Makes 8 servings (about 8 to 9 cups)
Active time: 40 min
Total time: 50 min
- 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 lb boiling potatoes
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples (about 3/4 lb total)
- 1 1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 1/2 to 4 cups)
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups water
- sour cream
- Cook bacon in a 6-qt heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, reserving 2 tablespoons fat in pot. (Add vegetable oil if your bacon is very lean and doesn’t yield enough fat.)
- Cook celery, carrot, and onion in fat in pot over low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add cinnamon and cook, uncovered, stirring, 1 minute.
- While vegetables are cooking, peel potatoes and coarsely chop. Peel and core 1 apple and coarsely chop.
- Stir squash, potato, chopped apple, stock, 2 cups water, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper into onion mixture, then simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Puree soup in 4 batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids), then heat in cleaned pot over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. (Add additional 1/2 cup water to thin, if necessary.)
- While soup is heating, cut enough of remaining apple into thin matchsticks (about 1 1/2-inches long) to measure about 1/2 cup.
- Serve soup topped with sour cream, bacon, and apple matchsticks.
- Soup can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered once cooled.
- Cooked bacon can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container. Reheat in a 375°F oven in a small baking pan.