1 medium butternut squash (2-3 pounds) peeled and cut into about 1-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
1 tbsp olive oil (more if needed)
6 pieces of thick sliced Applewood smoked bacon
1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 large Granny Smith apple, cored & diced into about 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp fresh rubbed sage leaves, chopped
5 cups vegetable stock (chicken would be OK too)
salt and pepper, to taste
How to make it
Preheat oven to 425F.
Toss squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out onto 2 baking sheets, not overcrowding the pieces. Place in oven and roast for about 40 minutes, or until edges are browned. Stir squash up about half way through for more even cooking.
Heat a 5 quart stock pot over medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy and place on paper towel lined plate.
Add onions to pot and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add sage and season with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
Remove squash from oven and transfer to stock pot. Add stock and turn heat up. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, check squash and apple for tenderness. If needed, cook longer. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
At this point you can either use an immersion blender to puree the soup or use a stand blender and go in batches as I did. (I did 3 batches.) Add half of the cooked bacon to the soup before blending. Puree until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
Reheat as needed, crumbling remaining cooked bacon on top to serve.
Serves 4 entree portions of 1 3/4 cups or 7 starter portions of 1 cup.