, whole
1 large vidalia (yellow/spanish) onion, chopped
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 lb of bacon strips, cut into 1/2″ (I use Applegate uncured “Sunday Bacon”)
32 container of stock (I used turkey stock because I was feeling hella fancy… and it was on sale.)
1/2 pint heavy cream
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange squash and parsnips on a sheet tray lined with parchment. Roast in oven until a fork easily cuts through the largest piece. In the meantime…
2. In a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot (I found a le Creuset on sale at Home Goods for $40! Best purchase I have ever made.) on medium heat, render the bacon down until it is all browned and crispy. Remove bacon bits and dry on paper towels for later.
3. Add the onions and sweat until translucent. Add whole garlic cloves and minced ginger. Move everything around occasionally to avoid burning. Turn heat off when garlic shows some golden-browning.
4. Add roasted squash, parsnips, cream and stock. Using an immersion blender on low, puree the soup to desired consistency. Heat the soup back up before serving and garnished with bacon.
Now that I have enough soup for a few days, I can hunker down and work on organizing my thoughts from my trip. I have a few recipes to share, as well as some great research on Italian wines to share.