Fall weather came in last week for about a blink of an eye before it got hot again. But it came in long enough for me to start dreaming of making fall soups in my crock pot. Especially since I made a trip to Apple Hill last weekend and got fresh butternut squash. I am a sucker for a good butternut squash soup. I have been experimenting with versions of it for the last couple of years but this years version came out damn good and was pretty simple. Even a bit Paleo friendly if I do say so myself. Damn was it fabulous. So get some butternut squash and lets make some soup!!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP with BACON
- 2-3 large butternut squash (look for one’s with long necks since that is where the meat is)
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream (or you can substitute coconut milk)
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar (if you want it to be sweet or you can leave it out)
- a handful of breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon of sour cream
- 2-3 slices of bacon or turkey bacon (whichever you prefer)
- Cube up butternut squash. It is easiest to use a vegetable peeler to take the skin off then remove seeds in the middle or you can use a knife to remove the skin than cut in half to remove seeds. Either way, it has to be in cubes.
- Place butternut squash cubes in crockpot with roughly a cup of water. You can place it on high for 3 hours if you will be around or you can place it on low for 6 hours if you have some other things to do. I placed it on high because I was going to be around the house doing things.
- Once the butternut squash is soft, blend it by using an immersion blender (which is on my Christmas wish list) or in my case I used a regular blender. Got to be careful though because a regular blenders lid will blow off with hot squash in there. So I held on tight to the lid and blended it in batches.
- Pour blended squash into a big pot on stove. Add in broth till you get the consistency you want, I don’t like mine too watery. Also stir in heavy whipping cream, cinnamon and brown sugar. Mix together. Let simmer on a low heat while you make the bacon. You will need it crispy enough to break into small pieces like bacon bits.
- Once you are ready to eat, add in a spoonful of sour cream, some bacon bits and croutons to your soup. So damn yummy and simple!
Now I don’t know about you but whenever I think about soup, I think about fresh homemade bread. My Mom used to bake fresh bread and I loved it. As an adult I started making it from scratch a couple years ago once I got over my fear of yeast. Turns out it isn’t so bad. So in between letting the soup cook I made fresh homemade French bread rolls by using a sourdough bread recipe I experimented with last year and making them into rolls. Even R had fun rolling them with me. The greatest part about homemade bread, it is super cheap to make in huge batches. So as an added bonus to the butternut squash soup recipe here is a fun roll recipe too. Perfect combination.
FRENCH BREAD ROLLS
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water
- 1 packet of active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons if you have the jar of active yeast
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 4 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter
- Combine warm water, packet of active dry yeast and sugar in mixer. Don’t make the water boiling hot, just warm water from your faucet will do. I usually add the warm water, add the sugar, stir them together than add the yeast. The yeast will need to sit for roughly 20 minutes. You will know it is working because it creates a little foam look to it and it smells wonderful (if you like yeast smell which I do).
- Once it sits for 20 minutes, pour in the oil and 2 cups of flour. Start mixing together. Once combined, add in slowly in small portions the remaining two cups. The dough can get a bit sticky and hard for the mixer, so speed it up a bit if you have to and add it in bit by bit. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead dough (you can do this with a stand mixer but I prefer by hand) by taking it out of the mixer and punching it slightly on a floured counter. Roughly 10 minutes by hand. A little less in a mixer.
- Rub olive oil lightly all over a bowl and place dough inside bowl, rolling it around to get coated in the olive oil before covering it with a tea towel and letting it rise in a warm place. Sometimes I turn my oven on low if I find the house is too cold or you can use a sunny spot. Should take roughly an hour to double in size in the bowl.
- Once it is double in size, lightly flour the counter and punch it down a bit before working it into balls. It should make roughly 12-16 balls or rolls. Place on baking sheet that is again lightly greased and let rise another 45 minutes in a warm place with a tea towel over the top. They will double in size again.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Be careful to check the bottoms. They can burn if cooked for too long. About 10 minutes in, take melted butter and pour it over the top of the rolls. Then let cook for the last 5 minutes.
Trust me the combination of both will be mouth watering. You and your family will be in love with this meal. It seems complicated but it really isn’t. You can make the bread and let it rise in between working on the soup. Plus while things are rising or steaming in the crock pot you can be doing things around the house. It makes the house smell amazing as well!!
Give it a try and let me know how love it!!