I’ve been wanting to experiment with a butternut squash bisque now for awhile. I always see butternut squash soup recipes and my tumble rumbles just reading them! It’s just such autumny goodness in-a-bowl.
Tonight I wanted a savory version, so I started looking. I found many with apples, brown sugar and maple syrup, but I have just not been in a sweet mood lately. I’ve been in a savory mood.
Literally, I’m always in a sweet mood. I meant sweet tooth!
Bisque or soup, you might wonder? What’s the difference? Actually bisque is soup…just a silkier, smoother soup.
Bisque is characterized by being completely pureed, while soup can have chunks and other textures in it. You might only think of bisque in regards to seafood, but vegetables are also widely used as the basis for a bisque. It is truly a comforting and luxurious silken-wonder.
You should start by getting a good-size butternut squash. Look for one that feels heavy for its size and is bruise-free. I weighed mine and it was around 3 1/2 pounds.
Roasting butternut squash is easy..if you prefer to make it as a side dish you can find instructions here on how to do so…I use it in this scrumptious salad, and even to top bruschetta . It’s also delicious cubed, roasted and served with a spicy sage compound butter stirred into it.
Take it and cut it in half longways. Line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly drizzle it with olive oil. Take your squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and place it face down on the olive oil and kind of slide it around to get the bottom all nicely coated. Pop it into your oven for about 40 minutes at 350º.
Go for a long walk around the neighborhood with your friend Nancy for 40 minutes, and when you come back, it’ll be carmelized and lovely and softened.
Did you know that when two women walk and talk, they can exercise without knowing it and get lost in their own neighorhood?
The good news is, Nancy has a GPS on her phone, so we’re always safe.
If you don’t go for a walk and get lost, while your squash bakes, put 2 tablespoons of butter into a large pot or pan and let it melt.
While that’s melting, chop up about 1/2 cup of shallots. Just slice them thin, and they don’t have to be perfect. Toss them into your melted butter. Keep your heat on medium-low, and stir them around in the pan until they get nice and soft.
You could subsitute a mild onion instead. It would be just fine.
Take a large spoon and scoop the seeds out from your squash.
Next, scoop out your squash from its skin right into the pan.
Dump in about 2 cups of chicken broth.
Stir it all up and bring to a low simmer. Divide it in half and dump it into your blender. No picture…so sorry. Don’t fill your blender too full. Hot liquid tends to spout up some when you blend it.
Pour it all back into your pan. I kind of wiped the pan out of any chunks. You really want silky smooth soup here.
Mmmmmm. Gruyere cheese.
Sweet and nutty with a tiny bit of a twang. Grate one cup of this stuff up and toss it into your bisque.
Now take a small saucepan, turn it on medium low heat.
There are 2 things you can use at this point for your sage cream.
#1 – Creme’ Fraiche. If you can find it, this would be fabulous.
If you can find find it and you don’t care about fattening, go for it.
Remember me? The idiot who started exercising and eating good right before the holidays? I opted for something else.
Nonfat plain yogurt. (It was fabulous). I dumped one and one-half cups of it into the pan and also one tablespoon of dried sage. Stir it around really good and mix the sage in. Let it warm up.
And just add one cup of your warmed sage cream right into your bisque.
Add 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
And mix it all up really good.
Ladle your bisque into a bowl. Take your 1/2 cup of leftover cream sauce and drizzle a little over the top. I topped mine with a fresh sage leaf.
Remember, before you eat, to stop and give thanks to God for silky, creamy sagey good butternut squash bisque.
I’m pretty sure up there in heaven, God will be smiling along with you.
- 1 large butternut squash – 3-4 pounds
- ½ cup sliced shallots or onions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 c. chicken broth
- 1 c. grated Gruyere or Asiago cheese
- 1 c. crème fraiche, heavy cream or plain yogurt ( I used nonfat)
- 1 T. dried sage
- ½ t. salt
- ½ t. pepper
- Optional: Fresh sage leaves for garnish
- Cut squash in half lengthways.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place face down on a lined cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil.
- Place in 350º oven for 40 minutes.
- While that’s baking, melt 2 T. butter in large saucepan or pot.
- Stir in shallots until softened.
- When squash is done, remove from oven, scoop out seeds with large spoon.
- Scoop out squash from skin into the pot or pan.
- Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer, stirring a bit.
- Transfer ½ of this mixture to blender and puree until very creamy-smooth.
- Pour into clean pan or pot.
- Transfer 2nd batch into blender. Repeat.
- In small saucepan, heat up crème fraiche or yogurt slowly.
- Stir in sage.
- Pour one cup of mixture into bisque.
- Whisk well.
- Stir in cheese, salt and pepper, Whisk until cheese melts.
- Drizzle 1 T. reserved sage cream over center of bowl.
- Garnish with fresh or fried sage leaf (fried in olive oil or butter till crisp).
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