Milady de Winter is one of my all-time favorite literary villains. She’s the sort of cold, evil manipulator that you just love to hate. In fact, she’s such a good bad guy that my favorite chapters in The Three Musketeers are the five chapters she spends in prison doing nothing but scheming. Naturally, such a wonderful villain deserves a spot on our menu.
And given her name, I knew the recipe I made in her honor had to be winter soup!
Since I didn’t have a go-to winter soup recipe, I had to go hunting for one while planning this menu. This particular winter soup—my own slight variation on one I found by Chungah Rhee–is fragrant and wholesome. I chose it because it includes an extra step that many soup recipes don’t: it calls for roasting the vegetables before adding them to the soup. I think roasting vegetables ALWAYS makes them better, so I had my eye out for a recipe that took advantage of roasted veggie goodness. And this is definitely it! If I didn’t have a go-to winter soup recipe before, I’ve sure got one now! 😉
Milady de Winter’s Soup
“Fifty vessels were waiting to set out. Passing alongside one of them, d’Artagnan fancied he perceived on board it the woman of Meung–the same whom the unknown gentleman had called Milady, and whom d’Artagnan had thought so handsome; but thanks to the current of the stream and a fair wind, his vessel passed so quickly that he had little more than a glimpse of her.”
— The Three Musketeers
- 1 lb butternut squash
- 1 small sweet onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 8 slices cooked crumbled bacon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 gloves garlic
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp of each)
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- Optional Garnishes: extra crumbled bacon, chopped green onion, and/or provolone cheese cut in the shape of a fleur de lis
Makes approx. 4 servings
- Preheat your oven to 400°.
- Peel and chop your squash into 1-inch cubes. Dice your onion and red pepper into 1-inch pieces and mince your garlic. Combine them on a lightly greased baking sheet with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Gently toss to combine.
- Roast the vegetables in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender, stirring once halfway through.
- Add the thyme and half your chicken stock to a food processor. Add half your vegetables and bacon and process until the desired consistency is reached. Pour the mix into a large stockpot or dutch oven and process your remaining vegetables, bacon, and chicken stock. Transfer the second half of the mix to the pot and stir to combine.
- Bring the mix to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- To make the fleur de lis garnish, cut the shape out of a piece of provolone cheese with an appropriately shaped cookie cutter or stencil.
- Serve warm to the world’s best literary villain. With some French bread on the side, of course! 🙂