BUTTERNUT, BAC'N & KALE CHOWDER


Let soup season begin with this tasty combination of butternut squash, carrots, corn and kale topped with vegan bacon crumbles (I used Sweet Earth brand) and toasted pepitas(pumpkin seeds).

INGREDIENTS

5 oz vegan bacon

1 Tbsp vegan butter

1 sweet onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp dried sage

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2-3 carrots, sliced into half moons

2 cobs corn, kernels removed(2 cups frozen)

3 cups, 1/2" cubed butternut squash

4 cups "no chicken" or vegetable broth

1/2 cup non-dairy creamer(or coconut milk)

1 bunch lacinato kale, destemmed & roughly chopped

1/4 cup pepitas

DIRECTIONS

1. In a stockpot/dutch oven over medium-high heat with a little oil, cook plant-based bacon until browned, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pot and set aside. Once cooled, chop into small pieces.


2. Add vegan butter to stockpot and sauté onions 3 to 4 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Add carrots, corn and butternut squash and continue to sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic, sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook for another 1 minute to release aromatics. Pour in broth, bring to boil then lower heat to a simmer. Partially cover and cook for 15 minutes.


3. While soup is simmering, toast pepitas in a small skillet over medium heat. Shake pan to toss occasionally and cook until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.


4. Transfer 1.5 cups of soup to blender and blend until smooth, approximately 30 seconds. Return to stockpot along with non-dairy creamer. Bring soup back to a simmer, stir in kale then continue to cook, partially covered for 5 minutes.


5. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve topped with vegan bacon and toasted pepitas.


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