Butternut Squash Bisque
Need a hearty soup to round out your Thanksgiving menu? Make a big pot of this liquid gold.
There’s nothing more Thanksgiving-y than pumpkin pie. But my butternut squash bisque is really close, and you don’t have to wait for dessert to eat it.
I don’t remember how this recipe came to me. I love to cook and bounce around the kitchen trying different things. I was making some kind of butternut squash casserole dish, and thought to myself: “what if I made this into a purée?” Then I continued tinkering until it tasted like Thanksgiving. I finally wrote down the recipe and tested it on my family. It was a hit!
If you need something to round out your Thanksgiving menu, run to the store and pick up a few ingredients, break out the blender, and spend a little time putting this hearty soup together. I hope your family will like it as much as mine.
1 medium butternut squash - you’ll need to peel, seed, and cut into 1/2” cubes (6 cups) (see below on how to prepare the butternut squash)
3 medium yellow squash (4 if they are small) - seeded and cut into 1/2” cubes (3 1/2 cups)
2 cups coarse chopped celery
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup whole milk, or substitute 1 cup whole milkl and 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of allspice
pinch red pepper (optional)
Peel and seed butternut squash: cut off and discard top and bottom stems; cut in half where the bulb and cylinder meet; cut skin with a sharp knife deep enough to see orange flesh all around; cut pieces in half lengthwise; use a grapefruit spoon to scoop and discard all the seeds and pulp.
Peel and seed yellow squash: cut off and discard top and bottom stems; cut lengthwise in half; use grapefruit spoon to scoop out seeds.
Cut all squash into 1/2” cubes and set aside in a bowl.
Heat a 6-quart pot to medium and add butter until melted and foaming.
Add celery and celery salt, turn down heat to low, cook 5 minutes covered until tender.
Add squash and spice mix, turn up heat to medium.
Cook, covered, until squash mixture is completely soft (even a bit mushy), about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, use a blender to reduce in batches to a creamy consistency (about like baby food). Be careful not to overfill your blender, and let the mixture cool a bit if it’s too hot to handle.
Return mixture to pot, on low heat.
Add buttermilk, milk (or milk and cream mixture), stir.
Heat through and serve immediately.
This dish still tastes good reheated after a day or so. The flavors really develop.
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If my Thanksgiving menu agenda wasn't already overly filled (I'm getting up around 5:30am tomorrow to start cooking for visiting friends and relatives), I'd add this to the list. I still may add it, as it doesn't seem to require precious oven-minutes.
Unfortunately, my current menu is so overstuffed (pun intended) that I'll be making a run for the grocery store today to pick up some good old fashioned Stove Top stuffing, as the recipe I was hoping to make will take up too many temperature-volume-time oven units to prepare properly, where Stove Top lives up to its brand name (and it's sufficiently delicious to me). (Guests are bringing snacks and desserts.)
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and stays safe, and I'm personally grateful to Steve, Jay and David for creating this community, and motley crew of commenters who keep it lively.
If you're looking for a good reason to chill at home with the family, there's some great streaming content that dropped overnight that should keep folks busy - "Hawkeye" on Disney+, "8-Bit Christmas" on HBO Max (which seems to be making a play for the crown that "A Christmas Story" has held for decades), "The Wheel of Time" on Amazon, and more I'm probably forgetting. (And the Bears will be playing the Lions, if we need a new version of "Bad News Bears".)
Stay safe (and sane) everyone.