· 1 large (3-pound) butternut squash, halved and seeded· 1 tablespoon honey· 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste· 1/2 cup salted butter (4 ounces)· 2 medium-size yellow onions, chopped· 11 garlic cloves, smashed· 2 medium carrots, chopped· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage· 8 cups lower-sodium chicken broth, or as needed, divided· 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika, plus more for garnish· 1/2 teaspoon black pepper· 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg· 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream· 6 thick-cut bacon slices, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch strips· 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Step 1Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a paring knife, score cut sides of squash in a crosshatch pattern. Arrange squash halves, cut sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush cut sides of squash with honey; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast in preheated oven until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes. Using a spoon, scrape squash flesh into a medium bowl. Discard peels. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium Dutch oven over medium until sizzling. Add onions and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and light golden brown, about 25 minutes. Add carrots and sage; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in cooked squash and 6 cups broth. Bring to a boil over high. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Ladle soup, in 3 batches, into a blender. Secure lid on blender; remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a kitchen towel over opening. Process until velvety smooth, about 30 seconds per batch. (Alternatively, puree soup in Dutch oven using an immersion blender until smooth.) Return pureed soup to Dutch oven over medium, and stir in paprika, pepper, nutmeg, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in remaining 2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 4 minutes. Divide soup evenly among bowls. Top each with a spoonful of crème fraîche, and sprinkle each serving with bacon, parsley, and paprika.