Thursday, October 22, 2009

Butternut Squash Bisque

Ah, the epitome of autumn soup: you can't get much more "fallish" than using this bright orangey yellow squash accompanied with pears, apples, and thyme. Hmm Hmm! I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day this month.

Peeling the butternut squash always requires a bit of elbow grease and light cussing from the bajillion cuts you get, but the outcome redeems all that.

Oh, and I would really have some good rustic bread on the side for dippage- my favorite part of the whole thing. Personally.

Butternut Harvest Bisque

1 3 lb butternut squash
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 large tart apples, peeled and chopped
1 large ripe Bartlett pear, peeled and chopped
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or more if needed)
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp fresh sage (and more for garnish)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2- 1 cup half and half

Cut squash in halves and discard seeds. Peel with a veggie peeler and cut into 1" chunks.

Saute the onion in the butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add squash, apples, pear and chicken broth. Add spices and herbs, as well as salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until everything is tender. Cool to room temperature.

Puree the mixture in batches in your food processor or blender. With a fine mesh sieve, pour mixture through and press into a clean saucepan-- this will ensure a nice and smooth consistency. Stir in half and half (milk works too, peeps!) and heat to just a simmering stage; do not boil.

Ladle into bowls and *garnish with nuts and sage.

* I have a friend who also garnishes this with sauteed crimini mushrooms- that's a real hit!

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