Soup can be simple, often soothing and sometimes, frankly, just plain good for the soul. This bisque from chef Steve Zimei is divinely creamy (yet completely cream-less) and can be served on its own as a main meal or as a smaller portion accompanied by a side sandwich. Roasting the butternut squash, carrot and apples ahead of time, which brings out their natural flavor, is key so carve out a little extra time.
- 3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 6 red apples, quartered
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 4 cups apple cider
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Mix together the squash, carrot and apple and spread across two baking pans. Roast until well browned (about 40 minutes). Set aside.
- In a pot, heat oil. Then, add onion and garlic. Lower heat to medium and cook until slightly browned and translucent (about 10 minutes).
- Add roasted squash, carrot and apple to saucepan. Pour in cider, vegetable stock, thyme and bay leaf and return to medium-high heat. Simmer until all vegetables are soft. Discard thyme and bay leaves.
- Puree (using a blender or an immersion blender) and taste for seasoning, adding a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon.