Okay, so I’m actually pretty embarrassed by the fact that I’ve never posted anything about butternut bisque, because it’s seriously one of my absolute favorite soups. It’s actually a really simple soup too; the only time-sink is the simmering process and you don’t actually really have to pay too much attention to that part. So for this recipe I’m actually going to interrupt myself often to give alternatives and observations, because I’ve had lots of different varieties of butternut bisque and I’ve truly enjoyed them all. Please, play and experiment with your food. =)
Oh, and this variation I call my Butternut and Caramelized Onion Bisque. Because it just sounds so much tastier.
– 1 large sweet onion, sliced (I use vidalia)
– 1 package (it’s usually about a pound, I think) peeled and cut butternut squash
– your favorite stock (I used chicken stock tonight, but feel free to keep it vegan by using vegetable stock. I wouldn’t use a strong-flavored stock like mushroom or beef though… it might kill the sweet flavor of the squash)
– a couple tablespoons of brown sugar
– a pinch or two of nutmeg
– a little bit of heavy cream (omit this if you want to keep it vegan or you have issues with dairy.)
– extra virgin olive oil
– Get a saucepan or soup pot nice and hot on medium/high heat. Drizzle in your oil, a good several turns around the pot.
– Plonk in your onions and saute until they’re decently brown. If you’re worried about burning them, your options are to either turn down the heat (which makes everything take longer) or to keep stirring your onions (which is what I did)
– Once your onions are lovely and caramelized, throw in your butternut and give it a good stir.
** So if you want more depth of flavor, you can throw in some chopped celery and carrot in too at this point. Just make sure they’re good and soft before you proceed.
– Pour in enough stock to just cover the squash and onions (a little over a quart, maybe? I didn’t actually measure) and bring it to a rolling boil.
– Give it a good stir just in case anything got stuck to the bottom, lower the heat, clap on a lid, and simmer until the butternut basically falls apart if you look funny at it.
– Whiz it all up. This is where I swear by my handy dandy stick blender, but you can also ladle it in increments into your blender or food processor. Be careful, it is hot and will NOT be pleasant if you splash yourself.
– Once it’s all nice and smooth, get it back on low heat. I like my bisque on the sweet side, so I put in a good heaping spoonful or two of brown sugar, and some nutmeg. If you like yours more savory, go with salt and pepper, maybe a little bit of celery salt if you’re feeling really daring.
– Right before serving, if you want it super-rich, drizzle in a couple tablespoons of heavy cream (You can turn the heat off right before you do this) Stir it in and revel in the silky loveliness of your soup.
Goes fabulously will with some fresh sliced sourdough for dipping.
Now get out there and soup it up!