That distinct Ohio Autumn crispness has floated into the morning air the past two days and it has sparked in me a fierce urge to cook and bake. The summer humidity always dampens my desire to be in my kitchen, but my oven and stove were working overtime this past Sunday afternoon. Our house temperature rose to a stifling 76 degrees, but whatever. It was fun, albeit steamy.
One of my weekend projects was this soup. I had scooped up a hefty butternut squash at the grocery store without any recipe in mind last week. This, unfortunately, tends to result in me throwing out a rotting squash because no plans come to fruition and I always vow to waste less “next time.” But then the vision of a silky and earthy butternut squash soup danced in my head and I was researching recipes in no time.
I have a personal preference for savory spices with starchier vegetables like sweet potatoes or butternut squash. They are already sweet to begin with and I think adding spices like cinnamon and nutmeg makes these types of dishes seem more like a dessert. As a result, I added thyme to this bisque instead. The addition of flavorful leeks and sherry really make this soup extra lovely. Sherry is one of the best ways to take a creamy soup up about 50 notches. It adds a whole new dimension and richness. I highly recommend using it if you can; plus- it lasts forever! I think the sherry I have was originally my great grandmother’s and my mom gave it to me when my parents were moving.
If you are in the mood for soups and you are in the autumn spirit, I highly recommend making this soup. It makes a great side dish and is wonderful topped with crème fraiche and good balsamic vinegar. You could also make it a main dish and jazz it up with a few crumbles of thick bacon. Either way, I don’t think you can go wrong.
Happy Tuesday, everyone.
Looking for more soup recipes? Here are a few of our favorite soup recipes from the archives:
Wedding Crab (or Lobster) Bisque- the beloved soup recipe served at our wedding (sherry is in this recipe, too!)
Sweet Potato Chili– a healthy and hearty soup with no added sugar
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese– creamy and rich
Corn Chowder– all of the flavor of summer before we say goodbye
Crab and Corn Chowder– shellfish and corn go together like peas and carrots
Sweet and Spicy Chili– a little sweet and a little heat make for a classic soup
Cream of Mushroom– earthy and satisfying
French Onion Soup– let’s be real, the best part is the cheesy bread on top
Chicken Tortilla Soup– for those who want a little extra spice in their lives
P.S. We have three new ladies in our family: Ruth, Idgie, and Sipsey. They are Rhode Island Red laying hens and we love getting fresh eggs every day. Fresh eggs are so much richer and more flavorful than those found in the grocery store and one of our girls is a double-yolk-laying machine.
Savory Butternut Squash Bisque
Yield: About 6 side dish servings
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large leek, white and light green part only, chopped and rinsed well (about 1 cup total)
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 3cups chicken stock
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Crème fraiche and balsamic vinegar for topping, optional
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven. Add in the leaks and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add in the squash, thyme, black pepper, and salt. Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. Add in the sherry and cook for about 2 minutes longer to allow the liquid to reduce.
- Pour in the chicken stock, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce hit to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Using a hand blender or regular blender, blend the soup until desired texture is achieved (I personally like a few chunks and bits left). Return the soup mixture to the Dutch oven. Add in the milk, cream, and any additional salt or sherry as your personal taste indicates. Stir to combine and reheat to desired temperature.
- Ladle soup into bowls. Top with a dollop of crème fraiche and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!
Source: Slightly adapted from Merrill Stubbs at Food52