Friday, October 23, 2015

Recipe: Gingered Butternut Squash Bisque

When the chill is in the air, there's nothing better than a warm bowl of soup.  This recipe satisfies in so many ways.  Its bright orange hue is perfect for the season with leaves turning and pumpkins decorating our doorsteps, making it a lovely soup for the autumn harvest table. It’s loaded with sweet and savory flavors as well as antioxidants from bright orange root vegetables and winter squash. The hint of ginger gives a little zing to each bite as well as a boost to the immune system to fight off those seasonal colds and flus.


I like decorating this soup with toasted spiced pepitas and cashew crema. You can learn how to make that fun spider web design by watching this quick clip of my appearance on WWLP-TV's "Mass Appeal" show.





Gingered Butternut Squash Bisque

1 Tbl olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 cup garnet yam, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cups of water
1-2 cups rice milk
2 Tbl mellow white miso
1 tsp sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 scallion, sliced fine

In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil until translucent. Add yam, carrots, parsnip, squash and enough water to cover (approx. 2 cups), and bring to a boil. Cover pot, lower heat, and simmer approximately 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are fork-tender. Turn off heat and let cool 10-15 minutes. Place cooled vegetables and miso in blender and puree with enough rice milk to make mixture smooth and creamy (approx. 2 cups). If soup is too thick, add more rice milk. Season with sea salt and cayenne pepper. Return pureed soup to pot and simmer over low heat before serving. Garnish with fresh scallions and spiced pepitas.

Cashew Crema
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup water
Soak cashews in bowl of water for one hour, then drain and rinse. Place cashews, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt and 1/2 cup of water in high speed blender and blend until smooth.

Spiced Pepitas
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 tsp Earth Balance margarine
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
In a sauté pan, toast pumpkin seeds until they begin to pop and get browned. Add Earth Balance margarine, spices and sea salt and sauté another minute to coat. Set aside in a bowl to cool.

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