For someone who lives just minutes from a lovely Williams-Sonoma store where the purée is on sale, this would a great weekend meal. This recipe is much better than the sweeter version found on the label of the purée.
Serves 6 to 8
4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage, plus small sage leaves for garnish
4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 jar (32 oz.) butternut squash puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan and return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bay leaf, chopped sage, the 4 tsp. salt and the 1 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
Add the wine and simmer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
Add the butternut squash puree and bacon and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Ladle the chowder into warmed bowls and garnish with sage leaves. Serve immediately.