January. That time of year when everyone vows to clean up their diet, then proceeds to be miserable for the next two weeks until they finally give up. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if New Year’s resolutions were made in July, when produce is in season and it’s actually warm enough out that a salad doesn’t seem like punishment?
In winter, soup is my healthy eating secret weapon. Butternut squash bisque is warm, comforting, and nutritious. The soup itself it dairy free, but topping it with Maple Whipped Cream adds an elegant touch and the perfect hint of sweetness. You can add as little or as much as you want, depending on your diet goals that day.
To make this butternut squash bisque, start by roasting the squash and shallot to intensify their flavor. Once the vegetables are roasted, transfer the vegetables to your blender and puree it with apple cider and vegetable stock to thin it out.
I love using premade vegetable stock, since it’s an easy way to add a goof layer of base flavor without having to go through the effort of chopping carrots and celery yourself. It also shaves off a ton of cooking time, since the flavors don’t need as much coaxing in order to fully develop.
One the soup is the consistency you like, transfer it to a pot and heat it through. If you have a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix, you can also just crank it up to high and let it heat the soup the rest of the way for you.
The maple whipped cream is just as easy to make – I do it right in my blender while the squash is roasting. Just add the cream and a drizzle of maple syrup, the pulse several times until whipped. It will hold in the refrigerator for several hours.
If you have any soup leftover, just swirl the leftover whipped cream into it and let it melt. It won’t be quite as fun, but it will be just as delicious.
For the Maple Whipped Cream:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
For the Bisque:
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2 shallots shallots
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2-3 cups vegetable broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
To Make the Maple Whipped Cream:
- Add the cream and maple syrup to a blender container. Cover and quickly increase the speed to high.
- Blend for 10-12 seconds, or until the cream holds soft peaks (you’ll hear the sound of the motor change; do not overmix).
- Transfer the whipped cream to a small dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To Make the Bisque:
- Heat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut the squash in half, length-wise, and discard the seeds.
- Lightly coat the cut side of the squash with oil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet.
- Lightly coat the shallot with oil and place on the baking sheet, alongside the squash.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until very tender.
- Transfer the squash (flesh only) and shallot to the blender.
- Add the apple cider and 2 cups of vegetable stock.
- Blend on high until smooth, 20-30 seconds. If desired, add an additional cup of broth to achieve your desired consistency.
- Transfer the soup to a pot and heat through.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with maple whipped cream.
Vitamix 5200 Blender
Vitamix 750 Blender
Hamilton Beach Blender
Demarle Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat