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PICT1105 I have four nice Butternut squash sitting here looking at me, sure they will keep through the winter, Pies are always good with butternut squash, however I have been wanting to try something new, not so sweet. Several years ago I was invited to a friends home and she served butternut squash soup, and it was really good. However being from a family that cooks, and never using a recipe experimentation is key. Then we make our own recipe (though unlike in the past I try to write the recipe down) instead of years later trying to remember how I made it.

PICT1102You can use packaged chicken stock, however today I am making my own with 4 chicken thighs that I have brown in bacon drippings and added water and now in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes at 15 lbs pressure, but if you choose to do this just simmer in about 6 cups of water for an hour or until the meat pulls from the bone.

This week I learned that the majority of herbs and spices release most of their flavor when added to hot oil rather than water, so after the chicken was browned (for richer broth and color) and just before adding the water, to the hot fat I added a pinch of the following. basil, thyme, a bay leaf, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and ground ginger, and a very small pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. . I let it sit in the hot fat until I got my six cups of water to add to the pot.

NOTE: I find it to be easiest to use a potato peeler to peel the squash with rather than a knife, at least from a safety standpoint.

SAVORY BACON BROWNED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

2 LB Butternut Squash  (about 5-6 cups cubed)

1 Larger Onion (mine was strong)

1 clove garlic chopped

Bacon Drippings

1 Cup 1/2 &1/2,, milk or heavy cream

Thyme, Italian Seasoning, Basil, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Black Pepper, Ground Ginger (what I used) but your tastes may be different.

Garnished with Paprika and pinch Italian Seasoning

Brown squash in bacon drippings, add chopped onion, and garlic,  allow to sautee, stirring frequently.

Add Chicken Stock seasoned or plain as per personal preference.

Simmer until done, adding salt to taste.

When done, and appears to be translucent

If using a blender to puree, cool a bit first to avoid thermal shock of glass containers, I used an immersion blender to puree right in the pan.

Once pureed add 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 or milk or for more richness add heavy cream.

Serve.

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