Recipe courtesy of Ali Tila and Jet Tila

Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Sour Cream

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Butternut squash soup is an essential soup to learn because it covers pureed soups. You can sub any vegetable for butternut squash such as broccoli, carrots, potatoes, parsnips and more! Also, you can sub stocks and creams to make this plant based. It’s great to know how to make pureed soups. So many of my favorite soups are pureed, including tomato, black bean and cream of anything. There are three critical steps. First, sweat the aromatics and bacon until you’ve extracted maximum flavor without burning. Next, boil the squash until the pieces are perfectly fork tender. Last, always puree in small batches. Never fill your blender with hot stuff higher than halfway. Many cooks have burned themselves trying to overfill hot liquid in a blender.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Soup:

Maple Sour Cream:

Directions

  1. To make the soup, heat a 4- or 6-quart (3.6- or 5.4-liter) Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Lay the bacon in the pot, then spray with nonstick cooking spray (see Cook’s Note) and allow to render and brown to a crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pot, crumble into a bowl and reserve.
  2. In the same pot, with the bacon drippings, add the garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the squash, carrot and apple. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and scrape again to deglaze the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf (the thyme leaves should be in the soup). Transfer the soup to a blender in small batches and puree. Pour into a large bowl temporarily. When all the soup is pureed, pour it back into the pot over medium heat. Add the apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, stir thoroughly, taste and adjust the salt and pepper, if needed.
  4. To make the maple sour cream, in a small bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, sour cream and maple syrup until smooth and even. Season with a pinch of salt. You want it to taste creamy with a touch of salty and sweet. Serve the soup with the crumbled bacon, a spoonful of maple sour cream and thyme leaves for garnish.

Cook’s Note

Spraying the bacon with nonstick cooking spray helps it render faster. When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth. Because this soup is pureed, it doesn’t matter how straight or even the knife cuts are. So this is a great recipe to practice your slicing and dicing.

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