Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque

Foodista Cookbook Entry

Category: Soups & Salads | Blog URL:

This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.


1 stick Smart Balance butter
2 mediums sweet onions, chopped
1 large fennel bulb (cut off “fern”)
2 cups white wine
2 tablespoons fresh sage
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
32 ounces *garlic veggie broth
2 1/2 quarts vegetable stock preferably from scratch but try to use organic if purchasing cans or boxes of broth (it'
5 tablespoons (heaping) coursely diced garlic (roughly 2 bulbs)
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano


For garlic broth:
Add all ingredients to the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat... cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth. Use immediately for soup or freeze in individual portions. TIP: freezing broth in ice cube trays allows you to use small portions at a time.
For Butternut Squash Soup:
Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds, then quarter if squash is large.
Place olive oil coated squash flesh side down on tray for roasting.
Roast on top rack of oven at 425 degrees until tender... roughly 45-50 minutes. Be sure to use a cookie tray with at least a 1/2 inch lip as squash will give off a lot of water.
Pour generous amount of olive oil to cover bottom of a stock pot. Heat over low-medium heat. Add chopped onion. Cook until translucent. Clean fennel bulb and the fern (the fern is the top, finely-leafed portion of the fennel) under cold water and pat dry. Detach fern from stems, discarding stems (they can be pithy). Chop bulb, discarding tough outer layer. Add chopped fennel bulb to onion and continue to sauté over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Turn heat to medium, add 1 cup white wine to onion and fennel; cook until alcohol “burns off”, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Seed and quarter red bell peppers and coat in olive oil... place on cookie sheet flash side down and roast for 20 minutes or until skins have blistered and started to brown. The trick to removing skins from peppers is remove peppers from oven and immediately place in a bowl and cover with cellophane. Let sit for at least 15 minutes and then skins should peel off easily!
Meanwhile, add vegetable/garlic broth to pot of onions and fennel. Cover and bring to a slow boil. Mince several sage leaves. Add to pot. Reduce to simmer.
When squash is done, scoop flesh from peel and add to pot. Add remaining cup of wine.
Add cinnamon, cayenne pepper, curry powder and ginger powder.
Remove soup from heat and puree with hand mixer or immersion blender. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to food processor for a smoother texture. Again, many recipes call for cream at this point to create that silkiness we all want in a bisque-type soup. But with a little extra work - you can eliminate the need for dairy products and get that creamy-smooth texture without the fat. For an even silkier texture... go one more step and work soup through a sieve with a spoon. I, for one, am completely okay with the texture of the soup without that extra step!
Garnish your bowl with the leftover fennel fern and enjoy!




Fall just calls for soup… I’ve never really liked Butternut Squash soup – until a couple of years ago when I was in Calgary, Alberta Canada. And believe it or not it was in catering at the arena where we were working! But it was incredible, thick, smooth, flavorful… seasoned just perfectly! I ate it by the bowl, used it as a dip for bread and veggies. I couldn’t get enough of it! Normally, my complaint about butternut squash soup is that it’s too bland. Not enough flavor to keep me interested beyond a couple of spoonfuls.

So I’ve been on a mission the last couple of years – trying to perfect this soup. And I wanted to keep it purely vegetarian – not adding cream or chicken stock like many recipes call for… and I think I’ve finally done it. It’s a little labor intensive – but once you taste it you will certainly agree it’s worth all the effort. So make a huge batch, freeze some for later and enjoy it throughout the Fall season!


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Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 9:39am


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