Since we’ve been experiencing kind of a summer-fall hybrid outside, I decided to experiment and use some summer flavors in this classic fall soup. The orange zest and serrano peppers do the trick. Oh, and I love the phrase “garnish with bacon.”

This full-flavored soup has a kick of heat from the jalapenos and a nice smoky flavor from the bacon.

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2-3 medium onions
  • 2-3 jalapeno, serrano or other mildly hot peppers
  • 4 small tomatoes*
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-4 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk (not light)
  • 1 Tbs. curry powder
  • 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • Zest of one orange
  • 3 strips good-quality bacon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut open the squash and scoop out the seeds. Cut off the rind and dice the flesh into one-inch pieces. Peel the onions and cut them into large chunks. Cut the peppers into one-inch segments. Toss all three vegetables in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper, then put them in a single layer on a foil-lined baking pan. Cut the tomatoes in half and wipe the inside of the oily bowl with the cut part. Place the tomatoes cut-side-up on the baking pan, too. Roast the vegetables in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the onions are starting to brown, the squash is soft and the tomato skins come loose.

When the vegetables are close to done, heat the chicken stock, coconut milk, curry powder, nutmeg, orange zest, ginger and garlic over medium heat in a large pot.

Once the vegetables are done, remove and discard the tomato skins. Puree the squash, onions, peppers and tomato flesh in a food processor. Add the puree to the warm liquid mixture on the stove and cook for 20 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, dice the three strips of bacon into small pieces. Cook on medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon pieces and let them cool on a plate. Pour the grease from the bacon into the soup.

Serve warm and garnish with bacon.

*Note: The tomatoes don’t add much, I just needed to use some up before they went bad. You can probably omit them without any problem. But if you have some on the brink of going bad, toss them in and enjoy the extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.