Monday, November 22, 2010

Butternut Squash Chowder

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I've become even more aware of how thankful I am to have my mom in my life!  Thanksgiving has always been her holiday; her health is preventing her from doing it this year.  So this will be my first Thanksgiving dinner for the family.

I'm always thankful for my huge wonderful family and loving and kind friends, but it never hurts to remind yourself on a daily basis.  I'm also thankful for all the wonderful blogging friends I've met on this journey called blogging.  I love it when you dangle goodies for me to gawk at, but I'm even more happy when I hear good things are happening for you also.  Your kind comments have brightened many of my days!

I'm going to spend the next couple of days cooking and cleaning and all the while remembering all the things and people I have to be thankful for.  I don't consider it a chore, but one more opportunity to have my loved ones around me for a meal and some laughs.

Back to my mom, I'm a rambler if you haven't already figured that out.  She was going on and on the other day about how she can't find her favorite butternut squash soup anymore.  I found this recipe on the Williams-Sonoma site and decided to try it;  I will make it for her on Thanksgiving.

4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2" 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
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 large butternut squash, cut in half, seeded and roasted
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place butternut squash on a baking sheet and roast in 400 degree F oven for 1 hour 30 minutes or until soft.  Scrape out of shell and puree in blender or food processor till smooth.  Can be done day ahead.

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until crispy.  Transfer to paper towel lined plate.  Set aside.

Pour off all but 1 tbsp. of the fat and return the pan to medium heat.  Add the onion, celery, bay leaf, chopped sage, salt and pepper, cook 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the potatoes, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

Add the wine and simmer.  Add the broth and bring just to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer about 12 minutes, till potatoes are tender.

Add the butternut squash puree and bacon and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in the cream.  Remove bay leaf and discard.

I had some Rosemary Parmesan Icebox Crackers left and they were super tasty with the soup. Overall I liked the soup, but I think I will remake it for her without the bacon, it made it a bit too salty or reduce the salt added, I'll have to play with it a bit more.

While I'm getting everything ready, I will be practicing my dance moves; so my niece doesn't whip me again at Just Dance 2!

I want to wish all of you and your families A Very Happy Thanksgiving!




  1. OH I love butternut squash soup. Your mom will love this recipe and I can't wait to see what you're preparing for turkey day! This is the 2nd year in a row that I've been invited to Thanksgiving but I will be making a couple of dishes my friend requested. Smooches (=

  2. I can so wrap myself around that soup this morning. It looks so warming. Best of luck with the Thanksgiving Dinner - I have a feeling it will be too much fun for you! And - Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  3. OOOOOH! You just brought the ol' butternut squash to another level with the wine and bacon. That sounds ridiculous! And I recognized those little crackers on the side of your soup immediately...I just posted a recipe for those (quite similar) today on my blog. Great minds eat alike:)

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Gina! I'm sure your mom will love the final version of the butternut squash soup - I love how you styled it with the bacon, sage, and icebox crackers!

  5. Thanks Lisa, Claudia, Jenn and Priscilla! Hope all of you have a relaxing holiday! I may have to make some more today, research purposes, you know!

  6. This soup looks lovely. I have half a carton of cream left, so I may be making this soon! I loved hearing about your relationship with your mom...and all the things you are thankful for. I'm so glad that this week will afford you the time to be with those that you love! Thank you for sharing. Continue to enjoy great food and good company!

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I am sure you mom appreciates you are taking over the rein; it is a bit day! Your soup looks wonderful; love that little sprig of sage on top.

  8. I am a huge fan of bitternut squash soup. I've never made a butter nut squash chowder, your recipe looks delish.

  9. What lovely pictures, Gina. Really beautiful. The soup sounds delish - I bet I should add some potatoes to mine like you did here. Yum! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  10. Gina, that's a creamy, heartwarming and delightful soup!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Hi Gina-This chowder looks delicious and so flavorful:)I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

  12. Beautiful soup...I think it's great that you will be doing the dinner this year, I am sure your mom and family will love everything.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Gina :)

  13. Happy Thanksgiving! I'm starting to get homesick not being home to make turkey and all the trimmings this year.

  14. I love butternut squash soups and I'm sure your mom will appreciate it too because you made it with love (my mom's secret ingredient in every recipes...that's what she always tells me when I ask her "how do you make it so good?")
    Happy Thanksgiving and a special hug alla mamma!

  15. That is a gorgeous soup, truly. And I noticed your pretty little crackers there on the side. What a wonderful meal!
    PS - I answered your question regarding erythritol on my blog but as you might not see is a sugar alcohol in crystalized form that a lot of diabetics use because it doesn't affect their blood sugars. I use it in a lot of my recipes in combo with stevia, but you could always sub in sugar (about 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar in place of the 1/4 cup erythritol plus stevia that I put in).

  16. I LOVE Butternut Squash and I especially love it in soup. What a great idea to put potatoes in butternut squash soup, I would have never of thought of that. And your photo is beyond gorgeous! :) Happy Thanksgiving!!

  17. This looks fantastic! Your mom will love well as your Thanksgiving meal, I am sure :) That's the best part about moms...they're always happy with your best efforts. I hope your mom's health improves as the year continues and that you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving :)

  18. Beautiful photo of your soup with the fresh sage.
    I like to serve butternut squash soup on Thanksgiving, it just seems like the perfect starter to the meal. Have a Happy Thanksgiving:)

  19. I would be proud to serve this beautiful butternut squash chowder to my family and friends at the holiday table as first course.
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you,and your family, Gina, and wishing your mom an improvement in her health.

  20. Gina, what a beautiful post:) I love this butternut squash chowder recipe, and I really want to try it. I recognized your icebox crackers right away:) Your photos are really beautiful! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by all of your loved ones. Good luck with the Just Dance 2 :) Go Gina shake that bootie!! hehe

  21. Delicious butternut squash soup and your presentation is so lovely with sage leaves! Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. Happy belated Thanksgiving Gina! The soup looks wonderful. I LOVE butternut squash in soup - actually, I just plain love butternut squash! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend, Kate

  23. Ooh, it looks absolutely fabulous, Gina! How did your mother like it? Thanks for stopping by my blog; I'm glad you like the Frittata Papa! Reading your About Me made me think--this is definitely my kind of woman!!!