Recipe Wednesday: Butternut Bisque


I came up with this recipe over the weekend and even the confirmed meat-eater (my hubby) liked it. In fact he’s the one who named it. It’s a simple and relatively quick recipe once you roast the squash (which can be done in advance!) It’s a nutritarian recipe — no oil, no salt. Enjoy!

BUTTERNUT BISQUE

(Vegan and Nutritarian recipe)

3 cups roasted butternut squash cubes (I use the pre-cut cubes from Costco or my grocery)

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 bag frozen leeks, thawed (I used Trader Joe’s brand) or 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2-1/2 cups low salt vegetable broth

1/2 cup chardonnay or other dry white wine (if you don’t use wine, use more vegetable broth)

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

Black pepper

1-1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, preferably homemade (* see below)

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with oil (I used coconut, but olive oil would be okay; the key is “lightly”) or use parchment paper for an oil-free solution. Place squash cubes on the sheet in a single layer. Roast about 35 – 40 minutes, turning once, or until tender. Allow to cool. The squash can now be refrigerated to be used later (recommend use within 48 hours) or used immediately.

Heat a small amount of water in a large pot. Add thawed leeks and cook about 3 minutes; add garlic. Cook until most of the water is gone. Add wine, broth, squash,  applesauce, bay leaves, and poultry seasoning.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook about 20 minutes. Add the almond milk and heat just to a boil. Remove from heat and puree in the pot with a stick blender (or cool slightly, and blend in batches in a regular blender.) Add more almond milk, if needed, to desired thickness for the soup. Pour into bowls and garnish with freshly ground black pepper and unsalted pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds).

(This isn’t the prettiest picture; my phone decided it needed to re-boot as I was preparing to take the pic. I was hungry(!) So I started eating, then had to re-add soup and pepitas. Yummy!)

*Making your own almond milk is soooo simple and tastes much better (and creamier) than the commercial varieties. Soak 1 cup raw almonds overnight. Rinse and drain. Combine with 4 cups filtered water in a high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend 3-4 minutes on high. Pour through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or sieve, squeezing out every last bit of “milk.” Refrigerate or freeze the remaining almond pulp to be used in other recipes (baked goods, dehydrated crackers, etc.) Refrigerate almond milk for up to 5 days. (It’s not absolutely necessary to strain the milk but I like the strained better for cooking; unstrained is great for smoothies!) And you can adjust the ratio of water to nuts to your liking. This is my favorite!

One additional note: if you have fresh apples, peel, core and  thinly slice two apples. Add to the bisque instead of applesauce.

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