Butternut Squash and Carrot Bisque

There is nothing better to do on a rainy day than make a great soup.  One of my favorites and definitely a family hit at my house.   A rich thick soup, with tons of flavor and wonderful aroma while simmering.  It is quick and easy.

                                    

3 lbs. butternut squash

4 carrots or 15 baby carrots peeled and chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 leek,white parts only and chopped

2 1/2 tablespoons butter

2 tart apples, peeled and chopped

1 ripe pear, peeled and chopped

3 1/2-4 cups chicken broth or 2 cups good apple cider and 2 cups water

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 teaspoon fresh sage

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg or 1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Saute the onion and leek in the butter in a 4-qt saucepan over medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until tender.  Chop the squash into 1 1/2-inch cubes.  Add the squash, carrots, apples, pear and chicken broth (start with 3 1/2 cups and add if needed) to pan.  Add all spices and bring to a boil over medium-high heat and than reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes until squash and carrots are very tender.

Let cool to room temperature.  Puree the mixture in batches in a mixer (I find a mixer works better than a food processor for puree).  Combine all batches in a clean saucepan.

optional ingredients

3 tablespoons sherry

1/2-1 cup half and half

salted cashews or chopped walnuts for garnish

chopped green onions or chives for garnish

Sherry helps to deepen the flavor while half-and-half cream gives an added richness to the soup.

 

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