Whip Smart Kitchen

Recipes, methods & musings for the whip-smart home cook

Roasted acorn squash soup with pancetta

Recipe, FallLeannda CavalierComment

When I think of fall, I think of squash. But the thing about starchy squash is you have to get it just right to keep it out of the "meh" zone. I don't know if it's just my palate, but sometimes when I eat fall/winter squash or even sweet potatoes, after a few bites I feel inundated and have to stop. I think it's partly a dull sweetness and partly a heavy, homogenous texture. 

Not the case here! Filled with fall flavors, this soup is hearty and filling—but it's also balanced. 

The squash, pancetta (Italian bacon), sage, red pepper, and maple syrup all work together to achieve balance, but this recipe also has a secret star: browned butter. There isn't much, but I swear it makes all the difference in the world. 

Pancetta plays a stand-out role too. Not only does it give the soup a nice ribbon of soft umami flavor, it also provides pops of flavor and texture throughout. The tiny pieces of uncured bacon burst between your teeth, sending extra reserves of savory goodness into the mix.

Let's go!

All right, so let's review. Now that you've created this recipe, you know how to:

  • Roast squash
  • Brown butter
  • Toast pepitas
  • A few more things I'll go into more detail on later

And it was pretty right?

Listen, the number of recipes you can make with if you can do that is astounding. This is cause for celebration! Be proud of yourself, because you can cook. 

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