Michael and Christopher left yesterday afternoon to travel with the student ministry from our church to the Youth Evangelism Celebration. They won’t be back until late tonight. That means that Elizabeth and I have enjoyed some much-needed girl time! We’ve snuggled on the couch and watched movies. We’ve talked about lots of girl stuff. We’ve made big plans for Christmas. It has been nice.
For dinner, I decided to make something that she and I would both enjoy. While this is not necessarily a “girly” dish, I know that my two men – especially the older one – would turn up their noses at it. They like manly food! Meat and potatoes! Biscuits and gravy! Deer chili!
You get the picture.
In this house, this one is just for me and my girl.
I love butternut squash soup. Smooth and velvety, rich and creamy, sweet and savory. And, as you know, everything’s better with bacon!
Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 pound of thick-cut bacon
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 3 cups of half and half (fat-free or light is fine)
- 2 cups of chicken stock (or more)
- olive oil
- freshly-ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash into 2-inch cubes and spread onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.
Saute onions in olive oil until translucent and tender.
Place bacon slices on layers of paper towels and sprinkle with freshly-ground black pepper. Microwave on high for 12 minutes – or until bacon is cooked through. Once bacon has cooled, cut into 1-inch pieces.
Place cooked squash cubes and onions into a large pot and add half and half. Use an immersion blender to blend the mixture smooth. Add chicken stock and continue to blend. Add 3 teaspoons of salt and 1 one teaspoon of black pepper. If soup is too thick for your taste, add more stock. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt if needed. Reheat over medium heat until heated through. Add bacon pieces to the soup.
Well Duh #1: If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can blend in batches in a regular blender. Just be sure to take the plug out of the lid and cover with a folded dish towel.
Well Duh #2: Of course, you can cook the bacon the old-fashioned way. I just used the microwave for convenience sake.
Well Duh #3: Butternut squash can be a challenge. It’s as hard as concrete! I actually killed an electric knife trying to cut into one once! Here’s an easy fix:
Poke squash all over with a fork and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Use a vegetable peeler or knife to peel the squash. Cut off the bottom and the top. Slice the squash into 2-inch circles. When you get to the part that contains to seeds, slice in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and yucky stringy stuff. Continue to slice into 2-inch slices. Cut the slices into 2-inch cubes. Spread onto a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
Well Duh #4: You can absolutely leave the bacon out. But why would you do that?
I love our boys. I love when they’re here. I love spending time with our whole family. I love when my whole tribe is under one roof. But it has been a fun couple of days of girl time. I try to soak in as much of my time with Elizabeth as I can. She’s growing up so fast! I’ll take my time with her any way I can get it – a bowl of soup, a movie marathon, giggling over YouTube videos of Ellen, chopping onions, a lesson on shaving legs, talks about skincare and hair braiding. However she wants to spend time with me, I’ll take it.
And I’ll love every second!