Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary + Bacon [Paleo and Whole30!]

Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary + Bacon [Paleo and Whole30!] - Sarah J. Hauser

Last year about this time, a few friends hosted a shower to celebrate the birth of our third. I gave birth to him in July, but with summer schedules and newborn exhaustion, we decided to wait until the fall for a baby shower—and I loved it!

Celebrating three months into his life forced me to stop and practice gratitude in a way I couldn’t necessarily do during pregnancy. It allowed me to step away from the diapers and spit-up and appointments. It created space to gather with friends and family and look back on what God gave us in this sweet, little boy—while still looking forward to his life ahead.

My friends know me well, too, because that evening, they made it a point to serve home-cooked food and sit around the table together. We passed baskets of bread, poured glasses of wine, and savored spoonfuls of soup. We chatted and laughed, talked about birth stories, and commiserated with each other about sleepless nights. I remember thinking how grateful I was for my new son and the loved ones who took the time to celebrate him with me. What a gift.

Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary + Bacon [Paleo and Whole30!] - Sarah J. Hauser
Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary + Bacon [Paleo and Whole30!] - Sarah J. Hauser
Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary + Bacon [Paleo and Whole30!] - Sarah J. Hauser
Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary + Bacon [Paleo and Whole30!] - Sarah J. Hauser
Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary + Bacon [Paleo and Whole30!] - Sarah J. Hauser
Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary + Bacon [Paleo and Whole30!] - Sarah J. Hauser

My friend who hosted my baby shower ladled soups into small glass jars. I thought it was a great idea, and it made it easy for people to try both soups she offered that night. Not only do jars work well for serving smaller portions to a group, but it makes it easy to snag a cup for lunch to go alongside a salad or sandwich.

This Butternut Squash Soup is dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, and Whole30, so it works for all kinds of diets! You can also omit or serve the bacon on the side for a vegan option. Enjoy!


Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary + Bacon
Yields about 10 cups

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 medium apples, cored and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 ½-4 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
⅓ cup full fat coconut milk (from a can, not a coconut milk beverage)
8-12 ounces bacon
2-3 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and apples, and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 4-6 minutes until the onions are translucent.

Add the white wine vinegar, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 1 more minute. (Add about ¼ cup of stock if the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pot.)

Pour in the broth and add the squash. Turn the heat to medium-high, cover, and bring to a boil. The reduce the heat to low and simmer (covered) until the squash is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

While the soup cooks, fry the bacon until crisp, and chop into small pieces.

Turn the heat off the soup. Stir in the coconut milk. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, allow soup to cool for a bit and then transfer to a regular blender in batches to puree.

Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowls for serving. Top with crisp bacon pieces and chopped rosemary. Enjoy!

Note: This pairs really well with Crostini with Caramelized Apples, Fontina + Rosemary!


Autumn Pasta Salad with Maple Dressing

It has been a busy few weeks. Apparently in the midst of the busyness, September showed up. Is it just me, or does it seem like this month came out of nowhere? Last I knew, I was brainstorming a thousand different summer recipes, and the hubs and I were researching the grill we were finally going to buy.

Yesterday, we realized that we may as well forgo the grill purchase (again) this season and use the money to buy a snowblower instead. Oy. I'm not ready for that. I'm still clinging to the last bits of summer - farmers' markets, grilling (or using the stove-top grill pan in our case), eating s'mores around the fire pit and enjoying good 'ol picnic food.

This pasta salad is sort of a bridge between the seasons. To me, pasta salads are a summer staple, but this one boasts of fall flavors like maple syrup and butternut squash. Enjoy it warm on the cold days or cold on those last few lingering warm days. It's the best of both seasons.

Are you clinging to summer? Or are you ready to bring on fall?

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Autumn Pasta Salad with Maple Dressing
Yields 8-10 servings

Pasta Salad
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ to 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound bow tie pasta
1 ½ cups dried cranberries
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
3-4 ounces fresh arugula (a couple handfuls – just eyeball it)
Maple Dressing (see recipe below)
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay butternut squash out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.

While the squash is roasting, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

When the squash is done roasting, add it to a large bowl, along with the cooked pasta, cranberries and walnuts. Mix well. Add in the Maple Dressing and fold in the arugula. The warm squash and pasta noodles should cause the arugula to wilt slightly.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. When ready to serve, top with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Maple Dressing
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Whisk together the mustard, maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over pasta salad as directed above.