- 1 (3 pound) butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 8 strips bacon, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 carrots, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 Granny Smith apple – peeled, cored, and cubed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream (optional)
- Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place squash in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil; mix to coat; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread squash into a single layer on a baking pan. Roast the squash in the preheated oven, turning once, until fork-tender and caramelized; 30 to 40 minutes.
- Place the bacon in a Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon slices to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the drippings in the pan.
- Place the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, curry powder, thyme, and salt and pepper in the Dutch oven; cook in reserved bacon drippings until the carrots and celery are soft. Mix in the apples and cooked squash and cook another 5 minutes. Stir the garlic into the mixture and cook another 1 minute. Pour the apple cider over the mixture; reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer; allow to reduce to about half its original volume. Stir in the chicken stock; simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Puree the soup in small batches in a blender, or use an immersion blender. If using a blender, don’t fill the blender more than half-way. Always remove the center lid piece of a stand blender when blending hot liquids so the steam can escape. Cover the hole with a dish towel while blending. Stir the nutmeg into the soup. Garnish each bowl with 1 tablespoon of sour cream (if desired) and/or some of the bacon pieces to serve.
*** Photo & recipe from All Recipes (www.allrecipes.com)