This time of year grocery stores and farmer's markets are packed full of various squash just waiting to come home and be cooked. Butternut squash in particular is a wonderful base for cool weather soups and the addition of bacon and maple syrup only makes it better.
SMOKED MAPLE AND BACON SQUASH SOUP
2 butternut squash halved lengthwise and seeds removed
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 sage leaves
1 pint heavy cream
1 14 oz can chicken stock
3 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. chipotle powder
1 cup crumbled bacon
Salt to taste
Heat smoker* to approximately 350 degrees. Place squash on the smoker cut side up, placing one tablespoon butter and one sage leaf in each cavity. Close lid and allow to cook 1-1.5 hours until tender.
Remove squash from smoker. Using a spoon, scoop the soft squash from the skin and place in a blender. Blend until pureed.
Add cream, chicken stock, maple syrup and chipotle powder and blend well. Pour mixture into a large saucepan and add bacon and salt to taste. Place saucepan on the grill and warm over medium heat, stirring periodically until warmed through. Serve immediately.
(Editor's note: A hollowed out round squash creates a memorable serving vessel.)
* Recipe created by Clint Cantwell, courtesy of Kingsford.com