Thursday, October 17, 2013

Autumn Bisque

I made my first batch of Autumn Bisque for the season.  I could hardly wait to blend it, I wanted to just start scooping.  The only downside to this soup is peeling and chopping the butternut squash.  A trick I read somewhere years ago was to microwave it for a few minutes then cut in half.  So I wash, microwave, halve it, then peel, scrape out seeds and chop.  Still a pain, but very worth it for that freshly harvested flavor.

My thrown together recipe is always different and slightly off-the-cuff.  I have my basics, but elaborate or tailor depending on my mood.  One way it to make it sweet.  I had it this way at a restaurant in Vermont several years back, and ever so non-chalantly asked what the key ingredient was that made it so sweet.  I thought they were going to tell me it was a secret, but the waitress smiled and said Vermont maple syrup.  Of course!  I had the confidential info and could run home to try to imitate it.  I did my best, and it turned out pretty well. 

 Sometimes my taste mood fluctuates and I want a more savory soup.  Then I simply omit the apples and use less sugar and syrup.  It hits the spot, I say.

Autumn Bisque as I toss it in a pot:

1 large cubed and peeled butternut squash

4 cups water

1 1/2 cups half and half

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup real maple syrup (or to taste)

3 tsps cinnamon

1/8 tsp clove

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp garlic powder or fresh is even better

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 dashes of pepper

Boil squash in water until very tender.  Do not drain.  Add the rest of ingredients and mash.   Let simmer for about 35 minutes to brew the flavors.  Stir often and do not allow a rolling boil.  Use a hand immersion blender to cream it smooth.  You can pour into a blender in portions to smooth it as well.

Makes many servings..maybe eight?