Step 1Cut butternut squash in half and discard seeds.
Step 2Place squash on baking pan and add just enough water to cover bottom of pan. Bake at 400 degrees until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
Step 3While squash bakes, brown diced bacon in large soup pot over medium heat, about 7 minutes. Add olive oil, onion and carrot and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
Step 4When carrots and onions are soft, add chicken stock. Bring to boil, scraping bottom of pot to deglaze. Turn heat off, and cover until squash is baked.
Step 5Scoop baked squash flesh from skin, stir it into broth in pot and return soup to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 6Puree soup in blender or food processor or with hand blender until creamy. Add cream and heat through.
Step 7Garnish with diced red bell peppers and chopped cilantro, if desired.