Butternut Squash Bisque
_ _I’m not a brilliant person by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve never had my intelligence insulted more than when I was working through a temp agency my sophomore year of college. I was essentially hired to answer phones and file paperwork at a Section-8 apartment rental office, which I figured would be a breeze… until I met the woman I was going to be working with. She held loud, personal conversations on the phone while clients sat in the waiting room; she felt the need to explain to me how to alphabetize the applications; she insisted I rip up stacks and stacks of documents by hand (the office had a paper shredder)… but the highlight of my time there was the day she requested that I organize some papers in a binder and asked me if I was “OK” to use a three-hole punch. I nearly had an aneurysm.
_ _When I hear the phrase “idiot proof” using a hole punch and making this soup now come to mind. Even if you CAN’T figure out a hole punch (no judgment… ok, a little judgment) you can still make this dish. It’s just about the easiest thing you can whip up and make your guests swoon.
1 Butternut Squash
4 tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
3/4 cup Vegetable Stock (Substitute: Chicken Stock if that’s what you have)
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F
1. Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds.
2. Put 2 tablespoons of butter in each half and sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg into the holes. Bake on a cooking sheet for about 1 hour or until the meat of the squash is very tender.
3. Scoop out the squash when cool enough to handle and add to a saucepan with the broth, olive oil, salt and pepper and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the cream and just heat through then transfer to a food processor and add another 1/4 to 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon.
4. Purée until smooth. Seriously… purée the tarnation out of it– you want it to be as smooth as possible. It will be quite thick so if you want more of a soupy consistency add more cream or broth (I like it to be really decadent so I choose cream) and also taste test to see if you want more spices etc.
Note: If the soup cools down too much in the food processor you can rewarm it on the stove top but keep the temperature low, you don’t want to bring it to a boil.
To serve: Top with a dollop of light sour cream and another dash of cinnamon!