Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque is a smooth and creamy soup flavored with squash, apples, and herbs. A crispy bacon garnish gives contrasting texture.
Is there anything better on a cold winter evening than a bowl of warm soup? It’s one of my favorite comfort foods.
Of course, I gravitate towards the creamy ones (ie, the unhealthy) ones , but you know what? I’ve decided to stop labeling foods as “bad” or “good” and just strive for balance. On days when I plan to eat a rich, calorie-laden dinner, I plan for lighter breakfasts and lunches.
Originally, bisque meant a soup made with shellfish, in which the shells were used to make a stock, and the meat was added as a garnish.
But now the term is more generally used to refer to any rich, creamy soup. Bisque is used to describe any creamy soup with a pureed, velvety texture, while chowder is used to describe a creamy soup with chunks of meat, potato, corn, or other vegetables.
So, how do you puree this butternut squash bisque? I find it very helpful to have an immersion blender. This tool allows you to puree the soup right in the pot. I also use it puree applesauce, hummus, and other sauces. Some versions, including the one I linked to, come with a small whisk, great for making small batches of whipped cream, and a mini chopper, which is great for mincing large amounts of garlic.
If you don’t have one, you can also use a blender, or a food processor. But, you need to cool the soup to room temperature before using either of these appliances to puree the soup. Pureeing creates heat, and since both of these appliances have a lid to trap the heat, you risk an explosion by pureeing soup while it’s still hot.
- 1 butternut squash, about 2.5 pounds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp minced fresh sage
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
- 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for garnish
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, and spray with nonstick spray.
- Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon. Use a fork to poke holes in the flesh of the squash. Place the squash halves cut-side up on the baking sheet.
- Brush the olive oil over the cut sides, leaving a small puddle of oil in the seed cavity. Roast for about an hour, until the flesh is fork-tender (a fork easily slides into the flesh). Remove from the oven and let it cool.
- While the squash is cooling, place the bacon in a cold Dutch oven. Set on the stove and turn the heat to about medium. Cook the bacon until crispy, turning the bacon to cook both sides. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined planed, leaving the rendered fat in the pot. When cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon.
- Add the onion, shallot, apple, nutmeg, herbs to the bacon fat; season with salt and pepper and saute for 6-8 minutes until tender.
- Once cool enough to handle, scoop the butternut squash out of its skin and add it to the carrot and onion mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the burner. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup right in the pot until completely smooth.
- Stir in the cream and taste. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with an extra swirl of cream and the crumbled bacon.
To make this vegetarian, omit the bacon and saute the onion and apple in olive oil instead. Garnish the soup with fresh parsley or chives.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 164Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 217mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g