Saturday, November 11, 2006

Savory Butternut Squash Soup with Tomato and Pancetta

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Who doesn’t love a great bowl of homemade soup? There is simply no romance to cranking open a can of "Campbell's" for lunch. Try this instead!

6 ounces diced pancetta or bacon
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium chopped onions
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash
1 tablespoon Mexican Oregano
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups tomato juice or V8
4 chopped ripe Roma tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot saute the pancetta or bacon till it gives up its fat and crisps. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Add butter and saute the onion, carrots and celery over low heat till they are very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cubed butternut squash, oregano, and red pepper flakes and saute 10 minutes more. Add chicken broth, diced tomato and tomato juice and simmer for 20 minutes till squash is squishy. Carefully puree soup in blender or use wand blender and puree in pot. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cooked pancetta. Nice with some crusty wheat bread and a salad. Wow... lunch is served!