Cut and peel a butternut squash. Remove seeds and dice into chunks.
Approx 1 inch cubes. Yeild 4 cups diced.
Toss cubes of squash in olive oil, salt, and pepper and place on a cookie sheet and roast in oven for 45 mins to 60 minutes or until cooked through.
Some squash may cook for less or more time depending on type.
Midway through roasting, toss squash cubes to turn for even browning.
While squash is roasting, fry two strips of bacon until crisp in a heavy bottom pot.
Remove bacon from pot and reserve approx 2 T bacon fat in bottom of pot.
Reserve bacon for topping of soup later. Let drain on paper towel while soup cooks.
Saute, onions, celery, and carrots until softened on medium heat in bacon fat.
Add thyme and garlic to vegetable mixture in pot and cook for 1 minute.
Add stock to vegetables and add squash once cooked with all juices from cookie sheet.
Bring to boil and then reduce heat. Uncovered, let soup simmer 20 minutes.
After simmering, remove from pot and puree all soup or put through a food mill until well pureed. Use caution when using a blender to puree the hot soup. Lid may blow off so hold a kitchen towel over lid and puree in small amounts at a time.
Strain pureed soup through a sieve for a more silky soup or leave as is for a more rustic soup.
Place pureed and strained soup back into pot and add heavy cream. May use 1/2 and 1/2. Then stir and mix well. Simmer 5 minutes.
Taste for seasonings and add salt or pepper as needed.
If the soup is too thick you may thin with more stock as needed.
Crumble bacon on top and serve with croutons. See my recipe for homemade croutons that are perfect for this soup. Croissant Croutons.
You can also add 1/4 t cayenne pepper for some heat if you like a little spice.
Also, try it with fresh pumpkin (fresh pie pumpkins) and use 1/2 t nutmeg in recipe and finish with a drizzle of maple syrup on top with the crumbled bacon. That would be a perfect autumn soup by the fire.