I have an arsenal of soup recipes for the fall and winter months. I'm so excited to keep them churning out. My newest found obsession as I dive into my soup frenzy, is making my own stocks. I always loved using the steeping liquid when I would rehydrate mushrooms, because it gave my soups an added layer of yum. I was always slightly intimidated by making my own stocks though. Turns out, it's super easy. It's like making concoctions on the dinner table when you were a little kid. Throw everything you have into a pot. Add water. And boil. Freeze. Done. Delicious. —Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat halved butternut squash in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for 40 minutes. Remove and let cool. When cool enough to work with, scoop out the soft squash and discard the skin. Cut into bite size cubes. Set aside.
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until almost crisp. Drain about 1/2 the fat. Toss in onions, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Let soften for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, water and potatoes. Add a healthy amount of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Using the homemade chicken broth really makes this dish. Let the potatoes cook for about 10 minutes, until soft. The starch from the potatoes will help thicken the broth.
Add the butternut squash, cream and thyme. Let cook on medium low for 5 minutes, to make sure the squash is warmed through.
At this point, you can serve chunky like it did, or run an immersion blender through the soup to make it creamy and smooth. Either way, delicious!