By far the best butternut squash soup you'll ever have. The secret is simple but very crucial to make this soup what it is. It’s the process of roasting the butternut squash with bacon, and then blending them right up. That way, you have that smoky bacon goodness built right into the soup.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
Place butternut squash, onion, bell pepper and bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender, stirring at halftime.*
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butternut squash mixture and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
Serve immediately, garnished with bacon, goat cheese and chives, if desired.
*Baking time may need to be adjusted depending on the size of the squash.