This comforting butternut squash and potato soup is ideal for a cool fall evening. The scallions, pomegranate, and bacon on top make it colorful and extra tasty.
My fiancé doesn’t like winter squash, pumpkin, or anything with cooked apples in it, which as you can imagine makes fall a lot less fun. This year I’ve been on a mission to sneak as much of these things into him as possible, all the while making sure he thinks whatever he’s eating is really delicious. I believe I’m making progress, because several of my recent attempts haven’t been subtle at all and have still gone over really well.
First I hid some apple in this stuffed squash with sausage, and he gobbled it up. He did not even realize there was any apple until I mentioned it (after he was done eating two helpings, of course). Next I got a little bolder and offered him these baked pumpkin custards with maple mascarpone whipped cream. Those were a hit, too!
My third victory is this butternut squash and potato soup. Ben ate up a big bowl that didn’t even have any fun toppings on it! My plan with including potato was to cut the squash flavor a bit and make the soup extra creamy, almost like potato leek soup with a fall twist. It worked out great. I added a little maple syrup to amp up the sweetness of the squash, a bit of lemon juice for contrast, and a dash of smoked paprika to add just a hint of fireside flavor.
I topped this butternut squash and potato soup with a trifecta of color and flavor: freshly sliced scallions, pomegranate arils, and crispy bacon. That way you get a good dose of extra savory taste and texture with little juicy pops of sweetness from the pomegranate seeds. It’s a wonderful combination!
This soup makes a big batch, and I think the flavor even improves a little after spending a day or two in the fridge. So if there’s anyone you’re trying to get more squash into, I highly recommend you whip this up.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 8 medium red potatoes (about 2¼ pounds), peeled and chopped
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock (I used my Instant Pot chicken stock)
- 1 large butternut squash (about 2½ pounds), peeled, deseeded, and chopped
- ⅔ cup heavy cream or coconut milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon bittersweet smoked paprika
- Arils from 1 large pomegranate
- Green part of 8 scallions, sliced on the bias
- 8 slices bacon, chopped small and cooked until crisp
- Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about ten minutes, until the onion is translucent and beginning to brown. Add the potatoes, salt, pepper, and stock, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
- Stir in the butternut squash and reduce the heat so the soup simmers. Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash and potatoes are very tender. Cool for a few minutes, then puree with an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender or food processor in batches) until very smooth.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve hot, topped with pomegranate arils, scallions, and bacon if desired.