My mother puts Martha Stewart to shame. Every time I go home, whether it’s for Thanksgiving dinner or for a random weekend, when my mother cooks, she goes all out. Beautiful, seasonal, organic ingredients, healthy preparations (mostly), and decorations that are almost as lovely as the food.
This soup was my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. And, frankly, I was a little troubled by the bacon ingredient, but when my mother asked me if it was ok, I wasn’t going to ruin everyone else’s soup just because I happen to be a vegetarian. BUT, you could easily make this soup without the bacon and it would still be delicious. In fact, I might just try to do a veggie-friendly version this week. But it was really, really yummy, and a perfect fall-inspired starter for a traditional Thanksgiving meal!
Butternut Squash Chowder
4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp chopped fresh sage, plus small sage
leaves for garnish
4 tsp kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1 tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 jar (32 oz.) butternut squash puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towellined plate. Set aside.
2. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan and return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bay leaf, chopped sage, the 4 tsp. salt and the 1 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
3. Add the wine and simmer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
4. Add the butternut squash puree and bacon and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
5. Ladle the chowder into warmed bowls and garnish with sage leaves. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 to 8.
This is a Williams Sonoma recipe — you can find the original recipe here.