Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Sage

A well-balanced butternut squash soup featuring chowder-like consistency with potatoes, parsnips, fresh sage and jalapeño, all topped with bacon crumbles. A perfect cold weather soup.

Our house is rather small. A modest ranch-style home with three small bedrooms, each housing two people. In the hallway you will find a linen closet barely a foot wide and deep, and just to the right of it is the one and only bathroom for the family. It’s the size of a proper linen closet itself, and with two people in there, you’re constantly reaching over and around and pushing each other.

The selling point in our home, however, was the previous owner had converted the breezeway between the garage and tiny kitchen into a dining room. The breezeway is a long and narrow room just off the kitchen with a large sliding glass door at one end and windows at the front of the house. It holds a massive dining room table that, in turn, holds all six members of our family comfortably and still allows us to entertain a few guests when the mood strikes.

The downfalls of this large room are that it has but one tiny vent to heat it, and the cement that was left under the cheap linoleum that they put down is exceptionally cold on the feet come January, even a mild January.

So it is the midwinter months that have me simmering broths on the stove, happily stirring the steaming pot in the kitchen and then sitting down to eat around the table as a family. I smile as I look around our table, watching my kids dunk pieces of bread into creamy orange bowls and feel content.

This soup gets most of its thickness from a healthy dose of butternut squash. The peppers counteract the sweet just enough, and the bacon is essential. I may have used a piece of whole bacon yesterday as a spoon while we were eating. Just sayin’.

6 slices bacon, cut into small 1/2″ pieces
1 medium onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 parsnips, diced
1 pound fingerling or Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup white wine
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups butternut squash purée
1/2 cup cream
kosher salt and pepper

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat, brown bacon pieces until crisp. Remove bacon bits and set aside to drain. Spoon bacon grease out of the pan, leaving approximately 2 tablespoons’ worth. Add onion, celery and parsnips to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until onions and celery are soft. Add in potatoes, jalapeños and sage. Stir to combine and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.

Pour white wine into the pot and stir to combine, deglazing the pan. Pour in the chicken stock and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are tender. Stir in the butternut squash purée and heavy cream. Stir to combine and continue cooking until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with bacon bits sprinkled liberally over the top.

Makes 8-10 meal-sized servings.
Copyright © Food for My Family.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma after eating it at a church potluck in Mankato when we were visiting the in-laws. I can thank Katie Dick for bringing it, I believe, and my sister-in-law Gretchen for knowing where to find the recipe to make my own.
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  1. Mmmmm, looks delicious. Need to add to my list of winter soups. Bacon is essential 🙂

  2. added to my must-try recipes!

  3. This looks perfect for a day like today, or tomorrow really after I head to the store! It has been snowing. And just have to say. Your PHOTOS. AMAZING!

  4. Wow, that looks amazing. I love butternut squash anything. Also, love hearing about your small house. We have a small one too … but unfortunately no dining room. Someday though.

  5. Your dining room sounds fabulous (except for the cold feet) and so does this soup! Can’t wait to try it.

  6. Absolutely gorgeous, Shaina! We’re having Butternut Squash for our supper tonight and this has me wanting to go ahead and have it NOW!!!

  7. I love the addition of sage to a classic (and favorite!) soup flavor! This looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it!

  8. Got to make. I have butternut squash and potato in storage, parsnip and sage in the garden, only thing missing is the bacon.

  9. I absolutely love butternut squash soup and have never thought to add bacon to it. GREAT idea!

    • If you haven’t tried it already, another gluten-free alternative method for a butternut squash soup is to use about 2/3 butternut, 1/3 sweet potato, milk or chicken broth for liquid, and herbs/spices to taste. This goes in the blender and becomes a bisque-style soup. I usually use onion, thyme, black pepper and ginger for mine, and yes, bacon finishes it off very well. (I’ve even used part cider for the liquid – bacon becomes a feature in that case.)

  10. Gorgeous! And I just adore those darling little soup pots!

  11. Beautiful soup, and I’m with Wendy the soup bowls are wonderful.

  12. This has shot right up to the top of my to do list!

  13. With a bowl of this soup and a pair of slippers on my feet, I certainly wouldn’t mind eating in a slightly-chilled dining room. This looks wonderful, Shaina!

  14. Josephina says:

    Looks yummy! Where did you get those lovely soup pots? Very pretty!



  15. It sounds divine. The bread is equally as gorgeous and I would certainly be content sitting anywhere with my children eating homemade food around a table. Bravo to you! This sounds like the kind of home I grew up in. I have become a bit homesick. There were just 2 children, so it was smaller – just 2 bedrooms, but otherwise, sounds very similar… but no renovation.

  16. My kind of flavor combination – great recipe.It would probably freeze well, before the cream, of course. I’m in stocking-food-for-the-baby mode. =)

  17. I want a bowl of this soup right now. Ic an imagine your sweet family all gathered around the table warming up with this yummy soup!

  18. This looks delicious! I just posted a butternut squash soup recipe over at my blog, but I’m always looking for new ideas for what to add to it. I love that your version has bacon!

  19. It sounds very much like the house I grew up in as well. Now if you mentioned having only one bathroom to 6 people (4 girls!) kids would freak out! I call it learning to share 🙂
    The soup looks divine and I can’t wait to try it! My mother would love it as well, but she would leave out the hot peppers. If i even put in the slightest bit of chili flakes she would notice and comment (not complain) that “it’s a little warm” 🙂

  20. This soup looks gorgeous and absolutely comforting. Love it.

  21. Just made this soup sans the jalapenos and it is tasty! The parsnip adds an important background note, for sure – and there is nothing like bacon as a crouton!

  22. so pretty! bookmarked!

  23. Gorgeous photos! What a great soup!

  24. …pinned this the other day (I see it has several repins) and made it for supper last night – even the bread! Used vegetables from my garden. It was highly appreciated by everybody!

  25. This looks great! I get sick of pureed soup real fast, so I tend to overlook butternut. Love this chunkier version.

  26. Nothing better than a bowl of soup in the winter – this is just gorgeous, Shaina!

  27. Mmmmm, bacon. Hmmm, do I have to use the cream though? How about a short stir of Greek yogurt.

  28. Simply gorgeous soup darlin’! I could use a bowl right now, it’s frigid here this weekend.

  29. That reminds me of lying on the floor of the cold breezeway at my grandparent’s house watching Saturday morning cartoons! Such lovely memories…

  30. Love soup. And these flavours! This looks so good Shaina!

  31. This looks amazing! I made something similar a few years ago and the bacon “croutons” sprinkled on top made the entire dish. Thanks for reminding me that I need to make this soon…’tis the soup season!

  32. Yummm! So did you modify the recipe from Gretchen? I love the idea of adding parsnips! I’ll have to try that next time. This one is always a hit where ever you bring it.

  33. Nice looking chowder! I like the addition of the bacon! 🙂

  34. I can just see your sweet family gathered around the table with their soup! 🙂

    This sounds delicious and comforting…love the addition of the jalapeno!!!

  35. I want this for lunch today. Looks soooo good!

  36. I just recently discovered how much I love butternut squash, and have been making dishes with it quite often lately. This soup sounds amazing! I agree that the bacon is essential!


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