Autumn Butternut Squash, Carrot and Apple Bisque
I needed a little comfort food today. After a weekend of beer and wine tasting, festival food and other assorted sins, the warmth and comfort of a vegetable-rich soup seemed like the perfect Sunday meal. I make many version of squash or pumpkin soup throughout the fall and winter, but decided to keep it simple today and take advantage of some delicious fresh apple cider procured at the pumpkin patch yesterday. Outside of chopping and peeling the squash, my seven-year old did most of the work on this today, so no need to be intimidated! The whole thing came together in less than 45 minutes and it made a great Sunday meal with a grilled ham and brie sandwich and a glass of Riesling. Enjoy!
1 butternut squash, whole (or one package fresh peeled and cubed squash)
3 whole carrots
1 sweet onion
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 ½ cups apple cider
4-5 cups vegetable broth (you could use chicken if preferred)
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground coriander
½ cup cream
First, peel, seed and dice the butternut squash into 1 ½” chunks. Warm the olive oil in a large stock pan or dutch oven and add the squash. Do not stir or salt at this time, as keeping it still for a few moments will allow the squash to start to caramelize. While that is cooking, peel and chop the carrots, onions, and apples and add them into the pot with the squash. Stir once and continue to allow everything to cook, until the carrots and squash are gently caramelized. Now, add about one teaspoon of salt and some pepper, as well as the other spices. Stir a bit – you want to toast the spices before adding liquid into the equation.
Next add the cider and be sure to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the broth and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover, allowing to simmer for at least 25 minutes.
Remove the lid and test to ensure that the carrots and squash are nice and soft. Remove the bay leaves and discard and then, use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot or puree in a blender in small batches. Now add the cream and taste, seasoning with additional salt, pepper, or spices as desired. Yum yum – you are ready to enjoy a steaming, fragrant bowl of fall in a bowl!