I want to start this blog by stating a HUGE thanks to my old boss, Ryan, for teaching me so much about creating food and letting me get the hands on experience I would not have had anywhere else.

Here it is… a note to start you with, I did not make this with pumpkin. I don’t have anything against the fall mascot. I just forgot.

EASY Butternut Squash Soup

1/2 cup Quinoa
1 cup Vegetable Stock
1 Garlic Clove, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

12 oz Thick Cut Bacon
1/4 Red Onion, chopped
1 large Garlic Clove, minced
3 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 qt Boxed Butternut Squash Soup, (I bought a vegan and gluten free labeled brand)
1/2 cup Half and Half
2 Tbsp fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
2 tsp dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4 cup Half and Half
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup

It easiest to get the quinoa under way, to a small pot (non-stick DOES help) add vegetable stock, garlic, and desired seasonings, then follow normal cooking directions. Keep covered when done cooking, it WILL stay warm.

In a separate/larger pan, cook your bacon to desired crispiness. Set aside on a paper towel, go ahead and have a piece, you’re doing all of the work anyways…

In the same large pan, pour OUT the bacon juice, keeping about 3 Tbsp in the pan. Let that sit over a medium heat and add your olive oil. Once hot enough, add your garlic and red onion.
MMMM smell that? It’s the beginning of something great. If you have enough bacon drippings, it may look that the onion is burning. Have no fear, it is coating nicely. Cook for about 2 minutes total and bring down heat just a tad.
Now add your thyme, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir all together for a few minutes. Then, add your soup, let that heat up and add your half and half. I typically let this come to a simmer and stir/ taste often. Bringing down to a lower temperature and puree to your liking. While that’s happening, your quinoa should be done and you can chop that bacon to desired pieces.
For the maple “foam”, just add the maple syrup to the half and half in a container and use your hand mixer to incorporate. The top will give you a nice foam to just add in or get fancy with in plating!

Speaking of plating, if you get creative and happen to share on Instagram, tag me! I would love to see, @allthingsrefresh
Last note, this soup is easy and OH SOOOO customizable. If you’re vegetarian, skip the bacon. If you’re vegan, definitely no bacon and skip the half and half. I mentioned earlier the pumpkin I didn’t add (would have added 1/4 cup puree before the soup) and depending where maple syrup stands, do or don’t add it. But, mix it up and take out what you feel. Let me know what works for you in the comments.

Stay warm!