This is not a sweetened soup recipe… this is a savory and hearty winter bisque that we love, love, love. The veggies are roasted for extra FAB flavor, however, you can boil them for time’s sake. The hubby is fun to watch in the kitchen and likes to make this recipe, so I get to sit back and watch him go!
You’ll need: A 4-quart (or larger) sauce pan and blender, OR, a stock pot and stick blender; and a roasting pan (if roasting).
1 butternut squash
5 medium-sized carrots (or another veggie you like to equal about 3 cups)
2 medium to large onions
4 tablespoons butter (2 if boiling veggies)
Several cloves garlic (we used 6 in this recipe; we like garlic)
6 cups chicken stock (setting 1 cup aside)
1½ teas fennel seeds (ground)
1½ teas dried tarragon
1 tablespoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400°.
Carefully cut off the outer skin of one butternut squash. This is kinda hard to do with a knife and I don’t know if there are other tools out there that can do it easier (and safer) but just be careful.
Cut in half and scoop out the seeds. (But don’t throw out the seeds! Clean, dry and toast ’em up with your favorite spices.)
Now chop the squash into large chunks.
Cut up the carrots into large chunks or use a complimentary veggie of your choice: rutabaga, parsnips, etc. We happened to have carrots on hand and love the flavor with the squash. Leave them unpeeled for extra vitamins. At this point if you are roasting the veggies, then continue on. If boiling, cover them with enough water to parboil and set aside for now; skip the next step.
Melt 2 (of the 4) tablespoons of butter and coat veggies. Place them in a baking pan and bake uncovered for a half hour, then cover and bake about a half hour longer until tender. (1 hour total)
Chop 2 medium – large onions and sauté in 2 tablespoons butter until (just) translucent. Remember to keep the heat low – we want to cook things ‘low and slow’.
Add as much chopped garlic to the onions as you want (in this case we used 6 cloves). Add ground fennel seeds (use a grinder if needed), dried tarragon, and dried basil. Salt and pepper to taste.
After the onions are cooked through, add 5 cups chicken stock. Simmer on low until the veggies come out of the oven. You may need to cover it so the liquid doesn’t evaporate too much. If boiling your veggies instead of roasting them, you can transfer them to the pot and cook until tender.
Tip: If you are using bouillon cubes, then use the water you parboiled the veggies in to create your stock. Vitalicious!
When the veggies come out of the oven (if roasting) check for any that are not fork tender… you can just add them to the broth to continue cooking if necessary. (You could put them back into the oven, however, we find that it adds too much smokiness to the bisque. We like a balance in flavors and you can lose that balance if the veggies are over-roasted.)
If using a blender (like us) then load up your blender with half the veggie and stock mixture and a ½ cup milk. Blend for at least 2 minutes and set aside. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients (this is where you add more stock if needed to get the right consistency… should be thick and creamy) and mix the whole lot together at the end.
If using a hand (stick) blender, turn off heat, add the milk to your stock pot and blend.
Serve warm or cold. Top with croutons, sour cream or whatever your heart desires. Yum!