Winter Squash Soup with Spinach and Bacon

Winter Squash Soup with Spinach and Bacon

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I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions or resolutions of any kind really. I prefer to  do what feels right/best for me at any given moment, and not feel guilty about breaking some impossible promise I made to myself in January – when I most likely had seasonal depression and wasn’t thinking clearly anyway.

However, I have been meaning to join a produce coop, so when Urban Acres had a Groupon I jumped at the chance. I’ve signed up for a half share of organic produce every other week. Not only does this help me eat more locally, but I’m also encouraged to try new recipes with vegetables I would have never picked up at the store. My husband is obviously thrilled with the exciting new vegetable experimentation going on in our house.

Last weekend I picked up my bin to find rainbow chard, turnips, winter squash, potatoes, oranges, apples, spinach and kohlrabi. I obviously had to look the kohlrabi up – recipe coming soon!

I would undoubtedly say our house is not generally a squash house. Unless it’s in a sauce or soup it’s usually a pretty ignored vegetable. But I was inspired to create something we would both like with my cute little pumpkin-like squash (squashes?). Obviously, I turned to Martha for inspiration.

The result? We both loved this soup. It’s hearty and satisfying, and doesn’t taste the least bit healthy – which is always a win in our house. I’ll definitely be making this again.

Winter Squash Soup with Spinach and Kale (based on this recipe by Martha Stewart)

2 whole winter or acorn squash (about two pounds each)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Ground nutmeg
4 strips bacon, 4 ounces, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cups chopped fresh spinach or kale (stems removed)
2 cups chicken broth
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Greek yogurt (optional)

1. Roast the Squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the whole squash on a rimmed baking sheet; bake, turning occasionally, until very tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 1 hour.

2. Make Squash Puree

When cool enough to handle, halve each squash lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds; scrape out flesh from squash halves, and transfer to a food processor (discard skin). Process until smooth. In a medium saucepan, combine squash puree with 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Cook over medium heat until hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with ground nutmeg.

3. Make Soup

Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate; set aside. Add onion to fat in pan, and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add spinach; cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add squash puree and 2 cups chicken broth (or more if necessary to achieve desired consistency); bring just to a boil. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Serve, garnished with reserved bacon and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

 

Categories: Appetizer, Inspiration, Recipes, Side Dish

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