Monday, April 9, 2012

Butternut bisque

I really am not a huge fan of soup. Not that I hate soup, but most soup recipes are just far too insubstantial for my tastes. I am much more of a fan of hearty soups and stews like black bean, split pea, and (deliciously bad for me) cream-based chowders. Once in a very rare while I see a soup recipe -- such as a recipe for butternut bisque with cider syrup -- that looks simple, delicious, and totally worth trying.

Butternut soup with cider syrup

Recipe from Cooking Light.

  •     4 cups apple cider, divided
  •     2 large butternut squash (about 4 1/2 pounds)
  •     1/2 cup grated peeled fresh ginger
  •     3 cups water
  •     2 1/2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 4 large)
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1 cup whole milk

1. Bring 2 1/2 cups cider to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 20 minutes); cool. Cover and chill.
2. Preheat oven to 400°.
3. Cut squash in half and clean. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Remove pulp; set aside.
4. Place grated ginger on several layers of paper towels. Gather the edges of paper towels together; squeeze paper towel bag over a small bowl, reserving ginger juice. Discard solids. Set aside.
5. Combine 1 1/2 cups cider, water, leek, and salt in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until leek is soft.
6. Add squash, ginger juice, and milk to leek mixture, stirring well. Cook 15 minutes. Place half of squash mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Pour pureéd squash mixture into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture. Return pureéd squash mixture to pan. Keep warm. Ladle soup into bowls; drizzle with cider syrup.

Yields: 8 servings at 149 calories a serving

While I loved the tartness of the cider syrup (which sunk to the bottom), the soup still failed to convert me. It was far too thin for my liking, and the simplicity of the ingredient list really just meant that the soup tasted simple as well. There was no real complexity here, so while the boy liked it well enough, I'm probably not going to make it again.

Ease: 7.5
Taste: 5
Comfort: 4


  1. The other night I made a creamy carrot/pumpkin soup that was excellent! If you're not a fan of soup, it still may not win you over, but between the pureed carrot and pureed pumpkin, it definitely had more heft than a typical soup.

  2. Sounds great! Two questions: Can I use canned pumpkin, and what's the recipe??


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