October 19, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Chowder with Apples and Bacon

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.
~John Donne

Here's my welcome to Fall.  My favorite season of the year, with it's chilly nights, it makes staying in a pleasure - especially when there are simple, cozy meals to share with cherished family and friends.  

In my home, nothing brings more joy and comfort than a steaming bowl of soup, stew or chowder.  Lately, that seems to be what is keeping me busy in my kitchen.  Lots of soups, and I will be sharing all of them with you in the next few weeks.  When I saw this soup, I couldn't get to the store fast enough for all the ingredients.  
This one is a Mark Bittman winner.  Mark Bittman is an American food journalist and author. He writes a weekly column for The New York Times dining section called The Minimalist.  Bittman has written at least ten books on food and cooking, three of which won IACP/Julia Child awards, James Beard awards, or both.

Tuck into this oh so fantastic chowder, and I promise you nothing short of a delectable bowl of coziness waiting to be savored.  

Thanks Mark...your dishes are inspiring and very tasty!

Pairing Suggestion: A Spanish Sherry would be darling here!

Roasted Butternut Squash Chowder with Apples and Bacon
Serves 4-6

Adapted from Mark Bittman

1 Butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1 large onion, chopped
2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3-4 bacon slices, or one 1/2-inch-thick strip slab bacon, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
salt and black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp dried
1/2 cup dry white wine or water
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock/broth or water
1/2 cup milk (this was my addition to this already fabulous soup)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread the squash, onion, apples, bacon and garlic in a deep roasting pan or on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.  Roast, stirring every now and then, until the squash, onion and apples are tender and browned and the bacon is crisp, which takes about 45 minutes.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven.  Stir in the sage and white wine and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom.  (That's where all the goodies are hiding).
If you are using a roasting pan that can be used on the stove top, position the pan over 2 burners and put both on medium heat.  Otherwise, transfer the contents of the pan to a large pot or dutch oven and set it over medium heat.  Add the stock or water and cook until the squash, onion and apples break apart and thicken and flavor the broth, which takes about 25 minutes.  You can help the process along by breaking the mixture up a bit with a spoon.  Add the milk (or cream of you so wish) to the last 10 minutes of cooking. 

Serve hot with a little cream or sour cream drizzled over the top...OH MY YUM!


This is most definitely Autumn in bowl!