Serves 6. Takes about 45 minutes - a quick, easy fall soup!
- 4 bacon slices (optional)
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1/2 pounds carrots, chopped
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 1/2 cups veggie or chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Cook bacon in a 4-to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Add garlic and caraway seeds to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. If skipping the bacon, substitute butter or olive oil for the fat. Add squash, carrots, apple, thyme, bay leaves, broth, water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaves.
Purée about 4 cups soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.