SMOKED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH BABY KALE SOUP- A SAVORY DISH TO WARM UP YOUR WINTER!
Step into the world of tasty soup making and enjoyment with this easy “Winter Warm Up” recipe starring Smoked Butternut Squash and Baby Kale!
If you joined our series on stove top smoking of butternut squash, then it’s time to take your wonderful smoke-infused butternut squash to the next level and make a fabulous soup just in time for the holidays and cold season. Smoked Butternut Squash with Baby Kale Soup. This recipe will serve 4-6. Gather the following ingredients:
• 1 cup of baby kale with stems and membranes removed, washed and dried
• ¼ cup sour cream or crème fraiche (I prefer the crème fraiche for extra smooth texture in soups)
• 6 strips of bacon
• 1 cup broth (you can use chicken or vegetable but water is fine too)
• 1 medium white onion, diced
Keep in mind, you can keep this vegan but omitting the bacon and cream. For equipment, you will need a food processor or blender, cutting board, chef’s knife, frying pan for the bacon, and soup pot.
To start, place a frying pan over medium high heat and allow to heat completely as this will ensure crisp bacon. Add the 6 strips of bacon and cook until well done, about 6-8 minutes. You will want to flip the bacon after the first 3-4 minutes. Take the cooked bacon from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels to remove the excess drippings. Reduce the heat under the frying pan to medium keeping the fat renderings from the bacon. To the bacon drippings, add the diced white onion. Cook until slightly golden.
While the onion is cooking, place the previously smoked butternut squash slices into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Don’t worry if you don’t get all the lumps out as this will be processed a second time. Add this mixture to the cooked onion and combine. After 3 minutes, reduce the heat to low and add the ¼ cup of sour cream or crème fraiche, mixing in well to ensure creaminess throughout.
While the onion, squash, cream mixture is simmering on low heat, add 1 cup of baby kale leaves to the food processor and pulse until reduced to fine particles. Add the chopped kale to the squash mixture and combine well. Then remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly. While the mixture is cooling, chop four slices of the crisped bacon into small pieces. Add to the squash mixture and combine well.
A Velvet Smooth Finish:
Add the slightly cooled smoked squash mixture to a blender or food processor, and start the machine on a low setting. As the mixture is pureed, slowly add 1 cup of broth to thin out the puree. You may use water if you prefer. You may add additional broth until the consistency is at your preferred level but 1 cup should be about the mark. I like this particular soup to coat a spoon which means it will coat my insides! Take your reduced smoked squash mixture and pour into a soup pot and place on a low setting for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
Now, ladle this silky, smooth soup into serving bowls and place a small amount of the chopped bacon from the remaining two slices to each serving bowl. As you put this luscious soup into your mouth, your palate will pick up the subtle sweetness of the cinnamon and light smokiness from the stove top smoking process, while the silkiness of the cream provides a balance to the heartiness of the bacon. This is a great way to use seasonal squash and keep those of us in the cold portion of the world warm this winter. Bon Appetito!
Don’t fret if the Groundhog signals more winter ahead of us- The velvety, rich smoothness of Smoked Butternut Squash with Baby Kale Soup will promise to warm up whatever winter days remain!
Dr Smoke and the Culinary Crew