Iron Chef: Butternut Squash Edition
Let it be known, I am just about the least “crunchy,” granola person alive.
Contrary my fellow guest blogger Chelsea’s philosophies, my own lean more towards western medicine, convenience, and the love of all things fried. In my baby album, there is a photo titled “Lauren’s First Whataburger.” My nurture and nature both gravitate towards frozen pizza and the belief that a little BPA never hurt anybody.
But I try, I honestly do. I’d like to be more healthy – for myself, for nine-month-old human life I am now responsible for, for the too-small clothes that have been hanging in my closet untouched for far too long. Which is why I recently (after a three year hiatus) rejoined our local Bountiful Baskets fruit and veggie co-op. (Thank you to both Chelsea and Shauna for inspiring me!)
It’s a fantastic deal: You get about $50 worth of fruits and veggies for $15, and all you have to do is volunteer occasionally to help keep the thing running.
My two most recent hauls:
Note: In the second picture, I chose an “add on” with more fruit, so it’s more than the standard amount you usually receive.
- 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch chunks
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or more, to taste
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
- Place butternut squash, onion, bell pepper and bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
- Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender, stirring at halftime.*
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butternut squash mixture and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve immediately, garnished with bacon, goat cheese and chives, if desired.