Chef Leah Everleigh Starts Her Thanksgiving Holiday Meal with Bacon Butternut Squash Soup

When The Laszlo Hotel opens in Parker next month, Leah Everleigh, executive chef, will oversee operations on the three on-site restaurants. The Philippines native says she always offers Filipino favorites on the Thanksgiving menu, such as lumpia, which are Filipino egg rolls, and chicken adobo, the Filipino national dish. But, she loves traditional Thanksgiving fare. Here, she shares a traditional starter—bacon butternut squash soup.

Bacon Butternut Squash Soup

Courtesy Chef Leah Eveleigh

8-10 Servings


  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat 
  • 4 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1 cup coconut cream 
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chevre goat cheese, garnish
  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, garnish
  • 1/2 pound cooked bacon chopped, garnish


1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and seed. Place on a baking sheet skin side up, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 60 minutes or until squash is tender and soft. Set aside and let cool. Peel the skin and cut into chunks and set aside.

2. Heat a large heavy pot, sweat the onion with the bacon fat in moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. 

3. Add the squash chunks to the pot, cover with the lid and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Add the chicken stock, coconut cream, fresh ginger, chili flakes, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender, 25 minutes. Season to taste. Let cool.

5. Using a blender, puree the squash in batches.

6. Garnish with chevre goat cheese, bacon and toasted pumpkin seeds.