Is there anything quite so comforting as a bowl of Caramelized Butternut Squash & Apple Bisque? Especially when crispy cinnamon croutons are involved?
So, yes, this dish certainly sits on the sweeter side of things. But who can’t use a little more sweet in their life? Am I right?
This is a soup, correction, bisque that I’ve been making for many many years. It first began with a Thanksgiving celebration at our home that included my wonderful in-laws. Of course, we had prepared all the usual foodie accoutrement that would sit alongside Dom’s perfectly brined and roasted turkey, with a couple Italian dishes to boot, but even with all that – in the final hour on the day before the big show (that would be Wednesday)…I felt I needed more. Butternut Squash Bisque to the rescue.
So we began our meal with a small bowl of creamy soup made with roasted and puréed squash aka bisque, which was quite nice especially since we don’t “do” salad on Thanksgiving. Do you?
I’ve modified the original recipe over the years – where it was once all about the squash – I now add sautéed apples along with a couple sweet onions that cook down in a little melted butter.
Mmmmm – butternut bisque to kick off one of our favorite meals. Lovely, right? But as special as I thought my bowl of bisque was, it wasn’t until I had my sister-in-law, Teresa’s, that I realized how not exceptional it was.
You know why? Teresa aka Terez, tops hers with cinnamon croutons. Yep! What’s that about? I’ll tell you what that’s about…brilliance.
The first time I tried hers with the extra crunchy homemade cinnamon-sugar dusted croutons…I knew I’d never look back. And I haven’t.
And you mustn’t either.
Whether this bisque becomes a part of your Thanksgiving celebration, lands on your Sunday dinner table, or is the main event on a chilly Wednesday evening – be sure to include the croutons.
You’ll be glad you did!
- 3 lbs. butternut squash
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 - 3 cups cubed Italian bread
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 3 Tbsp. sugar plus ¾ Tbsp. cinnamon, combined
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cups chopped sweet onion
- 2 large apples, cored and diced
- 48 oz. vegetable broth
- chives (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel the squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
- Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes and place cubes on a baking sheet.
- Add olive oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
- Toss all ingredients together and spread in a single layer on baking sheet.
- Roast for approximately 1 hour until squash is tender and just beginning to caramelize.
- While roasting, turn the squash a couple times.
- In the last 20 minutes of roasting, prepare croutons.
- Place cubed bread on a baking sheet and place on lower rack in the oven with the squash for 5 minutes until just crisp.
- Remove from oven and toss with melted butter and cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Place back in oven and bake for additional 15 minutes until bread is very crunchy like croutons.
- Once fully baked, remove from oven and set aside.
- When squash is finished, remove from oven and set aside.
- In the meantime, over medium-low heat in a 6 - 8 quart Dutch oven, melt 3 Tbsp. of butter.
- Add chopped onion and diced apple to hot butter and sauté until tender.
- Add roasted squash and vegetable broth to Dutch oven.
- Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Using a stand-up blender (or immersion blender) transfer squash in batches and mix until smooth.
- Return pureed mixture to Dutch oven, adjust seasoning and serve.
- If desired, garnish with chives.
- Serve with cinnamon croutons.