Cooler weather is moving in, just as one would expect for the first week in October, and sexy butternut squash are turning up at Farmer's Markets. However special and seasonal they may be, I passed on a beautiful specimen that was going for $7.00! $7.00?? I love shopping local and supporting small farms, but that seemed a bit steep to me, even with my extravagant tendencies.
None the less, the seed had been planted and I started to get a hankering for some squash goodness. Luckily I found a perfectly serviceable organic squash at my neighborhood supermarket for a fraction of the cost. It was delicious simply cut in half, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and tossed in a 350 degree oven.
But I had bigger plans for my squash and it involved apples and fresh thyme, which is still growing nicely on the deck but won't be for long. I'm talking about butternut bisque, people! Mmmmmm, so good and tastes much richer and creamier than it really is. Did you see that picture? I bet you wish you could taste it! I'll sell you a bowl for $7.00!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups roasted butternut squash, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups veg stock
1 cup milk
coconut milk and more fresh thyme for garnish
Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add onions, apples, carrots, thyme, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook one more minute.
Add butternut squash, vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Add milk and transfer to a blender to puree. Return to pot, adjust seasonings (if you like more herbs and spices now's the time to add them in); cook just to heat through. Garnish with a swirl of coconut milk and a sprig of fresh thyme. Makes 4 servings.