Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Autumn Squash and Apple Bisque

Fall Leaves on Pleasant Street

What can I say but fall has arrived. We are enjoying a beautiful week of Indian Summer weather here in the Chicago burbs. The temperatures are warm and the leaves are beginning to turn and fall. Today I felt the first crunch beneath my feet. In some ways it felt like a switch was flipped the way the seasons just seemed to change almost overnight.

I think as you get older you are more aware of these things or at least I try to be. Or maybe it is my conscious effort to slow things down a bit and feel the world around me.

To me the first things I thought about when the kitchen temperature dropped was baking and soup. What a better soup to make other than butternut and apple bisque. With squash and apples at their peek this is seasonal cooking at it's best. This soup was a recipe I prepared and styled years ago for a Chicago Tribune article. I spent about 7 years as a freelance food stylist for the Sunday magazine section of the Chicago Tribune. I loved trying the recipes and some stayed with me over the years.

What I love about this soup is the texture and the sweet, spicy goodness it possesses. I love to have it with a hunk of French baguette for dipping. Top it off with creme fraiche for extra zing and a sprinkle of paprika for color. 

Autumn Squash and Apple Bisque-
Adapted from “Apple Companion” by Liz Clark and jill Vorbeck

4 Tbsps butter
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
1 qt chicken stock
2 medium autumn squash (I used butternut) 1 ½ lbs total, peeled, seeded, diced
2 ½ firm apples, cored, peeled, diced (I used honey crisp)
½ cup heavy cream
salt and cayenne pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add onions, ginger and cinnamon.
3. Saute, stirring constantly, until onions are transparent.
4. Add chicken stock, squash and apples and bring to a boil.
5. Simmer until squash and apples are soft.
6. Cool mixture slightly.
7. Puree in a blender, filling container no more than ¾ full or you will be splattered with hot burning soup and no one wants that.
8. Return to heat and add cream season to taste.

Cooking Tip: When cutting a hard squash be very careful. My only kitchen accident involved an acorn squash and the emergency room. My advice on this squash avoid it at all costs. Just kidding of course. I love acorn squash but to peel it whole I recommend softening it slightly in the oven until it is slightly softer and you could get a knife through it. When cutting round things it is a good idea to cut a part off the bottom so it will sit flat and not roll.


  1. Looks delicious. I love butternut squash soup any way I can get it!

  2. What a beautiful bowl of soup. The flavors sound like Autumn in a bowl.