#ImprovCookingChallenge ~ Chicken and Bacon Squash Soup
Welcome to the November edition of the Improv Cooking Challenge! This month the theme is Winter Squash and Bacon. We went to the pumpkin patch last month and one of the things I picked up was several varieties of squash, and I decided to make a soup out of the butternut and acorn squash. It was only after I'd made it that I happened to realize I'd used ingredients that made it a perfect candidate for this month's Improv Cooking Challenge - so I saved it to share!
I took the pictures of the soup before I remembered to add the shredded chicken back in - so imagine it with a touch more texture. :) It's creamy, hearty, lightly seasoned and a perfect taste of fall. I just don't think you can beat a good squash soup!
Chicken and Bacon Squash Soup inspired by The Cozy Apron
1 large bone in, skin on chicken breast
2 medium acorn squash
1 medium butternut squash
5 thick cut slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup diced fresh mushrooms
8 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken breast on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, prep the acorn squash by rinsing, cutting in half and removing the seeds then slicing into strips. Set aside.
- In the bottom of a large soup pot, begin cooking the bacon. When it has released a decent amount of grease, add in the onion and mushroom. Add in the minced garlic. Stir frequently, allow bacon to brown, onions to get some color, and mushrooms to become tender. When this mixture is fully cooked, turn off the heat.
- When chicken is cooked, remove from oven and set aside to cool. Place the prepared acorn squash on the same baking tray, drizzled with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper and place in the same 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
- In a separate pot, heat the 8 cups of vegetable broth. Prepare your butternut squash by peeling and removing the seeds. Cut into large chunks and place in the vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Once butternut squash and acorn squash are tender, add in batches to a good blender (I love my Vitamix!) and combine (3 batches worked well, make sure to evenly mix the acorn squash into the butternut / broth mixture so you'll have enough liquid in each batch to blend well). Blend until creamy and smooth and then pour the mixture into the pot with the onion / bacon / mushroom mixture. Shred the cooled chicken into the soup mixture and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as you desire.
- Serve warm. Serving suggestion: swirl of cream, dollop of sour cream, chopped bacon and chives, slices of roasted acorn squash for garnish.