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Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon

This fall I had the fortunate opportunity to continue teaching a basic cooking class at our local junior high, and for a couple sessions we focused on autumn's harvest. This is one of my favorited times during the week! I so enjoy being surrounded with the students enthusiasm, curiosity, and interest in creating and utilizing our local and homegrown products. While my garden was a meager attempt this year, one of our fellow teacher's had a booming harvest of plenty and provided the butternut squash, along with my neighbor brought us overflowing bushels of beautiful apples from her tree. So, this recipe fit perfectly with the bounty of harvest that was shared with us, and we, as class filled of creative 'junior highers' produced this taste-filled treat for their fellow students and teachers.

Butternut Squash with Bacon

1 apple, peeled, seeded and sliced

1 butternut, peeled, seeded and cubed

1 hand full of carrots

2 tbsp garlic-minced

1/4 cup onion flakes

3 c. chicken stock

1 c. whole cream

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp sage

4 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp for garnishing

1 green onion-diced, optional

1 dollop of sour cream, optional

Directions: Dump all the ingredients in a slow cooker except the cream and garnishes. Let these ingredients cook all day. About an hour before serving use an emulsion blender or mixer to blend everything together. There's usually some chunks of apples and squash that need to be pureed, and these should be blended evenly within the soup. Once that is complete, add the cream and let the soup sit for about 30 minutes longer, a little longer if need be. Then garnish with crisp bacon bits, a dollop of sour cream, and diced green onions, and enjoy!

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