Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque

Servings: 10–12

This is the perfect autumnal soup – and almost all the ingredients are available at the Heirloom Farmers Markets throughout the city.

  • 1 medium butternut squash – about 1 1/2 pounds
  • Olive oil for roasting pan
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 large tart cooking apples, cored, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 6 sage leaves, chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups light cream or half-and-half
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Snipped fresh chives, for serving

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds and stringy parts. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and place the squash halves, cut side down, onto the baking sheet. Roast for 45-60 minutes, until squash is very tender when pierced with a fork or knifepoint. Let cool.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large soup kettle over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sliced leeks, and cook for 5-10 minutes until onions are clear and soft. Increase heat to medium-high, and add apples, carrots, and turnip. Sauté for a minute or two, then add vegetable or chicken stock. Scoop out the flesh from the squash and add it to the kettle. Stir well to distribute the squash, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer the soup for 30 minutes.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Add the rosemary, sage, and nutmeg; cook for 1 minute or so, or until fragrant. Add the flour, and stir. Let cook for 2 minutes to remove the raw taste of the flour. Add the light cream and whisk until smooth. Add this mixture to the soup kettle, season well with salt and pepper, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until thickened. Let cool 15 minutes.

Purée soup in four batches in a blender; pour into a clean pot and reheat. Serve sprinkled with chives, and with crusty bread and salad on the side.

Recipe Provided By David Scott Allen, Author of Cocoa & Lavender — cocoaandlavender.blogspot.com

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