Well folks, it's official. I'm on a butternut squash kick. It started innocently enough, with a slightly cheesey experiment in baked macaroni. Before I knew it I was roasting up a second squash, then another and another!
They are just so creamy, and nutty and... orange.
It was just a matter of time before one of these little butternuts became soup, soup being my best friend and all. I'm a sucker for creamy soups most of all, but rather than stick to the traditional dairy-based bisque, I decided to branch out a little by smoothing this lovely out with almond butter.
My reasoning is as follows:
a) Almonds are delicious
b) Almond butter is way quicker and easier than pureeing roasted almonds
c) By including almond butter I am amping up the protein in a recipe that might otherwise qualify as rabbit-food
d) Did I mention almonds being delicious?
There you have it, a rare peak into the inner-workings of my recipe development methods. Fascinating, I know.
By the way, this recipe is vegan and gluten-free, so you can share it with just about anybody (so long as they don't have a nut allergy, of course.)
Butternut Almond Bisque
Serves about six
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 large onion
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- 1 teaspoon madras curry powder (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the stem off of the squash, then slice it in half across the middle. Slice each of these large pieces in half through the center, exposing the seeds and flesh inside. Scoop out the seeds and discard them, or save them for another purpose.
- Place the squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat mats, skin side up. Peel the onion, cut it in half, and place it on the baking sheet as well.
- Roast the vegetables for 30 - 45 minutes, or until the squash becomes fork tender. You can remove the onion as soon as it clears and browns slightly. This might happen before the squash is finished.
- Once the squash is out of the oven, let it cool enough to handle it. Scoop the flesh out of the skin using a large spoon.
- Combine the squash, onion, and vegetable stock in a soup pot. Puree together with a stick blender, or combine them in a regular blender instead. (If you are using a regular blender, add the almond butter at this point as well.)
- Bring the pureed mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce to simmer over low heat as soon as it starts boiling.
- Stir in the almond butter, then puree again to make sure it combines well.
- Taste, then season the soup to your taste using salt, pepper, and curry powder. This soup will probably need at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt, so don't be shy. If it tastes bland, it probably needs a few more pinches.
- Serve hot, garnished with chopped roasted almonds, savory croutons, or a splash of cream.
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