Butternut Bisque

OK, it’s not a bisque in the strict sense, but I’m prepared to let that slide for the cause of alliteration. It’s soup time again, especially with proper autumn lurking around the corner and the stores filling up with interesting vegetables, such as butternut squash. Around ten years ago, as result of a slow Americanization, groceries in Sweden started selling pumpkins late in October, following up a few years later with other varieties such as butternut and spaghetti squash. When I was a wee kid, Halloween was something occasionally heard about from friends going abroad and fed to us through television, but we never considered celebrating it. These days though, kids are trick or treating all over the place, but for some reason during the All Saints’ weekend. Maybe I’m just bitter because I don’t get to beg people for candy…

The main ingredients of this little soup. Butternut sqash, red onion, carrots and cauliflower.

Peel, chop and grate, then let things break a sweat before adding water. Don’t throw out the squash seeds.

Adding a bit of seasoning – Coriander seeds, garlic, cumin, turmeric, star anise and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Let it simmer until everything is soft – say half an hour.

Giving the seeds a quick toast in a hot pan. Add a hint of fat and season with for example onion powder and chili powder. With these small seeds, the process takes about ten minutes.

In the meantime we have at the soup with a hand blender (discard the star aniseed first) and adjust seasoning.

Soup served with sprinkled seeds and some turkey bacon (it was half off. Ordinary bacon or no bacon at all is fine too) Also splashed about with some cream just for fun.


6 Responses to “Butternut Bisque”

  1. Love the seasonings you chose. Must taste as good as it looks.
    The deer ate my volunteer buttercup squash plant this year. I only got three squash but that’ll do.
    What’s vile about Halloween in the States is the latest horrific trend–decorating houses with lights and cheap plastic kitsch in the fashion of Christmas only different. So if all that’s happening there is trick or treating, be thankful. Just go buy yourself a bag of Milky Ways and you’ll feel fine.


    • It came out pretty good, but would probably have been even better with a swig of white wine, to counter the sweetness of the squash a bit.

      Well, it seems it’s mostly toy stores and such that have the hots for Halloween here, so there’s a bit of kitsch (but mostly undertailored overpriced costumes). But I do like Milky Ways, so I guess I will indeed be fine :)

  2. Along with carrot and some of the other root veg like beetroot, I’ve also found squash soups can be just a little bit too sweet… but I’m surprised the spicing you used didn’t counteract that enough – a Heston Blumenthal tip for soup is to add a capful of white wine vinegar at the end and stir… apparently makes a noticeable and positive difference to the flavour. Still trying to avoid thinking about soups etc because I don’t want to have to turn the heating on and plan for winter… but the girlfriend made a courgette and gorgonzola soup a couple of days ago that was gorgeous… but forgot to tell her Heston’s tip!

    • I think the seasoning countered it to some extent – the soup was very good, but there’s always room for improvement. I’ll have to get a wider selection of vinegars! I usually only have balsamic, which would probably be detrimental to the colour of the finished product, and spirit vinegar, which, being a 12% solution of acetic acid, offers only plain acidity, no interesting flavour.

      • We have a few different vinegars because we do make a lot of pickles and chutneys. And because we’re lucky enough to have certain produce that is a ‘glut’ we get to do some extras… so have a stock of raspberry and blackcurrant vinegars on hand. But, even just for a vinaigrette, I would always have in a bottle of wine or cider vinegar. (and, for the calorie conscious… as I have just started a 5:2 fasting diet… the raspberry vinegar, splashed on a salad is lovely on it’s own, it doesn’t need the oil etc!)

      • I just went to the grocery store, but had forgotten all about vinegar :)

        Checking the vinegars I had, one turned out to be balsamico with raspberry. I’ve used it with a bit of brown sugar and ginger to make a caramel-ish sauce for a fruit dessert.

        Here in Sweden we pickle everything in spirit vinegar, but I guess other types could be used too.

        Thanks for the interesting tips!

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