Ba­con But­ter­nut Squash Soup

The Pilot - - Editorial -

In­gre­di­ents:

1 large but­ter­nut squash

1/4 block of cream cheese

1/3 pack of lean ba­con

1/3 litre of chicken or tur­key stock

1 tbsp. of thyme

1 pinch each of salt and pep­per

2 tbsp. brown sugar

Di­rec­tions

Pre­heat your oven to 350 de­grees Cel­sius.

Cut the but­ter­nut squash in half, width­wise and us­ing a sharp knife, peel away the rind. Scoop the in­nards and seeds out of the hol­low part in the cen­tre and dis­card along with the rind. Cut the squash into cubes or chunks roughly 2 inches by 2 inches in di­am­e­ter.

Place the squash in a small roaster and add about 2 cups of broth. Roast for ap­prox. 20 min­utes or un­til the squash is ten­der all the way through.

Re­move from oven and let stand to cool.

While the squash cools, dice your ba­con into small pieces (bits) and fry in a medium sized pan on medium heat un­til crispy. It’s im­por­tant not to dis­card the ren­dered grease, as this will add sub­stan­tial flavour to the soup later on.

Us­ing a blender, food pro­ces­sor or emer­sion blender, blend your squash with all other in­gre­di­ents (aside from the ba­con) one at a time un­til the mix­ture looks smooth and creamy. It’s best to add the stock last, how­ever, along with the drip­pings from the roaster as you may want to add more or less of it to en­sure the puree isn’t too thin or thick.

When the time came to present this soup to BernieAnne I knew that she would im­me­di­ately rec­og­nize the dif­fer­ence in colour from that of the orig­i­nal recipe.

Ev­ery­one in the class usu­ally tried to stick to the recipe as ac­cu­rately as pos­si­ble in or­der to avoid a neg­a­tive re­sult and I was a bit con­cerned about that as well, un­til I tasted it.

I pre­sented Chef with the bowl of ba­con but­ter­nut squash soup gar­nished with a mint leaf and bit the inside of my bot­tom lip from the ten­sion. She did in­deed first com­ment on the lighter colour of my soup and I told her sheep­ishly that I had added a small amount of cream cheese along with a cou­ple other small changes.

Know­ing that I was ea­ger for her opin­ion and be­ing playful as she was, she made a small show of plung­ing her spoon slowly into the bowl and seem­ingly over­an­a­lyz­ing ev­ery small de­tail to build the sus­pense be­fore tak­ing her first mouth­ful. When she tasted it, her eyes lit up and she in­stantly made the sound ev­ery cook loves to hear most. “Mm­m­m­mmm!”

She pro­claimed my cre­ation to be de­li­cious and pol­ished off the en­tire bowl.

It was one of the proud­est and most glo­ri­ous mo­ments for me as a young cook be­cause I had man­aged to turn what was pre­vi­ously a weak­ness into strength and im­pressed a chef whom I deeply ad­mired for her culi­nary prow­ess.

Since then this soup has been my trump card in most restau­rants that I’ve had a bit of cre­ative li­cense in and also my go-to soup for im­press­ing peo­ple that need to be im­pressed, such as the fam­ily of my ex-fi­ancé.

I in­vite you all to try cook­ing this soup for your­selves at home or any other vari­a­tion of but­ter­nut squash soup that you may find on­line or in any cook­books.

In my opin­ion, but­ter­nut squash is very much un­der­used and un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated here in New­found­land and that is a shame. I’ve of­ten used roasted but­ter­nut squash as an ad­di­tion to a tur­key jiggs din­ner more than once with amaz­ing results!

But... that sounds like a good topic for an­other ar­ti­cle.

Happy blend­ing!

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