Butternut Squash Chowder

November 27th, 2007


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.

Tags: food · soups

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 MyKitchenInHalfCups // Nov 27, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Most gracious of you Katy.  I think this would be a great soup and I’d go for that little bacon.

  • 2 Dana // Nov 28, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    I always say the same thing about my mother and Thanksgiving!  Isn’t it great?  No wonder Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday ;-).

  • 3 kellypea // Nov 28, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    A lovely soup!  We’ve tried this a variety of ways, but since my husband is the one who usually makes it, he seems to always choose the recipe that has apple in it, too.  I love Williams-Sonoma recipes!

  • 4 Katy // Nov 28, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Dana — mine too, for sure!  It gives us something to aspire to eventually. 🙂

    Kellypea – I bet this soup would be great with apples.  This year, my mom pretty much made the whole Williams Sonoma Thanksgiving recipe booklet!  Which, of course, was terrific.

  • 5 Rachael // Dec 1, 2007 at 5:51 am

    Bless your mother and this soup.

    That looks divine.

  • 6 emily // Dec 17, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    and god bless william sonoma.  what would we do without it?? Oh I know!! Our kitchen would be free of random gadgets that we never use!! Just kidding, when I am bored of researching, I literally procrastinate on their website, looking at recipes and new gizmos…I am so sorry I missed this soup.  Katy, I’d say you are doing an impeccable job aspiring to cook like mommy, although you are very much your own cook and doing a more than lovely job coming up with your own way of cooking and repertoire of self-devised recipes!! brava

  • 7 Leah // May 7, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Katy,
    Just a general question – what wines do you usually use to cook with?  The wines I like to drink seem a little bit on the expensive side to use for cooking, so I was wondering if you have any recommendations for a good, but inexpensive red and white cooking wine?

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