Our neighbors, Janet & Mark, are kindred souls of ours….they love fresh food, good cooking, and looking out for one another in our neighborhood. They garden, we garden. They work, we work. We live across the street from one another, we often ding the bell and drop off something yummy, share something extra or something special. We each have 2 grown sons, and those sons have loves of their own…so we live somewhat tandem lives.
Janet is an amazing cook. Here she shares her garden to table recipe for Butternut Squash Soup. She originally took it from Bon Appetite Nov 2000, although she changed it and added her own touches. Her recipe is brilliant and we feel fortunate that she gave us a sample. Chris & I loved it. On a related note, she is also royalty in the baklava making community. A baklava queen, so to speak. With a little luck I hope to convince her to share this dessert recipe with the world…on my blog…so I can claim partial credit when you all make for your holiday gatherings. For now, enjoy this soup. It’s perfect for those October weekends when the air is crisp and the wind is blowing. Here it’s served with crispy grilled toast wedges. A must for any soup.
From the kitchen of Janet Alcorn….
Spicy Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Bisque
(Adapted from Butternut Squash & Roasted Garlic Bisque, Bon Appetit Nov 2000)
- 2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 cups chopped onions
- ¾ cup chopped carrots
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 cups (or more) chicken stock (broth can be substituted if preferred)
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1 tablespoon (or more or less to taste) finely chopped canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
- OPTIONAL: ½ cup whipping cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotle chilis
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rub cut surfaces of garlic with oil. Put halves back together to reassemble heads. Wrap each tightly in foil; bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool garlic in foil.
- Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; saute until onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add squash, stock, and thyme. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until squash is tender, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, unwrap garlic and squeeze from skin into a small bowl. Discard skin and mash garlic with a fork until pretty smooth.
- Stir garlic into soup. If using an immersion blender, puree soup in pot until smooth. If using a traditional blender, put soup in batches into the blender to puree making sure not to fill it too full as it will overflow as it purees, and return puree to pot.
- You may want to add additional chicken stock if you want the soup to have a thinner consistency. OPTIONAL: Some people like to add ½ cup whipping cream to the soup at this point, but you really do not need to add this as it is quite creamy already. And, not adding this will save some calories!
- Stir in chopped chipotles, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste.
- At this point, the soup can be refrigerated or served. It is best if the soup has at least an hour to let the flavors come together.
- OPTIONAL: Before serving, if you like, you can mix the sour cream and chopped chipotles together and put a dollop or swirl of this on top of every bowl of soup. If you want to swirl, you may have to thin out the mixture with a little cream or milk to loosen it up a bit. The sour cream adds a nice cooling element and is pretty for presentation but is not necessary!