It seems like I have a theme going on this week and its butternut squash. There are a couple of reasons for this. 1) I have a ton of it. Well, a ton in terms of being a single girl and having roasted two whole squash. For the record that’s about 4 pounds or 8 cups of cooked meat. That’s alotta squash. 2) Today is the deadline to blog about the $100 Visa Giveaway sponsored by Blogher. Seriously, what better way to participate than to post my own version of butternut squash bisque.
Except, it turns out I actually have three versions. While I was rifling through my huge folder of recipes, clippings and print outs I discovered I have multiple versions of lots of recipes. I’m guessing that’s because I am a self-described recipe junkie and spend hours on the internet trolling through food sites. More accurately, what probably happened is that I went in search of recipes that fit in the ingredients I actually had on hand so I didn’t have to go the grocery store.
One thing I’ve learned as my cooking skills have improved is that there really is no right or wrong recipe for anything. There are scores of variations available for practically anything you could decide to make. The thing I really look for, most of all, is a general framework and what spices went into a recipe. If you season it right, the rest of it will fall together. This realization makes me more confident cooking from scratch without a recipe these days.
With that in mind and a looming deadline to get this posted, I give you the butternut squash bisque I cooked using the ingredients I actually did have on hand. The chopped veggies I used today were left over from the prep for kale and white bean soup I had intended to make on Sunday. The end result, while tasty, is not as thick as I would have liked. Next time I will either use more squash or less broth; or bulk it up by adding potatoes (watch for more on this tomorrow).
- One onion, chopped
- Two cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked butternut squash, cut in cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup half and half
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven
- Add onion, garlic and celery and saute until the onions are soft and translucent
- Add carrots and saute for about 5 minutes until they being to soften
- Add spices and stir to combine
- Add butternut squash and cook for several minutes, breaking up the meat
- Add broth and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and puree the vegetables using an immersion blender. Or, scoop the vegetables out using a slotted spoon and puree them in a regular blender.
- Slowly stir in half and half.
- Serve warm and garnish with sour cream or yogurt and dried oregano, if desired.