Apple-Squash Soup with Bacon

Apple-Squash Soup with Bacon | | paleo recipes | Whole30 recipes | soup recipes

I updated this recipe (formerly Apple-Cheddar Squash Soup) to be paleo and Whole30 friendly and added slow cooker and Instant Pot variations in the recipe notes!

When you see this soup in pre-pureed form you might run for cover. Chunks of onions, potatoes, apples and squash simmering away looks more like a dare than your dinner. Once you get to the end and taste the final result — it’ll be come one of your favorites! And here’s a little secret — it’s even better the second time around.

Apple-Squash Soup with Bacon

Yield: Serves 8


  • 10-12 ounces of thick-cut bacon (nitrate-free and uncured if possible)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 large Yukon or russet potato, diced
  • 1 pound chopped & peeled butternut squash, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple juice or cider
  • 1 Tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot flour
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Thinly sliced green onions, for garnish


  1. Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces and cook in a large soup pot over medium heat until it reaches desired crispness, about 15 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate lined with a couple of paper towels.
  2. Drain all but 4-5 Tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the pot. Return the pot to the stove and add the onion, apples, potato and squash. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sage and cider and cook over high heat, stirring, until the cider has reduced some.
  3. Whisk the tapioca flour into the coconut milk and pour the mixture into the pot with the broth. Bring to a low boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the potato and squash are soft, 12 – 15 minutes.
  4. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a counter-top blender) until smooth. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of the vinegar. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, or vinegar, if necessary.
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of bacon and green onions.

Nat’s Notes:

  1. The original recipe had sharp cheddar cheese added. Garnish with a little cheese, too, if you’re flexible with your dairy consumption!

Slow Cooker adaptation:

  1. Cook the bacon like indicated above.
  2. Place the onion, squash, potatoes, apples, and bacon drippings or ghee into a 4 quart slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle the tapioca, sage, and salt over the vegetables and give it a quick stir.
  4. Pour the stock, apple juice, and almond milk into the cooker.
  5. Cover and cook for 7-8 hours on low (or 3-4 hours on high).
  6. Blend until smooth using an immersion blender (or in batches with a countertop blender)
  7. Serve with garnishes.

Instant Pot adaptation:

  1. Cook the bacon like indicated above.
  2. Turn the Instant Pot on to the Saute setting. When it is headed, add 4 Tablespoons of the bacon drippings to the pot. (You can also use ghee or coconut oil.) Add the onion to the pot, stirring occasionally, until the onion is transluscent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the squash, apples and potatoes to the pot. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, sage and tapioca over everything and give it a stir. Add the cider and broth.
  4. Close the lid, and turn the Instant Pot to the manual setting for 10 minutes.
  5. When it’s finished, use the quick steam release setting to open the pot.
  6. Blend until smooth using an immersion blender (or in batches with a countertop blender)
  7. Serve with garnishes.

adapted from Food Network Magazine, December 2009