Butternut Squash Soup Recipe with Apple Cider and Bacon – gluten free, paleo, X-foods friendly, vegan adaptable
We were running around in t-shirts two weeks ago, and already I’m wanting to make my favorite butternut squash soup recipe.
Because it’s fall and it finally feels like it. It feels like the time of year when everyone is pumpkin spicing everything. Meanwhile, I’m over in the corner hoarding apples. I’ll eat them, I’ll toss them in a skillet with butter and cinnamon, I’ll dehydrate them, I’ll simmer them into applesauce, I’ll stuff them into gluten-free pastry crust.
The apples from the orchards right now aren’t the same as the ones you get in the store. They’re not even the same as the ones you’ll get produced by the same orchard, only three months from now. Apples keep for a long time, but they’ve got a crunch that softens, a sweet-tart bite-back that weakens. I try to get my fill in the fall.
They’re the star in the sweet treats for sure, but I’ll take them in the savory stuff too. Apples add the right amount of something when paired with butternut squash. And then there’s the bacon, which gives this soup the warm, cozy, sweet, salty, everything I’ve ever wanted on an oversized sweater and knit hat kind of day.
I love fall apples so much that I’m not even romanticizing the bacon in this recipe. But let’s be real, do I even need to say anything besides the word bacon?
Okay, let’s make soup.
Apple Cider Bacon Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
1tbsp coconut oil
4-6 strips bacon, chopped (skip for vegan)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 butternut squash
2 c apple cider
1 chopped apple
2 c chicken broth (vegetable broth for vegan)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and brush with butter or coconut oil. Roast in a 350˚ oven, on a baking sheet cut-side-down, until fork tender. Start testing when skin begins to blister. Cool, and scoop the squash away from the skin.
In a large stockpot, saute bacon in coconut oil until the bacon is crispy. Remove bacon pieces and set aside. Saute the onion in the rendered fat until onion is transparent. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the roasted squash and the remaining ingredients. Simmer 20 minutes, then blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the chopped apple and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with crispy bacon.
Full disclosure, although fantastic on its own, a little drizz of maple syrup has been known to find its way into this butternut squash soup recipe on at least one occasion.