1 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut in chunks
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 oz pancetta diced small cubed
3 TBS unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
3 cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup half – and – half
¼ cup light brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Add the diced peeled squash and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the squash. Next scatter the cubed pancetta over the squash and season with 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, toss to coat. Roast the squash for 20-25 minutes until soft. Meanwhile in a heavy bottom stock pot heat the butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over low heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent about 15 to 20 minutes. The squash should be finished roasting, remove the squash from the oven and discard the crisp pancetta or reserve as a garnish. Add the roasted squash to the stockpot with the onions and add the pumpkin puree and homemade chicken stock. Season the mixture with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Stir to incorporate and then cover and simmer over medium – low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cover carefully and process the mixture with an immersion blender, blender or food processor. Return the soup to the pot, add the half and half cream and brown sugar and heat for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with homemade croutons.
To make croutons: Slice a boule loaf into 1/2-inch cubes for 4 cups and sauté them in 2-3 tablespoon of butter. Season the cubes with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper until browned and toasted; about 10 minutes.