This soup has a very creamy consistency but is completely dairy-free except for the optional garnish of sour cream. Feel free to play around with the amount of carrot, onion or celery, garlic to your taste. This soup can be made the day before and reheated.
This soup is a little labor-intensive, but completely worth the time and effort. I didn't follow the directions exactly. I blended the bacon in with the vegetables, rather than using it just for the drippings and as a garnish. I added a little olive oil to the pan when sauteeing the celery and carrot. My partner can't eat onions so I omitted that and I don't miss it. I added nutmeg to the mix rather than as a garnish. I didn't strictly follow the timing of cooking the celery, apples, garlic, etc. because I was going to boil it down over several hours. This thick, creamy, comforting soup has a bouquet of flavors. The squash, then the bacon, then the apple, then the curry and spices and celery and carrot and garlic bloom on your tongue. Marvelous and complex. This soup could sell for $8/bowl in a snazzy restaurant. It's amazing! I'm serving it tonight with a garlic/cheddar/mozzarella/parmesan bread and pomegranate juice and some vanilla yogurt drizzled with melted seedless blackberry jam. - 18 Feb 2009 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
This was actually quite excellent and well worth the effort. This has a rich blend of flavors that will catch peoples' attention, yet is also somehow simple enough that my kids went back for seconds and thirds - something that almost never happens. A few notes: (1) I did not have apple cider onhand so used 3 cups of unsweetened applesauce with a touch of cinnamon instead and it came out great (I'll be curious to see if it's better/worse with cider next time); (2) I doubled the curry and still barely noticed it so would recommend others do the same; (3) if you use microwave steam bags for the squash you can avoid using the oven and can get it cooked in 6 minutes, shaving some time off the overall prep time; and (4) definitely blend this... we're a family that likes chunky soups and I read the review suggesting to leave it chunky (I used a potato masher instead of blender) and the result was everyone in the family opting to stick theirs in the blender. This does not make a great chunky soup in my opinion, but is restaurant-quality as a blended soup. This was truly excellent and the best thing we've made out of over 20 top-rated recipes from this site. - 11 Sep 2009 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
I made exactly as the recipe stated. Way too vinegary for my family. Other than that I think it has the potential to be a good soup. If I ever made again I would considerably cut the vinegar. - 13 Oct 2011 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)