Butternut Squash Bisque

We are the first to raise our hands and admit that packing in the veggies in the wintertime isn’t easy. Salads in the snow are a tough sell. Soup, however, is on the menu many days of the week. This recipe for Butternut Squash Bisque is one of our favorite healthy recipes that we make over and over again. Unlike most butternut squash soups, this recipe drifts more towards the savory side than the sweet side. We love how the licorice flavors from the fennel brighten up the squash; honey crisp apples adds a touch of sweetness and ras el hanout packs a savory curry punch. For those unfamiliar, ras el hanout is a North African spice blend that can be found at most mainstream groceries or linked here for online ordering. The result is a rich soup loaded with flavor, but not loaded with calories. It’s very simple, clean, and healthy; a great recipe to start the new year.

Butternut Squash Bisque

  • Servings: 4 entree servings
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A simple, healthy soup to make clean eating easy as we start the new year.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, stem removed and sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 32 oz butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
  • 2 honey crisp apples, core removed and sliced
  • 1 tbs ras el hanout + more for garnish (optional)
  • 32 oz chicken stock (you can sub vegetable stock to make this dish vegetarian)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, and fennel to the pot. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are starting to become translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, butternut squash, apples, and ras al hanout to the pot. Saute for another 10 minutes, or until the butternut squash starts to brown. Brown = flavor, don’t skip out too early or you will lose the best part of this soup!
  3. Add the chicken stock to the pot. Give everything a good stir, season with salt and pepper, cover, and let the soup cook for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it is pureed and an even consistency. We like our soup on the thicker side, but if it is too thick for your liking you can thin it down with water, milk, or cream. Taste and season again with salt and pepper as necessary.
  4. Serve the soup in large bowls with an additional sliced apple and sprinkle of ras al hanout, if desired. A loaf of crusty bread will go a long way with this soup as well.


Butternut Squash Linguini

It is officially fall which means it is pasta galore in our kitchens. We have no shame posting two pasta recipes in one week, and you shouldn’t feel bad about cooking both of these recipes during a chilly week either! There is something so satisfying about a creamy, hot bowl of noodles on a cold evening. That being said, just because a dish is hearty does not mean that it has to pack on the calories. The sauce for this Butternut Squash Linguini is pretty much just that, pureed butternut squash. We add some decadence to the dish by mixing sautéed pancetta and fried sage, but those ingredients act like garnishes versus heavy handed ingredients. For those of you with kids at home, this is a great way to sneak in extra veggies during this winter.

Butternut Squash Linguini

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb linguini
  • 4 oz cubed pancetta
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 8 (approx) sage leaves
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 12 oz cubed butternut squash (thawed if using frozen)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta. Heat a large stock pot full of water. Add about 2 tbs salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente according to package directions, about 12 minutes. When the pasta is ready, remove 1 cup of pasta water and drain the noodles.
  2. Make the butternut squash sauce. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta to the pan and fry for about 3 minutes, or until the pancetta is crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta and set it aside. In the same olive oil, fry the sage leaves until crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and again, keep the fat in the pan.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions start to become translucent. Add the butternut squash and cook another 3 minutes to lightly sauté. Season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme (keep the stems intact) and the vegetable stock. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the butternut squash is fork tender.
  4. When the butternut squash is fork tender, remove the pan from the heat and remove the thyme leaves from the pan. Place the rest of the butternut squash mix into a blender and blend until smooth. You can add the pasta water in 1/4 cup increments as necessary to get the sauce to a smooth consistency. The sauce should be a little thinner than a butternut squash bisque. Reserve any extra pasta water.
  5. Add the sauce, pasta, and pancetta back to the pot and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. If the pasta is starting to slurp up the sauce and it looks too thick, add more pasta water 1/4 cup at a time. If you don’t have any pasta water leftover you can use vegetable stock until you have the texture you are looking for. If you have added liquid back to the pasta, taste and season again. Serve the pasta in four bowls with the fried sage leaves (chopped) and a hearty serving of shaved Parmesan cheese.