Oh baby, this is a soup that will assuredly warm you up this winter. I’ve taken candied bacon and combined it with my already delicious masala-spiced roasted butternut squash soup for one killer recipe. Candied bacon is something truly amazing. If you haven’t tried it, you must. I added sriracha to this mix for a spicy asian flair and it is heavenly. I have to make extra candied bacon just so we can snack on it later.
This butternut squash soup sneaks in extra goodness like carrots, celery, and even an apple, and is spiced with the warm flavors of garam masala. You can find garam masala in almost any grocery store nowadays. I saw it at Walmart once. If you can find it at Walmart, I assume you can pretty much find it anywhere. Don’t be scared by the 11-step recipe. It’s really not that complicated. This soup will have you warmed up in no time!
Time to Make It: 1 hour
Yield: Serves 4 to 8
1/2 pound bacon
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp sriracha sauce
1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 large carrots, diced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
2 tsp garam masala
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
2. Make the candied bacon by whisking together maple syrup, brown sugar, and sriracha in a small bowl. Dip the bacon strips into the mixture, gently scraping off the excess before placing them onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Place in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
3. Rub down the exposed flesh on the butternut squash halves with butter and place on the other prepared baking sheet. Put in the oven, on a separate rack, at the same time as the bacon.
4. After 20 minutes, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake the bacon for an additional 10 minutes, until the bacon is browned and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes to let them dry and stiffen up. Once cool, roughly chop the bacon into delicious bits.
5. Continue baking butternut squash until soft, about 20 more minutes.
6. While the butternut squash finishes, make the soup base by heating olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes, then add in the apples and saute for 2 more minutes.
7. Add in the garam masala and toast for about 60 seconds.
8. Add in the chicken broth and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes.
9. When the butternut squash is cooked, scoop out the flesh using a large spoon and put the cooked flesh directly into the soup pot.
10. Puree the soup using an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender in batches.
11. Once the soup has been pureed, stir in the heavy cream and serve hot topped with candied bacon.