This recipe came about as I was preparing for the infamous Blizzard of 2015 here in New York. I wanted a roasted squash but was also craving a comfort soup. Melding the two ideas together, adding some salty flavor in the way of speck and apple for sweetness this soup turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever had. I hope you enjoy it on a cold and snowy day, or any other day for that matter!

Butternut Squash, Speck and Rice Soup

Butternut Squash, Speck and Carnaroli Rice Soup. Photo by Leslie Brienza

Butternut Squash, Speck and Rice Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium sized butternut squash
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 4 slices speck or other prosciutto, cut in small pieces
  4. 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  5. 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  6. 3/4 cup carnaroli rice
  7. 1 apple, Honey Crisp or similarly sweet, peeled and cubed
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds
  3. Rub olive oil on the squash and place cut size down on cookie sheet
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until skin is browned and flesh is soft
  5. Remove squash from oven and let cool
  6. Remove skin from squash and cut into cubes
  7. Heat olive oil in 5 qt. saucepan and sauté onions until soft and translucent
  8. Add the speck and apple and saute for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat until browned
  9. Add squash to pan and brown for two minutes
  10. Add chicken broth and rice and bring to a boil
  11. Reduce heat to low, and cook covered for 25-30 minutes or until rice is done
  12. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and cracked pepper
  13. Drizzle good quality olive oil over the top and serve
Notes
  1. This recipe doesn't have added salt. The salt in the speck, cheese and broth gave it enough flavor
  2. Use a good quality peppery olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano for the ultimate flavor combination
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