A fall staple: creamy butternut squash soup with crispy bacon and butter toasted pecans. This simple soup is silky-smooth, full of vibrant & nourishing squash, sweetened with apples, flavored with thyme & sage, and finished with a splash of cream. It all gets blended until creamy then topped with the crunchy fixings. It’s a warming soup that you simply cannot go without this season.
creamy butternut squash soup – the details
You’ll start by rendering some diced bacon in a Dutch oven. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you could use any large, heavy-bottomed pot. Something that’s sturdy and durable. The bacon gets crispy and reserved for a garnish, while the bacon fat is used to flavor the entire soup.
Shallots go in next for a nice onion bite, then a few honeycrisp apples which add just the perfect amount of tart sweetness. I like to add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar as well, to round out the sweetness of both the apples and the squash.
And speaking of squash, we’re using classic butternut squash, but you could try any sort of autumn squash you find (acorn would be great or pumpkin would even work)!
After the squash is added, you’ll go right in with some stock, herbs, and black pepper. This all gets simmered away until the squash is tender and ready to blend. It’s really as simple as that. I’ve kept the ingredient list pretty minimal so the fall ingredients shine through.
It’s the perfect combination of flavors all blended up into a very creamy soup. To help your soup get that velvety texture, I recommend a strong, high-powered blender. You’ll also want to make sure you blend the soup for at least a full minute to achieve the silky-smooth consistency.
After the soup is blended, I like to add a splash of cream just to round everything out. It’s only two tablespoons, but it adds a slight richness to the soup that makes it extra comforting.
And then the best part – the toppings! That crispy bacon goes right over top, plus some fried sage, and pecans that get toasted in the sage flavored brown butter. You can of course eat the soup as is (I’ll sometimes heat up leftovers for lunch and leave off the toppings), but the toppings make it extra delicious…and beautiful!
If you’re looking for more fall soup recipes, here are a few to try:
Tuscan Ribollita Soup with Greens & Butter Beans
Roasted Broccoli Soup with Melted Cheddar Croutons
Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Hazelnut Sage Pesto
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon & Pecans
a simple creamy butternut squash soup flavored with apples and herbs, topped with crispy bacon & butter toasted pecans
- ¾ lb bacon, diced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 medium honeycrisp apples, cored + diced
- kosher salt
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 (3 lb) butternut squash, peeled + seeded + cubed 1”
- 1 qt chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 small handful fresh sage & thyme sprigs, tied in kitchen twine
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 small handful fresh sage leaves
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- Heat a 5 ½ qt Dutch oven (or heavy bottomed pot) over medium-high heat. Add the diced bacon. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 8 more minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Carefully spoon out some of the bacon fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pot.
- Add the shallots over medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes until softened. Stir in the apples and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the apple cider vinegar.
- Add the butternut squash, stock, herbs, lots of freshly cracked black pepper, and another pinch of salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft.
- Meanwhile, heat a 10” skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the sage leaves. Cook for a couple of minutes until the sage is crisp and the butter is starting to brown. Spoon the sage out onto the plate of bacon to drain. Quickly add the pecans and toast until fragrant. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Ladle the soup into a large blender and blend until smooth. Transfer the soup back to the pot, stir in the cream, and season more if needed. Serve the soup warm with the bacon, pecans, crispy sage, any extra thyme leaves, and more black pepper over top.
Bacon tip: Freezing your bacon for 15-20 minutes helps it firm up so you can dice it much more easily.