This is a lightly spiced squash soup, enriched with plenty of creamy melting cheese.
Recipe from "Soup, Superb ways with a classic dish," Contributing editor: Debra Mayhew - page 152
2 pounds butternut squash or acorn
8 ounces smoked slab bacon
1 tablespoon oil
1 ½ cups roughly chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 cups diced potatoes
3 ½ cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons, cornstarch
2 tablespoons sour cream
hot-pepper sauce to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups grated Gruyere cheese, to serve
crusty bread, to serve
Cut the squash into large pieces. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the skin, wasting as little flesh as possible.
Scoop out and discard the seeds. Chop the squash into small chunks. Remove all the fat from the bacon and roughly chop it into small pieces.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until they begin to become soft.
Add the bacon and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the spices and cook over low heat for a minute longer.
Add the chopped squash, potatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the squash and potatoes are tender.
Blend the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and add to the soup with the sour cream. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and add hot-pepper sauce to taste.
Ladle the soup into warm bowls and sprinkle the cheese on top. Serve immediately with crusty bread to scoop up the melted cheese.