Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Cider Bisque

IMG_6105As much as I miss summer beach days, and I’m pretty sure I’m already suffering from Vitamin D withdrawal, I love this time of year.  The leaves are changing, the air is crisper, I can wear sweaters and dresses with boots again, and fall comfort food makes everything better.  Like pumpkin, butternut squash is a great staple for fall.  It has a sweet, nutty taste and can be used in a variety of ways.  Roasting it is probably my favorite, and your kitchen will smell delicious!  Butternut squash also has some great health benefits.  It is a good source of fiber, Vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium and an excellent source of Vitamin A & E.  The original recipe for this bisque calls for 8 cups of apple cider.  I found it to be too much apple flavor so I’ve replaced half of it with chicken stock.  Feel free to adjust the quantities to your liking.  One of the things I love about soup is it’s great leftover.  Serve for lunch or for dinner with grilled cheese using sharp cheddar cheese.

5 lbs peeled and seeded butternut squash, cut into chunks
1/2 large Spanish onion, chopped1 medium shallot, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 cups apple cider
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup light heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

IMG_6102Preheat oven to 350º F.  In a large bowl, combine the oil and spices (except for the salt and pepper).  Then toss in the butternut squash and mix well to coat with the oil and spices.  Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning over several times, at 350º F until tender, about 45 minutes.

While squash is roasting, add onion, shallot, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a large pot over medium heat.  Sweat the onion and shallot until lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes.  Add the squash to the onion mixture and add enough apple cider and chicken stock to cover.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook for about 30 minutes.

IMG_6104Carefully puree the mixture in a blender in small batches (I let each batch cool slightly before blending).  Transfer each blended batch to a large bowl or pot.  Season with salt and pepper and adjust the consistency with light heavy cream.


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