You might think it strange, but November is actually one of my favourite months of the year. There is so much colour with all the rusty leaves on the ground, and a sense of anticipation in the air coming up to Christmas. It’s a month of soups, stews, open fires and wrapping up warm on cold winter walks. Even though January and February have much the same weather, I’m almost bored of it by then. Having just arrived Seattle, I too am full of anticipation. Thanksgiving was a great holiday to arrive on, as it was all about food and spending time together. I made stock from the leftover chicken we had on Thanksgiving and used it for this warming spicy soup. It’s pretty cold here at the moment, so I garnished with some bacon pieces for extra sustenance. I’m heading out now to enjoy another crisp and bright day and discover more about my new home city. *Yes that is Kerrygold butter in the background. Thankfully, I can still get it here and have a small taste of home every so often.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic,crushed
  • 1 small glass of white wine
  • 500g of butternut squash
  • 450ml of chicken stock
  • salt, pepper
  • 100 ml of milk
  • 1 chipotle chili, (less chili if you prefer it less spicy)
  • 2 slices of cooked streaky bacon, chopping into small pieces

 Method

Begin by melting some butter and a splash of olive oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the onions and heat over a medium heat until translucent and almost golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further few seconds. Next, add the wine and cook it for another 5 minutes. Then add the chopped butternut squash.  Cook for 5 minute and then add the chicken stock. Place the lid on the saucepan and allow to cook over a medium heat for about 20 minutes. At this stage the butternut squash should break apart when pushed against the side of the saucepan with a spoon. Add the chili and season with salt and pepper. Place the soup in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Next, pour back into the saucepan add the milk and heat over a gentle heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Sprinkle with streaky bacon bits and serve with some warm, crusty bread, preferably slathered with Irish Kerrygold butter.