Butternut Squash Soup with Pears and Bacon
6 strips bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken broth (1L)
4 cups peeled butternut squash cubes (1L)
3 large California Bartlett pears peeled, cored and cubed
3/4 cup chopped celery (175 mL)
1 tsp herbs de Provence (5 mL)
1 cup half-and-half cream (250 mL)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh thyme
1. Sauté bacon in a large stockpot until crisp; remove from pan, drain on paper towels and crumble. Remove all but 1 tbsp (15 mL) bacon grease from pot; add onion and sauté over medium heat until browned.
2. Add broth, squash, pears and celery to pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
3. Let cool slightly, then with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor, purée mixture until smooth. Return back to pot and add herbs and bacon. Simmer for 10 minutes more. Stir in half-and-half and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme.
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