In October, I went to my friend, Holly's house for a girls' night. We each brought a recipe to share and Holly made pumpkin cookies and this amazing butternut squash soup. She got the recipe from another good friend, Maggie (here's the link to the original recipe).
Maggie's Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup
6 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash (a medium to small squash should work, I had a lot leftover)
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (this is a small amount, but the soup was almost too spicy for me)
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup whipping cream (I used fat-free evaporated milk, and a whole can because I didn't want it to go to waste)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano (I used 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 15-oz cans Great Northern white beans, rinsed and drained
3 Tbsp unsalted pumpkinseed kernels, toasted (optional)
Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving about 2 teaspoons of bacon drippings (or if you're using turkey bacon, just add olive oil to the pan). Crumble the bacon and set aside. In a large pot, add onion, celery and garlic to bacon drippings. Cook about 3 minutes until tender. Add squash; cook 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth and stir until the liquid almost evaporates. Stir in the remaining broth, cumin, red pepper, cinnamon and cloves (and oregano if using dried). Bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until squash is tender. Stir in cream, oregano, salt, pepper and beans. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Sprinkle each serving with bacon and pumpkinseeds (if desired). Makes about 6 portions (1 1/2 cups each).
*Another yummy way to take down the heat a little is adding sour cream to the bowl.