This easy, creamy butternut squash soup is perfect for chilly evenings! A simple dinner recipe with tons of flavor. Topped with tangy goat cheese and crispy bacon.
YOU GUYS. THIS SOUP.
I don’t repeat meals very often (the blessing/curse of being a food blogger). Once a recipe is developed and shot and posted and eaten, it kind of falls away to make room for whatever new bloggy things I’m dreaming up. But this soup is an exception. I think I’ve made it three times in the last month (which, for someone who makes their beer money by putting up NEW recipes every week, is practically unheard of). But I can’t help it! It’s just so creamy and it has this crazy amazing flavor and DID I MENTION THERE’S GOAT CHEESE. Also, bacon. Because BACON.
I get sucked into this soup time after time because it has this deep, rich, earthy, butternut-squash-and-goat-cheese-y flavor that is the completely perfect cure for winter. It’s also deceptively easy – the soup is thickened by the onions and butternut squash that go into it, so there’s no need for a roux or any cornstarch thickening craziness or fancy techniques or blah blah blah. Just a few simple things from the pantry, 20 minutes or so on the stove, and some quality time with my immersion blender.
I love the crispy bacon on top of the soup here – I fried up the bacon in my soup pot, then let the crispy bacon hang out on a plate while I sautéed the onions in garlic in the rendered fat. Side note: I really hate saying “cook things in fat.” It just sounds so unappetizing – which is crazy, because actually it makes things DELICIOUS. Let’s just call it “bacon juice” or something instead, eh? Unless that makes it sound worse? Someone help me out here.
BUT ANYWAY. The onions and garlic get caramelized up right nice in the bacon juice (we’ll work on it), then a bit of stock deglazes the pan and the butternut squash gets thrown in and from there it’s just blending and stirring and topping with bacon and HAPPINESS. The extra bite of the goat cheese garnish paired with the smoky, crunchy bacon bits makes those first few spoonfuls taste like heaven, and the silky soup folds you into it like it’s a nice warm hug and winter totally isn’t even a thing.
- 3 strips thick cut bacon, diced
- ½ large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2.5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1.5 cups roasted butternut squash puree
- 4 oz. goat cheese, plus extra for garnish
- ½ cup milk (I used 1%)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
- Put diced bacon pieces in a large pot over medium heat. Cook until fat has rendered and bacon is crispy, about 7-10 minutes.
- Remove cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Leave the bacon fat in the pot over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion and garlic to bacon fat and stir to combine. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and slightly browned, about 4 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add a splash of stock to the pan to deglaze, and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon or stiff spatula. Add the rest of the stock and stir to combine. Bring mixture up to a simmer.
- When soup is simmering, stir in butternut squash puree and bring the mixture back up to a simmer.
- Remove soup from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Add goat cheese to soup and stir until cheese has melted.
- Add milk to soup and stir to combine. I like to use my immersion blender one more time here: blend until all milk and goat cheese are completely incorporated and the soup is smooth and velvety.
- Ladle soup into individual bowls and top with a sprinkle of goat cheese, a handful of the bacon you cooked at the beginning of the recipe, and a sprig of parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!
If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend soup in a regular blender.
If the soup is too thick, add a little more milk to thin it out. Too thin? Blend in another ¼ cup or so of roasted butternut squash to thicken it up.
To make this soup vegetarian, omit the bacon from the recipe and instead sauté onions and garlic in 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. To make it vegan, omit the goat cheese as well and substitute almond or coconut milk for the milk in the recipe.